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The Evolution of Web Protocols

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Executive Summary

The World Wide Web (WWW) has been defined as "The universe of network-accessible information, the embodiment of human knowledge". The web is based on a set of protocols and conventions which initially covered the data format of resources, addressing of resources, and the transport of resources across the Internet. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is an application of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). The first release, HTML 1.0 provided the hypertext linking which web users today are extremely familiar with. Although the battle for market share helped to stimulate innovation and was warmly applauded by many end users, the innovations to the HTML language were causing difficulties in other areas - vendors of authoring tools were having to choose whether to develop software which supported Netscape's extensions or Microsoft's or both. Information providers were faced with the dilemma of developing rich, attractive interfaces which would not be universally accessible to the web protocol community. The other level of development came with the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The XML has been developed to address these issues. XML has been designed to be extensible, so that agreement on a set of standard elements does not necessarily have to be achieved. Then came the Protocol extension Protocol and then the Digital Object Identifier. Another major advancement was the Platform for Privacy Preferences Projects. The evolution of web protocols plays an important role in the internet experience of users across the globe. This paper studies the concept in its entirety.

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