Here we see the home
page of the New York Public Library (they change the content of the
page now and then, so the page you see may be a little different from the one
When you pressed
Enter, the browser sent a request
to the web server of NYPL. This web server is a program running on a
computer somewhere, maybe in the City of New York.
Also stored on that computer is the home page of NYPL.
The web server
constantly listens to the traffic on the Net, and when it receives your
browser's request, it studies it and performs the service required. Here it fetched the home page and sent a response
back to the web browser. That response partly included sending the home page.
The browser took the home page out of the response and displayed it on your
You may have
noticed that the Location Box currently shows the string
In other words
the beginning 'http://' and the slash
'/' was added to the originally typed
string. These additions are made by the browser because it knows what needs to
be done and the additional parts are needed for a successful request.
The string 'http://nypl.org/' is the web
address of the home page of NYPL. It is also called the URL(
Uniform Resource Locator) of the
home page of NYPL.
Now every web page (i.e. every home page
and other kinds of web pages) on the Net has its own and unique URL. The URL
enables a web browser to obtain and a web server return the desired page.
So the web
browser corrected the string typed originally to a proper URL, although it
doesn't hurt to type the URL without the beginning 'http://' and the slash '/'
at the end. However, by adding the slash yourself you can get the response from
the server a little quicker as there is then less work involved for the browser
and server in finding the requested page.
The slash at the
end actually denotes the root folder of the web server. When
no other web page is given in the request, the web server returns the home page
stored in the root folder as default.
The part 'http://'
at the beginning of the URL indicates which protocol is to be used in the
communication between the web browser and the web server. The two slashes are
needed when trying to contact a server.
So with the help
of a web browser you can view web pages which are available 'on
the Net'. In order to get a page to your browser you can use the so-called URLs. We saw two such URLs, namely:
http://www.mozilla.com/ (Mozilla Corporation)
New York Public Library)
It is often
sufficient merely to type a piece of the actual URL as we did above when typing
'nypl.org' instead of 'http://nypl.org/'. The browser knows
what is needed and adds the missing parts.
browser will show the 'www.'
immediately after the colon and two slashes, sometimes not. It depends on how
the web server is configured. You can also type the string 'www.' yourself, it makes no difference.
Try for example the string 'www.nypl.org'.
Note: Often it's
needed to type the 'www.' at the beginning for a successful
about URLs in the chapter 'Some basic terms'. Here in this chapter we'll
concentrate on getting a page into a browser.
10 Try other URLs
if you like. There are many web addresses to be found in newspapers and
magazines for example.
To open and close Firefox is fairly simple. You'll get more accustomed to it in
the chapters to come.
Firefox is one of the programs generally called web
With a web browser you can view web pages stored on the
This chapter gave you an illustration of the representation
style in this guide. Things are explained by doing the exercises.