HTTP for HTML Authors, Part I - HTML with Style HTML With Style: HTML Help, Tutorials on Web Page & Site Design | WebReference

HTTP for HTML Authors, Part I - HTML with Style HTML With Style: HTML Help, Tutorials on Web Page & Site Design

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HTTP for HTML Authors, Part I

Would Sir like some black pepper with his Web page?

After the server has listened attentively to the browser's request, it will usually reply with something like the following:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache/1.3.12 (Unix)
Cache-Control: max-age=60
Content-Type: text/html
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 00:39:46 GMT
Expires: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 00:46:07 GMT
d36
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"
 "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
<title>HTML With Style: HTML Help, Tutorials on 
Web Page & Site Design</title>
 ( Rest of document omitted )

I've cut the response short since it goes on to list all of the HTML for the HTML with Style front page, which is quite lengthy, but you get the point. Translating this into English goes something like this:

HTTP/1.1 means “I too speak HTTP version 1.1”. The important bit, once more, is the bit on the same line with this that says 200 OK. This is an HTTP response, and in this case it means “I understood your request and managed to fulfill it.” Users usually don't see responses, but there is one noteable exception: If you've been browsing the Web for some time, you might have come across a page that reads “HTTP 404 Not Found” and then goes on to explain that the document you requested could not be found on the server; 404 is the HTTP response code that means exactly what it says, that the requested document was not found, just like 200 is the HTTP response code that says that everything went fine. There are a whole bunch of different responses defined in HTTP, but 200 is by far the most common and useful one.

As you can see, once again the response contains a whole bunch of headers that are sent back to the browser from the server. Many of these are technical and of little concern to authors; others are very useful. We'll have a look at some of these later on.

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URL: http://www.webreference.com/html/tutorial28/3.html

Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: January 15, 2001
Revised: January 16, 2001