The World Wide Web is a system of Internet servers that supports hypertext to access several Internet protocols on a single interface. The World Wide Web is often abbreviated as the Web or WWW.

The World Wide Web was developed in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee of the European Particle Physics Lab (CERN) in Switzerland. The initial purpose of the Web was to use networked hypertext to facilitate communication among its members, who were located in several countries. Word was soon spread beyond CERN, and a rapid growth in the number of both developers and users ensued. In addition to hypertext, the Web began to incorporate graphics, video, and sound. The use of the Web has reached global proportions and has become a part of human culture in an amazingly short period of time.

Almost every protocol type available on the Internet is accessible on the Web. Internet protocols are sets of rules that allow for intermachine communication on the Internet. The following major protocols are accessible on the Web:

  • E-mail (Simple Mail Transport Protocol or SMTP) — Distributes electronic messages and files to one or more electronic mailboxes.
  • Telnet (Telnet Protocol) — Facilitates login to a computer host to execute commands.
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) — Transfers text or binary files between an FTP server and client.
  • Usenet (Network News Transfer Protocol or NNTP) — Distributes Usenet news articles derived from topical discussions on newsgroups.
  • HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) — Transmits hyptertext over networks. This is the protocol of the Web.

Many other protocols are available on the Web. To name just one example, the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows users to place a telephone call over the Web.

The World Wide Web provides a single interface for accessing all these protocols. This creates a convenient and user-friendly environment. It is no longer necessary to be conversant in these protocols within separate, command-level environments. The Web gathers together these protocols into a single system. Because of this feature, and because of the Web’s ability to work with multimedia and advanced programming languages, the Web is the most popular component of the Internet.

See also…

Internet Law Forum