HTTP Protocol

Posted: June 23, 2012 in Live in a Cloudy World

The Http is one of the main web protocols, used to access the websites content. When you surf the internet and enter www.example.com, a defined port is always assumed which is the port number 80 for the hypertext transfer protocol , if you want for any certain reason to change the port, all you have to do is to enter the URL followed by “:<port-number>” (www.example.com:73 ). The HTTP protocol initiates the TCP connection to the port number 80 and waits for the incoming requests from the web clients.

The web clients might send different methods to get specific function for a better consumption for the internet connection. For example for developing applications targeting different web browsers, you might first detect what the type of the web client browser’s then respond with the right document or file. Some of them might also be used for defining the data available in the website, what we call the meta-information. This would be better for the search for a specific type of data in the available websites, rather than searching the whole website or its body.

Some of the available methods guarantee the user and the server some functionality, like the GET, HEAD, OPTIONS, TRACE that their main objectives is to retrieve the data, files and documents from the server. The other functions from POST and PUT are for the users actions done on the document hosted on the server. Just for listing the available methods, actually I got them from Wikipedia:

  • Head for getting the Meta information rather than accessing the body and download the whole website
  • Get used for only retrieving data content from the website and it doesn’t have any more function than that.
  • Post is used for submitting data to the specified resource.
  • Put is used for uploading a representation to the resource.
  • Delete is used for deleting the resource
  • Trace is used for echoing back the received requests, so that the client can check if any modifications are made by the intermediate servers.
  • Options returns what methods the server can return.
  • Connect converts the request system to a transparent TCP/IP, usually to facilitate SSL-encrypted communication (HTTPS) through an unencrypted HTTP proxy
  • Patch is used to partially modify a resource.
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