The World Wide Web ("Web" from here on ) is a networked information
system consisting of many active components which interchange information.
The Web's architecture consists of:
- A single specification of the way in which objects in
the system are identified: the Uniform Resource Identifier.
- Specifications of a small and nonexclusive
set of protocols for interchanging information between components:
HTTP comes to mind first, but SMTP and others are also important.
Several of these protocols share a reliance on the MIME metadata/packaging
- Specifications of a nonexclusive set of data formats designed for
interchange between components of the system.
This includes several hardwired formats with limited extensibility but rich
semantics (e.g. HTML, PNG), as well as family of markup languages with high
extensibility and a universal naming scheme (XML and Namespaces).
- A very limited set of specifications of the required operations of certain
of the software components of the system: HTML renderers and XML processors
are two examples.
The architecture strives to specify the minimal amount of behavior,
leaving the functionality the Web can deliver open to the imagination of its