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CS101 Introduction to Computing Lecture 3 The World Wide Web (Web Development Lecture 1). During the Last Lecture …. We learnt about some of the important milestones on the journey that started from the Analytical Engine and so far has taken us to the portable computer-telephone of today

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during the last lecture
During the Last Lecture …
  • We learnt about some of the important milestones on the journey that started from the Analytical Engine and so far has taken us to the portable computer-telephone of today
  • We also saw how computing transitioned from mechanical to electro-mechanical to tube to transistor technology and now is poised to take a breathtaking twist towards quantum computing
today s goal is to
Today’s Goal is to …
  • Become familiar with one of the most popular activities on computers – the World Wide Web
  • Become familiar with the Web’s structure and how the Web works
  • Learn about its genesis, its evolution, and its future
  • About its impact on computing, society, commerce
what is the world wide web
What is the World Wide Web?
  • A huge resource of information
  • Logically unified, but physically distributed
  • Unified: Anyone from any where can access the information using a very simple scheme consisting of hyperlinks & URL’s
  • Distributed: The info is stored on Internet-connected computers that are spread all over the globe
who is allowed to access the web
Who is allowed to access the Web?
  • Anyone and every one with a computer and a connection to the Internet
  • No nationalistic, ideological, racial, or religious restrictions
  • In Pakistan, Web is accessible from any city or town that has a phone available

The Web is unlike any previous human inventionBecause it is a world-wide resource, important to all and shared by all of the people in the worldEnough about who can access it. Now let us focus upon how to access itAs some of you may know, the Web is a collection of Web pages; accessing the Web means accessing one of those Web pages

how do i access visit a web page
How do I access/visit a Web page?
  • Turn your computer on
  • Connect to the Internet through a modem or through your computer network
  • Launch the browser
  • Type in the URL of the Web page that you want to visit
  • The tool used for accessing the content of the Web
  • Browser and the content of the Web have the same relationship as the TV has with TV programs
  • 1993 - The 1st major browser “Mosaic” was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Initially handled text only, later graphics-viewing capability was added
  • Most popular: Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator
what is a url
What is a URL?
  • Universal Resource Locator
  • The uniqueaddress assigned to each unique page on the Web
  • Examples:
    • http://dawn.com
    • http://www.vu.edu.pk/~altaf
    • http://www.smeda.org.pk
are there any access charges
Are there any access charges?
  • Most of the info on the Web is available for free
  • There is some for-payment content on the Web, which is generally paid with the help of a credit card
how do i navigate the web
How do I navigate the Web?
  • You go from one Web page to another my clicking on a hyperlink
  • I’ll explain it to you through the example of my own Web page



  • The underlined pieces of text in blue are called hyperlinks
  • Each hyperlink is a gateway to another Web page
  • All you have to do is click on the hyperlink to go to the page corresponding to that hyperlink
how many web pages are there
How many Web pages are there?
  • In 1999 there were 800 million Web pages (15 trillion (1012) text characters)
  • In the year 2002, the number is estimated to be 8 billion
  • If you spend a minute reviewing each of these pages, it will take more than 15,000 years to go through them all
what is secret behind the explosive growth of the web
What is secret behind the explosive growth of the Web?
  • Anarchy – any page is allowed to link to any other
  • There are no controls over who puts what on the Web
  • Everyone can put whatever they want to put on the Web – and they do!
    • Inconsistent quality of pages
    • Broken links
some of the popular web sites
Some of the popular Web sites?
  • AOL – Most popular ISP’s Web site
  • Microsoft – Most popular software developer’s Web site
  • Yahoo – Most popular multi-service Web site
  • Amazon – most popular shop on the Web
  • CNN – most popular news Web site
  • Google – most useful search engine
what is a web site
What is a Web site?
  • A collection of relateddocuments available on the Web
  • The first portion of the URLs in the Web pages of a Web site is the same e.g.
        • http://www.vu.edu.pk/
        • http://www.vu.edu.pk/~altaf
        • http://www.vu.edu.pk/cs101

