The history of development of web development technology

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags add format execution expression net object model php and version
The history of Web discussions on Web development technology, of course, is to start with the origins of the Web. As we all know, the most popular application architecture on the internet is invented by Tim Berners-lee. The web was formerly the enquire (enquire Within Upon Everything) project by Tim Berners-lee in 1980. The first Web server,, started running in November 1990, and Tim Berners-lee saw the earliest web page on the "WorldWideWeb" of the graphical web browser he wrote. 1991, CERN (European Particle Physics Laboratory) officially released the Web technology standards. Currently, various web-related technical standards are managed and maintained by the renowned World Wide Web Consortium.

From the technical aspect, the essence of the Web architecture has three aspects: using hypertext Technology (HTML) to realize the connection of information and information, using the Unified Resource location Technology (URI) to realize the accurate localization of global information, and implementing the distributed information sharing with the new Application layer Protocol (HTTP). None of these three features is related to the distribution, acquisition and utilization of information. In fact, Tim Berners-lee has already told us unequivocally: "The web is an abstract (imaginary) information space." "In other words, as an application architecture on the Internet, the first task of the web is to provide information and information services to people."

Unfortunately, in the rapid development of Web applications today, many technology people seem to have forgotten the original design of the Web architecture. They are piling up so-called "advanced" technologies in their own web sites or web apps, but few end users can get valuable information on those sites or apps. This question is by no means as simple as commentators often say "there is no car" or "lack of information". If a web developer forgets that the ultimate goal of web technology is to provide information and information services, he is no less stupid than a big star who only knows how to show off on the football field, but forgets to score a goal. From this perspective, there is only one criterion for evaluating a web development technology, and that is to see whether the technology can provide the most appropriate information services to those most in need of information in the most appropriate way, at the right time and in the right place.

   the bud and evolution of client technology

The web is a typical distributed application architecture. Every information exchange in Web applications involves two levels of client and server. Therefore, the Web development technology can be divided into two main categories: client technology and server technology. Let's talk about the budding and evolving process of client technology first.

The main task of Web client is to display information content, while HTML language is one of the most effective carriers of information display. As a practical hypertext language, the history of HTML can be traced back to the early 40 's. In an article in 1945, Vannevar the idea of linking text and text to each other through hyperlinks, and in this paper a design scheme for computer Memex that can realize information correlation is given. Doug Engelbart and others did the earliest experiments on information-related technology around 1960. At the same time, Ted Nelson formally named this information-related technology as hypertext (hypertext) technology. In 1969, Charles Goldfarb of IBM invented the GML (generalized Markup Language) language that could be used to describe hypertext information. In the 1978-1986, with the efforts of ANSI and other organizations, GML language has further developed into the famous SGML language standard. When Tim Berners-lee and his colleagues tried to create a distributed application system based on hypertext in 1989, Tim Berners-lee realised that SGML was an excellent solution to describing hypertext information, but the drawback was that SGML was too complex to Not conducive to the transmission and interpretation of information. As a result, Tim Berners-lee a drastic simplification and refinement of the SGML language. 1990, the first graphical web browser "WorldWideWeb" can finally use a web-tailored language--html to display hypertext information.

The original HTML language can only display static text or image information in the browser, which cannot satisfy people's strong demand for information richness and diversity--the end result is that the transition from static technology to dynamic technology becomes the eternal Law of Web client technology evolution.

The GIF image format, which can store and display two-dimensional animations, has matured as early as 1989. After the advent of the web, GIF first introduced a dynamic element to the HTML page. But the bigger change comes from the advent of the 1995 Java language. The Java language is born with a platform-independent feature that allows people to quickly find shortcuts to developing dynamic applications in browsers. In the 1996, the famous Netscape browser added support for javaapplets and JavaScript in its version 2.0. Netscape's enemies, Microsoft's IE 3.0 also began supporting Java technology this year. Now, developers like animations, interactive operations, and client-side applications can enrich the functionality of HTML pages with Java or JavaScript language as they like. By the way, the JavaScript language has a unique place in all client development technologies: It is a scripted, simplified Java language, and it is the first time that scripting technology has emerged in the web world. In order to compete with JavaScript with pure Microsoft technology, Microsoft has also designed another, later known, scripting language,--vbscript language, for 1996-year IE 3.0.

