Chapters 1 : Internet and the World Wide Web

Sections 2 : World Wide Web

Web Server Software

Web Documents that you view on the Internet are stored on different Web servers. Web servers are computers on which Web documents reside and run HTTP software to permit Web transactions. CERN and NCSA are the two organizations that provide Web Server software, such as CERN http and NCSA httpd, respectively.

CERN httpd, or CERN Hypertext Transfer Protocol Daemon, is a generic public domain Hypertext Server software that can be used as a regular HTTP server software. In addition to serving Hypertext and other documents, the CERN httpd software can act as a proxy for HTTP, FTP, Gopher or WAIS. A proxy software is a security measure that prevents direct access to the Web server. This provides protection against unauthorized access of the CERN server and consequently provides security to the documents that reside on it. Another feature of the CERN httpd software is that it is easy to install, which makes it the preferred Web Server software in many organizations. CERN has a completely interruptible network input/output facility. This facility of the CERN httpd software allows you to view the full status of the server during network operations.

Another commonly used Web Server software is NCSA httpd. This software shares several common characteristics with the CERN httpd software, which makes it equally popular. This Web Server software from NCSA provides support for accessing documents, images, audio, video, animation and data through different sources. The NCSA httpd Web Server software has an X/Motif interface that is user-friendly and facilitates easy interaction. The user interface is further enhanced by a wide choice of color settings. As well as the choice to view documents in monochrome or in color. NCSA http provides multiple independent document viewing windows to view multiple documents stored on the server. NCSA has a security feature that is equivalent to the user name/ password scheme of telnet, a remote login feature of the Internet. Another interesting feature of the NCSA http software is its customizable encryption hooks. They allow external encryption to be used to request and receive encrypted documents. In addition, the NCSA Web Server software can also display very long documents.

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