Monday, March 12, 2007

004.67 Web Technology: A Historical Review

Jim Rapoza, Director of Ziff Davis eWEEK Labs, picks the top all-time Web Technologies in honor of the 15 anniversary of "ViolaWWW, the precursor to the modern Web browser, being launched and the burgeoning Web revolution began to gain steam."

XML - Extensible Markup Language, allows for tags enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.
HTML - Hypertext Markup Language, the beginning core of the Web
Netscape Navigator - 1st major Web application; stood for "the Web"
HTTP - simple protocol provides whole connection of the Web
Apache - most successful open-source product that still runs most of the Web
NCSA Mosaic - first popular browser
CERN httpd - 1st Web server
Spyglass - browser code that became IE
Internet Explorer 3 - won browser war with Netscape Navigator; dominates market today
NCSA httpd - servers of the early Web, platform that other Web technologies were built on
Firefox - descendant of original Netscape browser code; gaining popularity against IE
SSL (secure sockets layer) - encrypts and secures Web connections; makes it mostly safe to send credit card,other sensitive information
ViolaWWW - 1st modern Web browser quickly replaced by Mosaic
WAIS - searched text; forerunner of Web browsers
CGI (Common Gateway Interface) - allowed complex data-driven applications for the Web; helped launch the e-commerce boom
Internet Information Server (IIS) - when Microsoft released IIS as a built-in feature of Windows NT Server, the .Net server platform was born.
Squid - proxy server which is part of Web security development
Java - true importance came on the server side when became core platform for enterprise Web-based applications
HotMetal - 1st truly useful tool for building websites
Flash - brings interactivity and rich media applications (animation, etc.) to the Web
PHP - popular scripting language especially for open source applications
Dreamweaver - program of choice for many Web site developers
RSS - simple syndication format instrumental in rise of Web 2.0 technologies (blogs, podcasting)
Web Trends - analytics tool for business
Blogger - not the first, but made social networking possible for the "common user"
Placeware - Web conferencing tool
Lynx - text-only browser for terminal-based admins
Perl - pre-Web language for early applications
Opera - innovative browser
Eclipse - open source development environment for Web services

Why did I choose to post about this information? I took a look at the list of 30 terms and realized that as a digital immigrant I use, am aware of, and recognize only 13 items on the list. It is further evidence that I am a "user" of Web technology, not a "mover and shaker."

But hey, I drive a car every day, know basic upkeep, and can recognize most models on the road because of training and information made available to me, but I couldn't really tell you how it all works or why? I feel the same way about the Web. Because I have had great opportunities to use and learn about the Web, I am a pretty confident user.

It is fun to know that I have traveled this pioneer road "virtually" from the beginning with great guides and guideposts along the way. Secretly though, I wish my number had been higher!

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