What really makes HTML pages cool and flashy is the CSS (cascading Style Sheets) and DHTML (Dynamic HTML) technology. At the end of 1996, the consortium presented the recommended standard for CSS, and in the same year, IE 3.0 introduced support for CSS. CSS greatly enhances the developer's ability to control the information presentation format. 1997 Netscape 4.0 not only supports CSS, but also adds a lot of Netscape's custom Dynamic HTML tags, which, based on CSS, "activity" the various elements of the HTML page. In 1997, Microsoft published IE 4.0 and developed the Dynamic HTML markup, CSS, and dynamic object models (DHTML object model) into a complete, practical, and efficient client development technology system that Microsoft called DHTML. The same is true for the dynamic effects of HTML pages, DHTML technology does not need to start a Java Virtual machine or other scripting environment, with the support of browsers, to achieve better performance and higher execution efficiency. Today, few developers of HTML pages have turned a blind eye to CSS and DHTML technology.

To implement more sophisticated multimedia applications such as audio and video in HTML pages, the 1996 Netscape 2.0 successfully introduced support for the QuickTime plug-in, a development that quickly swept the world of browsers. On the Windows platform, Microsoft placed the client application integration bets on COM and ActiveX that just came out in the middle of the 1990 century. In 1996, IE 3.0 formally supported the ability to insert ActiveX controls into HTML pages, which opened up a path of freedom for other vendors to extend their Web clients ' information presentation. The RealPlayer plug-in was successful in Netscape and IE browsers in 1999, while Microsoft's own Media Player plug-ins were pre-installed in various versions of Windows. Also memorable is the Flash plugin turned out: In the early 1990, Jonathan Gay in FutureWave company developed a future Splash animator two-dimensional vector animation display tool, 1996, The Macromedia Company acquired FutureWave and renamed Jonathan Gay's invention to our familiar flash. Since then, Flash animation has become the best way for Web developers to express themselves and show their individuality.

In addition to writing HTML pages, developers of client applications can use some sophisticated technology to add browser functionality to their applications. Since 1992, the consortium has been providing free libwww development libraries to developers. With Libwww, we can write our own web browsers and web search tools, as well as analyze, edit, or display HTML pages. Microsoft's HTAs (HTML applications) technology introduced in IE 5.0 in 1999 allows us to directly convert HTML pages into a real application. Starting with IE 4.0 in 1997, Microsoft has provided developers with WebBrowser controls and other related COM interfaces that allow programmers to embed browser windows directly into their programs, or invoke the capabilities of various browsers, such as parsing or editing HTML pages. Windows 98 and its subsequent Windows operating systems even use WSH (Windows Script Host) technology to turn JavaScript, VBScript, which was only run in the browser, into a general-purpose scripting language that can be used in WIN32 environments. This might also count as a clever use of web client development technology.

   Maturity and development of service-side technology

Similar to the evolution process of the client technology from static to dynamic, the development technology of Web service end is gradually developed and perfected by static to dynamic.

The oldest Web server simply responds to HTTP requests from the browser and returns the HTML files stored on the server to the browser. A technology called SSI (server Side Includes) allows a Web server to update some content of an HTML file before returning an HTML file, but with very limited functionality. The first technology that really enables the server to dynamically generate HTML pages based on the specifics of the runtime is the famous CGI (Common Gateway Interface) technology. 1993, the CGI 1.0 Draft standard was proposed by NCSA (national Center for Supercomputing applications), 1995, NCSA began to develop CGI 1.1 standard, 1997, CGI 1.2 was also included in the agenda. CGI technology allows server-side applications to dynamically generate HTML pages based on client requests, which makes it possible to exchange dynamic information between client and server. With the popularization of CGI technology, a variety of Web applications such as chat room, forum, e-commerce, information query and Full-text search have sprung up, and people can finally enjoy more convenient information services such as information retrieval, information exchange and processing.