are the URLs of three distinct Web pages on a single Web site

what is a home page
What is a home page?
  • The first, top-most page of a Web site, just like the cover of a magazine
  • VU’s home page is at http://www.vu.edu.pk
what is a search engine
What is a Search Engine?
  • They continuously scan the Web and compile a list of all the Web pages & keywords found on those pages
  • The search engine with the largest such list (or index) is Google – with a list of over 2 billion Web pages and over 330 million images
  • We use the search engine by typing a “keyword” or “query” on its Web page. It looks for those keyword in its index, and displays a list of Web pages that contain that keyword
i know i can read off the web am i allowed to put my stuff on the web
I know I can read off the Web. Am I allowed to put my stuff on the Web?
  • Definitely. You just need to have a computer that is hooked up to the Internet.
  • You do not require anyone’s permission to put your Web page(s) on the Web
  • Your Web page will be available to all the millions of users that have access to the Internet the moment you place it on the Web
am i allowed to put my stuff on the web cont
Am I allowed to put my stuff on the Web? (cont.)
  • Next week you’ll have the opportunity to do just that
  • You’ll learn how to develop your own Web page
  • And how to make it available on the Web
The “Internet” and the “Web” are not the same
  • In fact, the “Web” is a service that runs over the “Internet”. In addition to the Web, there are many other services that run over the Internet
  • Internet is like the network of roads in a city, whereas Web is a service like the Bus Service that run over those roads. Just like other services can use the roads (e.g. wagons), so can other services on the Internet (e.g. ftp). We’ll have more to say about this later in the course
  • However, The following refer to the same thing:
    • World Wide Web, Web, WWW
what info is available on the web
What info is available on the Web?
  • Information about almost every thing known to mankind and then some!
  • The info is in the form of:
    • Text
    • Graphics
    • Animation
    • Video
    • Sound
Impact of the Web on:
  • Computing
  • Society
  • Commerce
impact of the web on computing cost
Impact of the Web on Computing(Cost)
  • Every one wants to use the Web
  • That has spurred the demand for computers
  • That, in turn, has reduced the cost of computers, software, and Internet access drastically
impact of the web on computing ease of use
Impact of the Web on Computing(Ease of use)
  • The computers are becoming easier to use because the target users are becoming less and less sophisticated
  • In the olden times only techies used computers; now my 4-year old knows things about the machine that I never did and probably, never will
impact of the web on society
Impact of the Web on Society
  • User-friendly communication has become much more affordable – the global village is shrinking
  • Business persons can stay in touch with their businesses even without being there – for some, that has resulted in the destruction of their family life
impact of the web on commerce
Impact of the Web on Commerce
  • Huge impact
  • The moment I take my business to the Web, it becomes possible for my customers – even those that I do not know about - to find out about me without me being physically present in their city
  • Suddenly, I’m running a global business
who invented the web why
Who invented the Web & Why?
  • Tim Berners Lee – British physicist
  • 1989 – At the European Center for Nuclear Energy Research (CERN) in Geneva
  • He just wanted a way by which scientists could easily share documents over computer networks
the key weakness of the web
The key weakness of the Web?
  • The Web (as it currently exists) was designed for humans to read, not for computers to understand and manipulate meaningfully
  • Computers face great problems in dealing with the current text- and graphics-based content of the Web
  • Here is an example from my own Web page …
what s the problem with this page
What’s the problem with this page?
  • You (a human) see this page and immediately understand what my name is
  • How would a computer know the same fact?
  • For that, the computer needs some help in form of a statement:
    • Name=“Altaf Khan”
    • Occupation=“Teaching”
    • Employer=“Virtual University”
    • And so on

Precisely for this reason, the Web of the future will be different from the Web of todayThe Web of the future will be called the Semantic Web

future of the web semantic web
Future of the Web: Semantic Web

What unique feature distinguishes the Web of today with the Semantic Web of tomorrow?

Whereas, today’s Web’s content is designed for humans to read; the Semantic Web’s content will be designed for computers to understand meaningfully

However, the Semantic Web isnot a replacement but an extensionof the present Web, in whichinformation is given well defined meaning

the semantic web
The Semantic Web
  • Some progress is already being made for adding “Semantic Content” on to the Web, but a lot more will happen in the next 5 years
  • To find further info about this exciting development read Tim Berners Lee and his co-worker’s paper: “The Semantic Web” that is available on the Web as:


another useful web page
Another useful Web page …

Web page for our “Understanding Computers” text book


what have we learnt today
What have we learnt today?
  • What is the World Wide Web?
  • How does it work?
  • About its expected evolution into the Semantic Web
  • The impact of the Web on computing, society, and commerce
goal of the next lecture
Goal of the Next Lecture
  • To become familiar with various types of computers with respect to their applications and scale
  • To become familiar with the basic components of a computer