Web is the part of the Internet that provides sounds, pictures, and moving images
in addition to text. The Internet links computers and computer networks around the world,
but the portion of the network not on the World Wide Web (often called the Web, for short)
contains only text information. The Web, however, has multimedia capabilities--including
graphics, audio, and video. The Web is made up of electronic addresses called Web sites,
which contain Web pages that hold the multimedia information. Web sites and their pages
reside in computers connected to the Internet.
Tim Berners-Lee, an English computer scientist at the European Center for Nuclear Research
(CERN) physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, wrote the Web software in 1990. The
Web became part of the Internet in 1991. The introduction of the Web helped make the
Internet popular and easier to use.
Many computer users find the Web's multimedia content more attractive than text-only
content. In addition, Web browsers make the Web easy to use. A Web browser is a software
package used to locate and display information on the Web. To find information on other
parts of the Internet requires complex software and knowledge of specific computer
commands. A Web browser is easier to use because it employs a graphical user interface--a
way of interacting with a computer using pictures as well as words. The pictures represent
commands in a manner that is easy to understand. For example, a small picture of a printer
represents the command to print a document. By clicking the computer's mouse on an
element, the user gives the computer command represented by that element.
Another major feature of the Web is hypertext. Hypertext enables a user to jump from one
document to another--even if the documents are stored on different parts of the Internet.
For example, in a Web site concerning space exploration, the words space shuttle might be
highlighted. Clicking on these words would bring information about the shuttle to the
screen. Pictures, too, can be used as hyperlinks (hypertext links). Words and pictures
that hyperlink to other documents are called hot spots. Hot spots and their hyperlinks are
created by the author of a Web page.