Dogwood Trees - Photo courtesy of the CTDP, Free for use


Canyon - Photo courtesy of the CTDP, Free for use

HTTP Resources


  1. HTTP Reference

HTTP Web Links

HTTP Introduction

This section provides HTTP information and HTTP documentation.

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is the means by which your internet browser and web server communicate. HTTP provides the capability not only for your web browser to request pages and files from the webserver, but also HTTP provides the ability for your browser to send information back to the server. Usually this information is in the form of text box information, check boxes, and radio buttons you click on or fill out when you register on a particular website, respond to a poll, or submit any form.

This section will describe how HTTP works and is applied. Therefore this section will also include some information about client and server side scripting. Any information about these areas may be found in this section. Lets say, you are browsing the web and you see a web page that provides a poll that may be filled out. From the time you click on the link to open the web page containing the poll, here's roughly what happens:

  1. Your web browser sends a request for the page to the server using the HTTP protocol as a communications media. The universal resource locator (URL) or address of the page is included with the request not only so the correct server is located, but the server will know where to get the page. This step excludes the description of how the server is found.
  2. The server finds the page and sends it over the web lines to your computer which your browser receives and displays.
  3. In this case, the web page you have received, includes some client side script language. Your browser understands this language and can run the script program. The script program causes a form to be displayed with the other content of the web page. This form may contain text boxes, radio buttons, check boxes and more.
  4. You put some text in the text box, select a radio button, and possibly check one or more check boxes. Then you click on the submit button.
  5. The information you entered is sent to the server using HTTP in the form of commands with information you entered.
  6. The server is running a program which may be a script program (server side script) receives the commands and data, and stores the information. The program running on the server side can be any program such as a binary program, but must read the HTTP commands. It could be written in the C language.
  7. The server updates its database, then may send to you, the client, an updated copy of the web page, such as the current status of the poll.
  8. Your web browser will receive this new updated web page and display it.

Current Documentation

Documentation in this section currently includes:

  • HTTP Reference - Based on RFC 2616, it contains brief descriptions of the HTTP request, entity headers, and response headers and also lists the possible response headers such as 404 (not found).