Most of the early CGI programs are compiled executable programs, the programming language can be C, C + +, Pascal and any general programming language. To simplify the process of modifying, compiling, and releasing CGI programs, people began to explore possible ways to implement CGI applications in scripting languages. In this regard, the Perl language, invented by Larry Wall in 1987, cannot be mentioned. Perl combines the high efficiency of the C language with the ease of scripting languages such as SH and awk, and seems inherently suitable for CGI programming. In 1995, the first CGI program written in Perl was published. Soon, Perl's popularity in the field of CGI programming was overshadowed by its predecessor, the C language. Subsequently, well-known scripting languages such as Python have been added to the CGI programming language.

In 1994, Rasmus Lerdorf invented the PHP (Personal home Page Tools) language dedicated to Web-server programming. Unlike previous CGI programs, the PHP language combined HTML code and PHP instructions into a complete server-side dynamic page, and Web application developers can implement dynamic Web functionality in a simpler, faster way. In 1996, Microsoft borrowed the idea of PHP and introduced ASP technology in its Web server IIS 3.0. The scripting language used by ASP is that we are familiar with VBScript and JavaScript. With the success of development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio, the ASP quickly became the mainstream development technology for Web services on Windows systems. Of course, the Java camp, led by Sun, will not be a weakness. 1997, the advent of servlet technology, 1998, JSP technology was born. A combination of servlet and JSP (plus JavaBean technology) allows Java developers to have both a centralized processing function like a CGI program and HTML embedded functionality like PHP, in addition, Java run-time Compilation technology has also greatly improved the effectiveness of servlet and JSP execution-which is one of the reasons that servlet and JSP are absorbed as core technologies by later Java EE platforms.

two kinds of important enterprise development platform

The improvement of Web service-side development technology makes it possible to develop complex web applications. In the tide of E-commerce, in order to meet the needs of enterprise application development, in order to provide more reliable and perfect information service for end users, The two most important enterprise development platforms,--J2EE and. NET, were born in the Java and Windows camps before and after 2000, and they immediately began a life-and-death endeavor in the enterprise Web development arena. The platform contention has made the Web world a restless one in recent years, but in a sense it is this confrontational rivalry that has spurred web development technology to rise and leap at an unprecedented pace.

Java EE is a pure java-based solution. In 1998, Sun released the EJB 1.0 standard. EJB provides a good technical basis for the necessary data encapsulation, transaction processing and transaction control in enterprise application. So far, the three key technologies of Java EE Platform servlet, JSP and EJB have been published successively. In 1999, Sun officially released the first version of Java EE. Next, follow the Java EE Standard, for enterprise-class applications to provide support platform for all kinds of application services software scrambling to emerge out. IBM's WebSphere, Bea's WebLogic are the most successful commercial software platforms in the field. With the rise of the open source movement, the open source world of JBoss and other application services rookie also attracted a lot of users attention. By 2003, Sun's Java version had been upgraded to release 1.4, with three key components evolving to servlet 2.4, JSP 2.0, and EJB 2.1. To this end, the Java EE system and related software products has become a Web server development of a strong supporting environment.

Unlike Java EE, Microsoft's. NET platform is a common operating environment that emphasizes interaction between multiple languages. Although. NET designers try to use the. NET platform as the preferred operating environment for most Windows applications, but. NET first attracts the attention of web developers. In 2001, ECMA passed the C # language and CLI standards submitted by Microsoft, which constitute the two technical standards. NET platform, they also became ISO international standards in 2003. Microsoft officially released the. NET framework and Visual Studio in 2002. NET development environment. Early in. NET release, there are already many Windows platform Web developers who can't wait to develop web apps with a beta version. This is probably because,. NET Platform and related development environment not only provides a common platform for Web server application, but also introduces a new Web development technology such as Asp. NET beyond the limitations of the ASP, you can use, C # and other compiled languages, support Web Form,. NET Server control, ADO. NET and other advanced features. Objectively speaking,. NET platform, especially. NET platform is indeed a web development technology on the Windows platform as a synthesizer.

