When Sir Tim Berners-Lee (knighted in 2004!) invented the World Wide Web in 1989, it really wasn't a big deal. As the primary designer of HTTP and HTML, he certainly was no slouch. But most of the technologies that went into structuring and transporting web pages had been around for years, even decades. SGML (the basis of HTML) and hyper-linking systems had been around since the 1960s, and Internet-based transmission of data between clients and servers was already common among university campuses and some businesses. Still, here we are in the twenty-first century, and the World Wide Web is the focus of so much computer technology that it makes my head spin. Thank you, Mr. B-L.
Microsoft promotes .NET as the system for developing web pages and related software. And it really is a great system. As we get into the code, you'll find that about 90 percent of what you do to write Web applications in Visual Studio is identical to what you do when writing desktop applications. It's easy to do, and kind of fun, so you'll probably want to write some programs using it. And that's what we'll do in this chapter. But first, let's briefly review what happens in the world of client-server World Wide Web communications.