• Anna Darelli-Anderson

What is Web Technology?


Web technologies are simply the instruments used by different computers to communicate and share resources. In particular, these technologies are infrastructural building blocks, much like the proteins found in a person’s DNA, that make effective networks. The three common networks through which communications occur are the Local Area network (LAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), and Wide Area Network (WAN). According to Microsoft, some examples of web technologies include: mark-up languages, programming languages and technologies, web servers and server technologies, databases, and business applications (Wollin, 2004).


A specific technology, part of the server technologies family, is HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP. HTTP was one of the first set of standards utilized to communicate on the World Wide Web. Different versions exist for this protocol including 0.9, 1.0, and 1.1. Within HTTP/1.1, one may find an encrypted connection via transport-layer security, also known as HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS (HTTP, 2017). While HTTP was first implemented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, HTTPS was not realized until 2015. HTTP works by transferring hypertext (structured text using logical links, or hyperlinks) and tells the Internet browser what to display on a web page. Browsers locate HTTP resources by way of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) which may start with either http or https. The three “cornerstone technologies” of the World Wide Web that HTTP utilizes are HTML, CSS, and Java.

HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is the primary markup language used for Web Pages. It can be used in tandem with HTTP and describes how a document should look when displayed or printed. HTML is composed of several elements, such as character-based data types, character references, entity references, and most importantly, tags and their attributes. Though tags generally come in pairs, with an opening tag (such as <head>) and a closing tag (such as </head>), they may also be free-standing (such as <img>) and be considered an “empty element”. These specific tags are what mostly direct the makeup of the finished product.


Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS are included in the current and most widely-used version of HTML. First proposed by Hakon Wium Lie on 10 October 1994, CSS is a language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Not only does CSS detail colors, layouts, and fonts but it allows adaption of a page to different type of devices. The cascades of style sheets defines priorities that are assigned to specific rules, allowing for predictability.

Finally, another technology that is growing in status is Java, a programming language and computing platform that represents the functionality of a document. Intended to be general-purpose, concurrent, class-based, and object-oriented, it was released by Sun Microsystems in 1995 and is designed to be simple (Gosling, Joy, Steele, Bracha, & Buckley, 2015). The invention was envisioned as something that could be written once and run anywhere, as an alternate to C++ programming (Langley, 2002). According to gojava.com, 5 million students study Java, 15 billion devices run Java, there are 10 million developers worldwide, and the technology is the number one platform for development in the cloud (Oracle, n.d.).


References:

Gosling, J., Joy, B., Steele, G., Bracha, G., & Buckley, A. (2015). The Java Language Specification: Java SE 8 Edition. California: Oracle America, Inc.

HTTP. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/h/http.htm

Langley, N. (2002, May). Write once, run anywhere? Retrieved from http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Write-once-run-anywhere

Oracle. (n.d.). Index. Retrieved from https://go.java/index.html

Wollin, L. (2004, June). Introduction to Web Technologies for FrontPage Users. Retrieved from https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/aa218647(v=office.11).aspx

Anna Darelli-Anderson

University of Utah

Department of Surgery

Office of Surgical Education

30 N. 1900 E. 3B110 

Salt Lake City, UT 84132

annadarellianderson@gmail.com

anna.darelli-anderson@utah.edu

801.213.2598

© 2020 by Anna Darelli-Anderson