This book is divided into ten chapters, and these can be read in four stages. In the first three chapters, we look at the technology of the network, information servers and then specifically introduce the World Wide Web. In the next two chapter, we look in some technical detail at World Wide Web Clients and Servers. After this, we spend two chapters looking at some real-world WWW servers, and see how people have used them to provide information to an academic community, entertainment seekers and to a business community. In each we attempt to portray elements of style, both for documents within the Web, and for structure across the Web. The next chapter is technical detail on servers, exploring their components, configuration and usage, including caching and security. Finally, we survey some of the problems, and the future directions that the World Wide Web is heading.
In the appendices, we include information on the formal definition of some components of the World Wide Web, some pointers to other Internet Resource Guides, and some notes on how to get connected and a few very simple good WWW places to go surfing. We do not list lots of favourite cyber-tourist resorts as virtual fashions and weather change too rapidly for a book to be a valid medium to store that kind of information.
The technology in the World Wide Web is evolving incredibly rapidly. It is certain that some descriptions in this book of features or bugs will have been out of date by the time it is printed. This is inevitable with this technology. We hope that our fairly modest crystal ball gazing will not go awry (as Azimov's fictional techno-prophet Hari Seldon's did in the second of the Foundation series books), but that too is as inevitable the further success of the WWW itself.