Birds Eye View of HTTP

If you have been using the internet for a while, you have probably typed into your browser something that starts with “http:” and ends with “.html”, hit “Go”, watched your modem lights flicker on and off, and a couple of seconds later you are magically looking at page of todays news or a page of pictures. Let’s try and take some of the magic away …

I thought about calling this article a “Geeks view of HTTP”; I am not going into the nitty gritty,s but rather present a sketch of how a geek might see something like HTTP, how they can think something like HTTP is simple, and why they are not trying to make things complicated just for the sake of it!

–* Layers *–

The background to the sketch is that computers are full of layers. Programmers and designers think in layers, because organizing in layers makes it easier to build things.

You don’t need to know what or where the layers are in your computer, or where one starts and another stops, but it is helpful to remember that they are everywhere because that is how geeks organize things.

–* Specifications and Protocols *–

Specifications and Protocols are the things that are the mostly likely cause of all your computer frustrations … but they are a necessary evil. A wise man once said that any specification longer than one line will have ambiguities and be a source of problems.

There are lots of specifications and protocols in everyday life. An example of a protocol is when you are driving and see a red light you slow down and stop until it turns green. The specification of this protocol is the rule that is (probably) written down in the road-rule book. But we don’t need to read the road rules, it is just common sense to know to stop for a red light. Of course we all know the words computers and common sense don’t belong in the same sentence, and that is why there are so many computer specifications and they are generally so long and detai