Saturday, December 8, 2007

Web Basics

My preparation for the Application Development Foundation Exam of MCTS hasn't been going very well. Mostly because it contains a lot of things which are new to me and I will take some time to understand. However this morning I was just having a look at Web Client Development Exam, and read the first chapter. This was mainly because the contents of the first chapter were interesting and more aligned with what I am doing or will be doing now onwards. Here is just a brief of what I read, and is being posted more as a ready reference for me than anything.

The first thing that is talked about the Web Server and how it has changed from being a simple server returning data(response) to requests by the web browser without any state, to being a complex contraption managing state between web pages, accepting data and responding to it. Also, the growing importance of web browsers with Client Side scripting technologies like AJAX creating new ways of addressing things.

Mostly, it is an introduction about the HTTP or the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.(I was once dumb enough to think that whatever acronym ended with a P had to be some protocol. Though FTP, HTTP, SMTP, SNMP etc. are all protocols this doesn't necessarily hold true for everything. In an interview once I was asked about OLAP. I was definite that I had heard about it somewhere but answered in the negative. Once outside I was discussing with a friend as to what could OLAP be and came up with Object Layer Access Protocol!! For the uninitiated it is On-Line Analytical Processing.)

It talks about the various HTTP methods like GET, POST, HEAD etc. and also something about Distributed authoring and Versioning or DAV, something built on top of HTTP 1.1 which enables easier web development in a team scenario. I also got to know about the standard codes in HTTP. Remember the 404 Page not Found Error!!

Basically there are 5 Status-Code Groups

4XX when there is error on the browser
5XX When there is an error on the server

HTTP uses MIME types and you should know some of the common MIME types. You also learn a bit about how data is posted back to server, HTTP GET and POST and finally about POST BACK and HTTP debugging!

I am finding this interesting! Might just post some more cool stuff to know about the web!

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