"I think this book is an extremely useful, very comprehensive and clearly-written reference to all aspects of the internals of the Web going well beyond just the bare mechanics of HTTP. Even where its huge detail does stop on a topic, there are extensive and useful references for further reading on each topic covered given at the end of nearly every chapter." - John Collins, News@UK, March 2003
Web technology has become the foundation for all sorts of critical networked applications and far-reaching methods of data exchange, and beneath it all is a fundamental protocol that most of us take for granted but know very little about: HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP. While the average Web user can remain blissfully unaware of the dozens of HTTP transactions required to download a Web page, understanding HTTP is essential for practically all Web-based programming and administration. Whether you're writing CGI programs, developing Web-based software, or managing a Web server, you need to have some knowledge of HTTP. And with the increasing emphasis on web services, which depend heavily on HTTP for interapplication communication, a strong understanding of HTTP is even more essential. "HTTP: The Definitive Guide" documents everything that technical people need for using HTTP efficiently-including the "black arts" and "tricks of the trade"-and does so in a clear and readable manner.
Written by experts with years of practical and teaching experience, this book is the definitive technical bible on HTTP and related core Web technologies because it clearly explains the "why" as well as the "how". A reader can understand how web applications work, how the core Internet protocols and architectural building blocks interact, and how to correctly implement Internet clients and servers. Technical professionals doing Internet software development and architecture, IT professionals who need to understand Internet architectural components and interactions, technical marketing professionals who need a clear picture of core Web architectures and protocols, as well as untold numbers of students and hobbyists will all benefit from the knowledge packed in this volume.