  XML language and related technologies

If the HTML language gives the Web world infinite vitality, then the emergence of XML language can be counted as a new life of the Web. According to Tim Berners-lee, the Web is an "information space." The HTML language has the strong expressive force, but also has the weakness which the structure is too flexible, the grammar is not standard. When information appears in the HTML language, the information space of the web is disorganized and disorderly. In order for all the information in the Web world to be rule-based, we need a more standardized language that embodies the characteristics of information.

In the 1996, the consortium presented the draft XML (extensible Markup Language) language based on the SGML language. 1998, the consortium officially released the XML 1.0 standard. The XML language has made the maximum specification to the information format and the expression method, the application software can process all XML information in a unified way. As a result, information can be shared and exchanged throughout the web world with technical guarantees. HTML language is concerned with the manifestation of information, while XML language is concerned with the format and data content of the information itself. In this sense, the XML language can not only improve the client's information display technology to a new level, but also significantly improve the server's information acquisition, generation, publishing and sharing capabilities. In 1999, the Consortium developed XSLT standards in order to transform XML information into different forms of information, such as HTML. In the same year, IE 5.0 added support for XML and XSLT.

Now, Web site developers can use the XML language to publish information directly. A number of specialized XML specifications have been developed for different application areas. For example, the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) 1.0 standard published by the 2001 consortium is an entirely new two-dimensional vector graphics format expressed in XML language. Developers can describe most existing flash animations in SVG format. In contrast to the Flash format, SVG formats that conform to XML standards are clearly more conducive to information exchange and sharing.

The web itself is one of the largest distributed application systems. XML technology is also useful for distributed development. The obvious fact is that if distributed applications can exchange information in XML format, then the problem of information exchange that spans the distributed architecture will be solved. 1999, the Consortium and related Enterprises began to discuss the design of xml-based communication protocols, and in 2000, the consortium published version 1.1 of the soap (simple Object Access Protocol) protocol. The distributed application model that uses the SOAP protocol to transfer XML information is called Web Service. In 2001, the consortium published version 1.1 of the WSDL (Web Services Description Language) protocol. The SOAP protocol and the WSDL protocol together form the basis of the Web service. Subsequently, Java EE and. NET, the two enterprise-level development platforms have implemented Web Service, as a core function of the platform.

The important thing about Web service for Web developers is that when we need to transfer information between different server, different clients, different application types, different computing devices, the previous distributed development technology is either because of adaptability or because of insufficient scalability, are difficult to meet the needs of modern web development, and Web service fills this void.

   Web Development Framework and Application Model

Since the 2000, as Web applications have become increasingly complex, people have come to realize that relying on a single technology is mostly not the best way to achieve rapid development, rapid validation, and rapid deployment. The researchers began to attempt to synthesize the existing web development technologies to form a complete development framework or application model to meet a variety of complex application requirements.

Microsoft is at the front of the technology integration side of the client. Windows 98, launched by Microsoft in 1998, integrates Web pages on the desktop, effectively combining the functionality of the Resource Manager and Web browser. 2000 years later, Microsoft has launched MSN Explorer and related MSN Online Services. This application model integrates Web browsing, video-on-demand, mail processing, online games, online chatting, and many other web functions commonly used by users in a unified interface. From the point of view of information utilization, it is indeed commendable that MSN tries to get enough information from users in one of the most comfortable environments. Another example of client-side technology integration is the Google Toolbar feature that search engine Google displayed to everyone in 2003. Although Google Toolbar has speculation and advertising suspicion, but the installation of Google Toolbar after the IE browser information browsing and information retrieval organically combined, this small function improvement is indeed to the user's thoughtfulness and help.

On the Web service side, there are several major technology fusion methods after 2000. First, an increasing number of web development environments are beginning to support the MVC design model, providing a full range of development frameworks for developers to Model-view-contorller. In fact, the Java EE and the. NET platforms themselves are typical representatives of this development framework. Second, the portal services (portals Server) and Web content Management (Management) have become key models of application integration in recent years. These two application models can directly provide developers or end users with an advanced platform for building Web applications, making Web development and information publishing work much simpler. Examples of such applications in the commercial software world include Microsoft SharePoint, IBM's WebSphere Portal, FileNet Web Content Manager, and so on. Open source projects are very active in the Web development framework and application model, and Struts, Jetspeed, Jportlet, Cocoon, Lenya, Xoops are excellent solutions for the MVC Development Framework, Portal services, and Web content management in the open source world.

Of course, technology integration is by no means a technology stack. Some Web sites and Web application developers put together fashionable technologies such as XML language, MVC framework, and so on, regardless of whether they can adapt to a specific application environment, their systems are either inefficient or functionally incomplete. On the contrary, a noteworthy fact is that, like Sina, Sohu or netease, such as portals, in their information publishing page (such as news page), although the information content at all times in the refresh, but the Web server is always stored on the static HTML page. The advantage of this "backward technology" is that, in the case of a large number of concurrent accesses, the portal site is still responding fast. Deep down to the technical level, we are often surprised to find that most of these sites use a self-developed Web content management system. When content editing for a Web site submits new information, the system automatically converts the information to HTML format and publishes it to every node in the Web server cluster. In a corner of Sina, we can find the "Sina website Publishing System" research and development process:

V 1.0 (1997): Based on the document version, the implementation of the news page, body and topic release.
V 1.1 (1998/12): The use of database background, the implementation of cross-server publishing, high degree of automation.
V 2.0 (1999/3): the creation of templates and domain of the new concept, laid the series of basic design ideas.
V 2.1 (1999/9): Add peripheral modules, such as search, automatic collection.
V 3.0 (2000/1): Optimize transmission mode, add related news and comments.
V 3C (2000/6): V3.0 's compiled version, also a commercial version of the prototype.
V 3.1 (2000/7): Optimize the structure of the database, the use of memory cache significantly speed up, increased the centralized monitoring function.
V 3.1C (2000/8): Commercial test version.
V 3.2 (in production): Focus on resolving the automated switching of backup systems, implementation of the mechanism never downtime.

This interesting historical record once again confirms my basic view on Web development technology: a technology that provides users with a high level of information services is the best and most advanced technology.

   the future of web development technology

Everyone is concerned about the future of the web, and everyone wants to know what the web will look like 10 years from now. To answer these questions, no one is more authoritative than the other. The web's future is a semantic web (semantic Web) that is clearly told by the consortium. Today's web can easily generate, deliver, and present a wide variety of information, but it is only a "container" of information, and it is difficult to reveal the content and characteristics of the information itself. In contrast, the future of the semantic Web is a knowledge of the content of the Web, is the real "information administrator."

From a technical point of view, XML language unifies the expression of information, but it is far from the goal of revealing the content of information. In 1998, the consortium and some research institutes began to study metadata (Metadata). Metadata is the data describing the data, can reveal the content of information characteristics. In 1999, Netscape's proposed RSS (Rich Site Summary) standard was the first attempt to describe the content of information, such as news, using meta data technology. 1999, the research Group of the consortium presented the draft standard of RDF (Resource Description Framework). Based on XML syntax, RDF prescribes the storage structure of metadata and relevant technical standards. Using the RDF language, we can reveal various features of the information itself in a unified, exchangeable format. In 2001, the consortium began to develop the owl (Owl Web Ontology Language) standard. The owl language is also a language that conforms to the XML standard, and is a step ahead of RDF to describe the content of information in more depth and detail. With the help of RDF and Owl languages, we can make information content on the Web easier to understand, easier to exchange, and share. In 2003, the consortium established the Semantic Web Service research Group (Semantic web Services Interest Group) to study issues related to the incorporation of semantic technologies into Web service. February 2004, the consortium announced that the RDF and owl standards were officially the recommended solution for the consortium, marking the groundbreaking of the Semantic Web building.

With the emergence and development of Semantic Web, Web development technology will also undergo more significant changes. Predictably, there will be many new development technologies or development platforms in the coming years. From static technology to dynamic technology, from development platform to application model, from traditional web to semantic web ... To give more people access to more valuable information services, Web developers may experience another wave of technology and face tougher technical challenges, but what does this have to do with the highest goal of information sharing?

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