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Lecture 1: Introduction and the World Wide Web

The world wide web might be slightly older than you might anticipate. Today, we will cover a brief history of the world wide web, how websites are accessed, and how to setup a personal webpage.

A Brief History of the World Wide Web

How Web Requests are Processed

We often take for granted the fact that we are so easily able to connect to web servers to access the webfiles. I will show you in class today how that process works, and how we can write our own web servers, if we wanted to.

Setting up a Personal webpage

As you may or may not know, our webserver (cs.roanoke.edu) is configured to serve webpages. The cool part of this configuration is that each user can have their own webpage hosted. A majority of your work for this semester will be done this way, although you may configure your personal computers to serve these webpages.

By default, the CS server will host any files in the public_html directory. However, this directory doesn't exist. some additional permissions may need to be set on this directory so that the webserver has permission to read these files

$ ls -l
drwxrwxr-x 26 cssmith cssmith 4096 Aug 13 17:44 public_html

To begin, simply create a new file in your public_html called index.html. Anything you type into this file will then be displayed in the browser when you access your website. You can access your page via your personal url: http://cs.roanoke.edu/~username. So, for example my personal webpage is http://cs.roanoke.edu/~cssmith.