Monday, 3 October 2011

DITA von Tease

What is the internet?

Yes, I am one of those people who would have answered - it's the World Wide Web.  And if someone had asked me, "What's the World Wide Web?", I would have answered - "Duh!  It's the internet!"

Today I learned that the internet and the WWW are not the same thing.

Really, it's one of those things you've heard about and know at the back of your head, but if you were to describe the difference between the two, you wouldn't have a hope in hell of explaining it.  Well, I wouldn't anyway.

Richard had a very good way of explaining it:-

"The internet is the road, and the World Wide Web is the car that drives the road."

In other words, the net is the infrastructure, and the World Wide Web is a service that allows you to 'navigate' the net.  There are other services that allow you to traverse the net in different ways to the World Wide Web.

The Information Super Highway.  There really is a reason for that vehicular analogy!

The 'net' began in the 1960's, and was developed by the military in order to make sure that even when one computer with information went down (or was destroyed by a nuclear warhead, as the case may be), that information would still be stored and shareable amongst other computers in the network.

Back in those days, computer servers were huge, clunky things that probably needed a whole department to run them.

The days when the Information Super Highway was more like the
Information Super Monolith.

Nowadays, the gap between client and server computers is narrowing.  Client computers are now becoming more and more powerful, and the traditional distinctions between the two are blurring.  In a way, we are all becoming servers.  I'm not sure exactly how it works, but torrenting and peer exchange seem to be proof of that closing gap.

Anyway, in the computer lab we got to make our first web page, after learning the basics of HTML.  We kind of take it for granted nowadays that someone else will make our webpage for us.  Many sites have web templates, or we can use a program like Dreamweaver to create one like we would create a document on Word.  The last time I actually wrote HTML was in 1997.  But even then I was no whizz-kid at it.  I certainly didn't really get it.  So what did I learn today?

  • Tags like <b> and <i> are now 'old-fashioned'.  Semantic tags like <em> and <strong> are now the way to go, because they're more 'global-friendly'.
  • I finally know what CSS stands for!  I finally know what CSS is!  WOOT! XD
  • LAN = Local Area Network; WAN = Wide Area Network; Internet = a vast network of all these networks.  TA DA!!!
See, it's really all very simple; I think that these computer scientists really just like to tease the hell out of us with their crazy acronyms... ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment