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World-Wide Web (WWW)

The Basics
The World-Wide Web is a worldwide collection of documents linked together by their use of 'links' or words that point to other documents. It uses HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) to transfer the information from server to server. The information is written in HTML (HyperText Markup Language), a simple text-based way of taking simple text and formatting it for web browsers.

How It Works
Web pages are kept on servers across the world. A page in Texas may have a link to a page in Germany which may contain an image kept on a server in China. When you visit a web site, that server sends the text of the document you requested to your web browser. Your web browser then interprets the text (which is written in HTML) to display the web page on your screen. When the page contains images, the browser will request that the server send those images to itself (or it will contact another server, if the images lie elsewhere). Sometimes, pages will say 'Enhanced For Netscape' or something similar. This means that the page may contain specific commands for that web browser that will make the page better (or worse) to look at. For the most part, web pages are open to any one to read and several search engines are available to help you find these pages.

What You Need
To view web pages, you need a web browser. The two most popular ones are Netscape's Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Both support the latest official version of HTML as well as several of their own special tags. Both can also be downloaded and used for free. Netscape is available for most platforms including Windows XP/2000, Windows 98/NT, Macintosh, Linux, and OS/2. MSIE is available for Windows XP/2000, Windows 98/NT, and Macintosh.

Making Your Own Web Pages
You can also make your own web pages (every Texas.Net personal account comes with web space). You can do it using a text editor (like WordPad, Notepad, SimpleText, or vi) or you can use one of many HTML Editors. HTML editors will let you type the page out the way you want it to look and then do all the coding for you. With a text editor, you can control all of the HTML yourself. If you need instructions on setting up your web page, please read our Web Instruction Guide.

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