World-Wide Web

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.

World-Wide Web

(World-Wide Web, networking, hypertext)
(WWW, W3, The Web) An Internet client-server hypertext distributed information retrieval system which originated from the CERN High-Energy Physics laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland.

An extensive user community has developed on the Web since its public introduction in 1991. In the early 1990s, the developers at CERN spread word of the Web's capabilities to scientific audiences worldwide. By September 1993, the share of Web traffic traversing the NSFNET Internet backbone reached 75 gigabytes per month or one percent. By July 1994 it was one terabyte per month.

On the WWW everything (documents, menus, indices) is represented to the user as a hypertext object in HTML format. Hypertext links refer to other documents by their URLs. These can refer to local or remote resources accessible via FTP, Gopher, Telnet or news, as well as those available via the http protocol used to transfer hypertext documents.

The client program (known as a browser), e.g. NCSA Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, runs on the user's computer and provides two basic navigation operations: to follow a link or to send a query to a server. A variety of client and server software is freely available.

Most clients and servers also support "forms" which allow the user to enter arbitrary text as well as selecting options from customisable menus and on/off switches.

Following the widespread availability of web browsers and servers, many companies from about 1995 realised they could use the same software and protocols on their own private internal TCP/IP networks giving rise to the term "intranet".

The World Wide Web Consortium is the main standards body for the web.

An article by John December.

A good place to start exploring.

WWW servers, clients and tools.

Mailing list: <>.

Usenet newsgroups: news:comp.infosystems.www.misc, news:comp.infosystems.www.providers, news:comp.infosystems.www.users, news:comp.infosystems.announce.

The best way to access this dictionary is via the Web since you will get the latest version and be able to follow cross-references easily. If you are reading a plain text version of this dictionary then you will see lots of curly brackets and strings like


These are transformed into hypertext links when you access it via the Web.

See also Java, webhead.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
In Australia, MPs and Senators do have access to individual e-mail addresses (on the domain), but not to individual world-wide web pages.
In the United States, every single member of the House of Representatives and every single Senator has access to individual e-mail addresses and individual world-wide web homepages ( or
The Reform Party (which was the first party to have an Internet presence) is the only party that allows their Parliamentarians to have e-mail accounts and world-wide web sites on their party's domain (
World-Wide Web documents are not necessarily text but can also include sound or graphics or movies and video.
Hypertext documents on the World-Wide Web accessed over the Internet as seen by Mosaic users are textual documents that contain links to other documents.
World-Wide Web browsers like Mosaic provide the user with more than the ability to view just textual documents with links.

Full browser ?