Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP 1.1

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In Introduction to HTTP Basics

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We were unable to complete your request. Age Verification The page you are attempting to access contains content that is not intended for underage readers. Please verify your birth date to continue. Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Year IP Internet Protocol is a network-layer protocol, deals with network addressing and routing.

In an IP network, each machine is assigned an unique IP address e. In IPv4 IP version 4 , the IP address consists of 4 bytes, each ranges from 0 to , separated by dots, which is called a quad-dotted form. This numbering scheme supports up to 4G addresses on the network. The latest IPv6 IP version 6 supports more addresses. Since memorizing number is difficult for most of the people, an english-like domain name, such as www.

A special IP address It's domian name is " localhost " and can be used for local loopback testing. TCP Transmission Control Protocol is a transport-layer protocol, responsible for establish a connection between two machines. TCP is reliable , each packet has a sequence number, and an acknowledgement is expected.

A packet will be re-transmitted if it is not received by the receiver. Packet delivery is guaranteed in TCP. UDP does not guarantee packet delivery, and is therefore not reliable. However, UDP has less network overhead and can be used for applications such as video and audio streaming, where reliability is not critical. TCP multiplexes applications within an IP machine. For each IP machine, TCP supports multiplexes up to ports or sockets , from port number 0 to Port 0 to are pre-assigned to popular protocols, e.

Port and above are available to the users. You could also run multiple HTTP servers in the same machine on different port numbers. When a client issues a URL without explicitly stating the port number, e. You need to explicitly specify the port number in the URL, e. ASF is an open-source software foundation. Apache probably gets its name from the fact that it consists of some original code from an earlier NCSA httpd web server plus some patches; or from the name of an American Indian tribe. HTTP client and server communicate by sending text messages.

The client sends a request message to the server. The server, in turn, returns a response message. An HTTP message consists of a message header and an optional message body , separated by a blank line , as illustrated below:. The first line of the header is called the request line , followed by optional request headers. The request headers are in the form of name:value pairs. Multiple values, separated by commas, can be specified.

HTTP protocol defines a set of request methods. A client can use one of these request methods to send a request message to an HTTP server. The methods are:. A GET request message takes the following syntax:. There are many way to test out the HTTP requests. Your can use utility program such as " telnet " or " hyperterm " search for " telnet.

Telnet is a character-based protocol. Each character you enter on the telnet client will be sent to the server immediately. Therefore, you cannot make typo error in entering you raw command, as delete and backspace will be sent to the server. You may have to enable "local echo" option to see the characters you enter.

Check the telnet manual search Windows' help for details on using telnet. Once the TCP connection is established, you can issue the raw request. A blank line is needed after the request header. This request message does not contain a body. The server receives the request message, interprets and maps the request-URI to a document under its document directory.

If the requested document is available, the server returns the document with a response status code " OK". The response headers provide the necessary description of the document returned, such as the last-modified date Last-Modified , the MIME type Content-Type , and the length of the document Content-Length. The response body contains the requested document.

The browser will format and display the document according to its media type e. The first line of the response message i. In the request, "GET" is misspelled as "get". The server returns an error " Method Not Implemented".

Hypertext Transfer Protocol

The response header " Allow " tells the client the methods allowed. The server returns an error " Not Found". The server returns an error " Bad Request". Note: The latest Apache 2. You could request for the TCP connection to be maintained, so as to send another request using the same TCP connection, to improve on the network efficiency , via an optional request header " Connection: Keep-Alive ". The server includes a " Connection: Keep-Alive " response header to inform the client that he can send another request using this connection, before the keep-alive timeout. The following GET request tried to access a protected resource.

The server returns an error " Forbidden".

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That is, the same physical server could house several virtual hosts, with different hostnames e. You can use a request header " Connection: Close " to ask the server to close the TCP connection once the response is delivered. If " Host " header is missing, the server returns an error " Bad Request". In all the previous examples, the server returns the entire document if the request can be fulfilled i. You may use additional request header to issue a "conditional request".

For example, to ask for the document based on the last-modified date so as to decide whether to use the local cache copy , or to ask for a portion of the document or range instead of the entire document useful for downloading large documents. This section describes some of the commonly-used request headers. The syntax of header name is words with initial-cap joined using dash - , e.

Multiple DNS names e. The following headers can be used for content negotiation by the client to ask the server to deliver the preferred type of the document in terms of the media type, e. JPEG vs. GIF, or language used e. English vs. French if the server maintain multiple versions for the same document. Accept: mime-type-1 , mime-type-2 , If the server has multiple versions of the document requested e.

This process is called content-type negotiation. Accept-Language: language-1 , language-2 , If the server has multiple versions of the requested document e. This process is called language negotiation. Accept-Charset: Charset-1 , Charset-2 , Accept-Encoding: encoding-method-1 , encoding-method-2 , If the server has encoded or compressed version of the document requested, it can return an encoded version supported by the client.

The server can also choose to encode the document before returning to the client to reduce the transmission time. The server must set the response header " Content-Encoding " to inform the client that the returned document is encoded. The common encoding methods are " x-gzip. Connection: Close Keep-Alive - The client can use this header to tell the server whether to close the connection after this request, or to keep the connection alive for another request.

Referer: referer-URL - The client can use this header to indicate the referrer of this request. If you click a link from web page 1 to visit web page 2, web page 1 is the referrer for request to web page 2. All major browsers set this header, which can be used to track where the request comes from for web advertising, or content customization. Nonetheless, this header is not reliable and can be easily spoofed. Note that Referrer is misspelled as "Referer" unfortunately, you have to follow too.

User-Agent: browser-type - Identify the type of browser used to make the request. Server can use this information to return different document depending on the type of browsers.

Basic Features

Cache-Control: no-cache Instead, it uses " Pragma: no-cache ". This header will be described in later chapter on authentication.

This header will be discussed in later chapter on state management. If-Modified-Since: date - Tell the server to send the page only if it has been modified after the specific date. Suppose that a directory called " testdir " is present in the document base directory " htdocs ".

The following trace was captured using telnet. A connection is established with the proxy server, and a GET request issued. Absolute request-URI is used in the request line. However, the server returns only the response header without the response body, which contains the actual document. Notice that the response consists of the header only without the body, which contains the actual document. In many Internet applications, such as e-commerce and search engine, the clients are required to submit additional information to the server e.

Based on the data submitted, the server takes an appropriate action and produces a customized response. Once they fill in the requested data and hit the submit button, the browser packs the form data and submits them to the server, using either a GET request or a POST request. Each field has a name and can take on a specified value.

HTTP 1.1 GET and RESPONSE in Wireshark .

This is known as a query string. It will send the query string to the server as part of the request. Special characters are not allowed inside the query string. POST method overcomes these drawbacks. If POST request method is used, the query string will be sent in the body of the request message, where the amount is not limited. The request headers Content-Type and Content-Length are used to notify the server the type and the length of the query string. POST method will be discussed later. Suppose the user enters "Peter Lee" as the username, "" as password; and clicks the submit button.

The following GET request is:. Note that although the password that you enter does not show on the screen, it is shown clearly in the address box of the browser. You should never use send your password without proper encryption. POST request method is used to "post" additional data up to the server e. Request headers Content-Type and Content-Length is necessary in the POST request to inform the server the media type and the length of the request body. Suppose the user enters "Peter Lee" as username and "" as password, and clicks the submit button, the following POST request would be generated by the browser:.