WWW.IOLFL.COM

 

What is the World Wide Web (WWW)?
WWW stands for “World Wide Web.” The WWW project, started by Tim Berners-Lee while at CERN (the European Laboratory for Particle Physics), seeks to build a “distributed hypermedia system.” In practice, the web is a vast collection of interconnected documents, spanning the world. Tim Berners-Lee continues his pioneering work with the W3 Consortium at MIT.

The advantage of hypertext is that in a hypertext document, if you want more information about a particular subject mentioned, you can usually “just click on it” to read further detail. In fact, documents can be and often are linked to other documents by completely different authors — much like footnoting, but you can get the referenced document instantly!

To access the web, you run a browser program. The browser reads documents, and can fetch documents from other sources. Information providers set up hypermedia servers which browsers can get documents from. The browsers can, in addition, access files by FTP, NNTP (the Internet news protocol), gopher and an ever-increasing range of other methods. On top of these, if the server has search capabilities, the browsers will permit searches of documents and databases.

The documents that the browsers display are hypertext documents. Hypertext is text with pointers to other text. The browsers let you deal with the pointers in a transparent way — select the pointer, and you are presented with the text that is pointed to.

Hypermedia is a superset of hypertext — it is any medium with pointers to other media. This means that browsers might not display a text file, but might display images or sound or animations.

What is FTP?
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows a person to transfer files between two computers, generally connected via the Internet. Integrity Online provides an FTP while you are connected to the Internet, allowing you to access very large amounts of files available on a great number of computer systems. A good source of information on archives in general is the Usenet newsgroup comp.archives. When using FTP, you use a program called a ‘client’ to connect to a machine that holds the files; a ‘server’.

What is Email?
Email is comprised of a software package that allows you to send and receive electronic mail to anyone else on the Internet including people on Compuserve, America Online etc. Your e-mail address from Integrity Online is...

username@IntegrityOnline14.com

• “username” is your login name on our system.
• Make sure you have replaced “username” with you own “login name”
• @ pronounced “at”. This says that you are “at” a given domain.
• “IntegrityOnline.com” is called the domain.
• “.com” stands for commercial or company.
Examples of other extensions are .edu (educational), .gov (government), .mil (military), .net (network), .org (organization) etc.

• Most Email packages are fairly intituitive. You have an “in” box and an “out” box. To send a letter click on “message, new message”, fill out the e-mail address of your intended recipient, fill out the subject line, and type in your letter. Click on the send button. To check to see if you have received new mail, click “file, check mail”. New letters will appear in your “in” box. To read them, simply double click on them.

What is SMTP?
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the international standard which is used on the Internet. It was designed for sending printable text only.

What is MIME?
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a recent international standard designed for sending images, word processing documents, movies, etc. using Internet (SMTP) Mail.

What is POP3?
Post Office Protocol 3, an international E-mail server (host computer) standard for holding messages until clients pick them up and move messages to their own computers.

What is IMAP?
Internet Message Access Protocol is an internet E-mail standard which permits client e-mail programs to access messages on a server as if they were local—in other words, all messages stay on the server. This protocol is an improvement over POP3 for traveling or roving users who check in from different computers.

What is UUENCODE?
One of the first encoding systems invented to disguise a complex object so it would look like printable text and be “email-able”.

What is BINHEX?
An encoding systems that is “Macintosh specific”, designed to disguise a complex Macintosh object so it would look like printable text and be “email-able”.

What is an Email Attachment?
Word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and other software allows you to format a document (centering, changing fonts and font sizes, defining tables, margin size, etc) by the use of hidden codes. In order to send a document with the same fonts, page layout, etc. through email, you must send both the words and the hidden codes. Hidden codes are usually non-printing characters; since you can’t type these characters from your keyboard, you can’t put these codes directly into an email message. Someone figured out how to trick Email into sending these codes, anyway - but first, the codes must be disguised as printable characters. When the words and hidden format instructions are translated together into a code made up of all printable characters, you get what appears to be a big jumble of nonsense; BUT, it WILL travel through the Internet.

Is there only one kind of translation scheme? Of course not; there are several in use throughout the internet. Common translation schemes include MIME, BINHEX, and UUENCODE. The jumbled up message is referred to as an “Email Attachment”. The attachment always “rides” inside your Email message across the Internet. It is referred to as an “attachment” because it is hoped that your Email program is smart enough to parse the incoming jumble and automatically recompose it into your original message and separate, formated documents. Unfortunately, many Email programs will NOT handle all of these formats for you. That’s when the jumble arrives stuck as a jumble inside your message.

What are Usenet News Groups?
Usenet is the set of people who exchange articles tagged with one or more universally-recognized labels, called “newsgroups” (or “groups” for short). There is often confusion about the precise set of newsgroups that constitute Usenet; one commonly accepted definition is that it consists of newsgroups listed in the periodic “List of Active Newsgroups” postings which appear regularly in news.lists and other newsgroups. A broader definition of Usenet would include the newsgroups listed in the article “Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies” (frequently posted to news.lists). An even broader definition includes even newsgroups that are restricted to specific geographic regions or organizations. Each Usenet site makes its own decisions about the set of groups available to its users; this set differs from site to site.

(Note that the correct term is “newsgroups”; they are not called areas, bases, boards, bboards, conferences, round tables, SIGs, echoes, rooms or usergroups! Nor, as noted above, are they part of the Internet, though they may reach your site over it. Furthermore, the people who run the news systems are called news administrators, not sysops. If you want to be understood, be accurate.)

Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of “newsgroups” with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. “Articles” or “messages” are “posted” to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software — these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks. Some newsgroups are “moderated”; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP.