HyperText Transport Protocol (HTTP)#
You're HTTPS right now. This book has been delivered to you over a TCP connection using the HTTPS set of protocols. This protocol is the primary protocol that makes the Internet work (alongside TCP/IP.) But what does it do?
HTTP (let's ignore the
S for now) is responsible for allowing us to transfer mixed media documents between web servers and web clients. These documents can be made up of text, images, links, videos, WebGL games, audio files, lots more things and everything combined too. It's an extremely flexible way to present data and has grown into the Internet we know today (for good or bad.)
We actually touched on HTTP in the introduction for this chapter on "Protocols". With a simple request we were able to fetch an HTTP response from Google. It wasn't a good response, but it was a response.
When an HTTP connection is made between browser and web server (the remote, server-side of an HTTP connection), HTTP request methods are sent by the client and HTTP status code and returned by the server. This is like a conversation between the two connected nodes. One is asking, "Can I have something?" and the other is replying (possibly), "Yes here's that image you asked for."
Let's review the request methods that a client can send to a remote web server and what they look like.