The Interneta global network of computerswas initiated almost four decades ago with funding supplied by the U.S. Department of Defense. Originally designed to connect the main computer systems of about a dozen universities and research organizations, the Internet today is accessible by computers worldwide.
With the introduction of the World Wide Webwhich allows computer users to locate and view multimedia-based documents on almost any subject over the Internetthe Internet has exploded into one of the world's premier communication mechanisms.
The Internet and the World Wide Web are surely among humankind's most important and profound creations. In the past, most computer applications ran on computers that were not connected to one another. Today's applications can be written to communicate among the world's computers. The Internet mixes computing and communications technologies. It makes our work easier. It makes information instantly and conveniently accessible worldwide. It enables individuals and local small businesses to get worldwide exposure. It is changing the way business is done. People can search for the best prices on virtually any product or service. Special-interest communities can stay in touch with one another. Researchers can be made instantly aware of the latest breakthroughs. After you master Chapter 19, Web Programming, you will be able to develop Internet-based computer applications.