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 is your login name on our system.
Make sure you have replaced username with you own login
@ 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 cant type these characters from your
keyboard, you cant 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. Thats when the jumble arrives stuck as a jumble inside your
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
(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.