HTTP for HTML Authors, Part I
Internet mania. E-this and e-that is about all you see these days, and like everyone else you want to join the bandwagon. Can't say I blame you; it's quite a ride. The Web isn't really a discriminatory place; it doesn't matter whether you want to start the latest promising dot-com startup based on your innovative ideas for selling hand-crafted mahogany coathangers through the Net or just want to let the world finally enjoy the benefits of being exposed to that novel you've been trying to get published since before you mothballed your bell-bottoms; the process is the same.
First, you need to learn how to write HTML, and optionally sprinkle it with the odd style sheet, image, script or applet. Then, you need to get your creation out to the world, get it on a Web site so that people can access it.
I'm going to go through this process in a slightly backwards way. I'll start by assuming that you've already managed to get your documents on the Web, and explain how people access them. Only then will I go on to explain how to get there. Hopefully, this will make the process of getting your site up and running seem a bit more approachable.
This lesson is going to gloss over most of the technical details of HTTP and Web server operation, because it's not a manual for server administration; it's just a guide to help you see your documents in the context in which they'll appear, which will help you design them in a better way. If you're a tech-head and can't wait to dive into the hardcore specs, a list of links to such documents will be provided in the end of this lesson.
Some required reading for this lesson would have to include HTML Lessons, in which I introduced you to HTML, and in which I explained hyperlinks and, most importantly, URIs. If you're comfortable with these topics, read on.