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Serving Web Pages

Once you’ve activated Web sharing on your Mac OS X system, there’s little else you have to do to let people view your Web pages. The files should preferably be created in HTML, the HyperText Markup Language developed by Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the World Wide Web) to serve as the common language of the Web, something that every browser on every platform can understand, regard-less of what software or operating system you’re running. Most Web browsers will also view text files as verbatim text, but that’s not very exciting. Avoid sharing files in proprietary formats (such as Microsoft Word’s DOC files), simply because these generally require a specific browser plug-in to be viewed with a Web browser. Different Web browsers respond differently when confronted by file type they don’t recognize. Some try to display it in a browser window anyway (which can be pretty darn ugly, or even meaningless), while others simply download the file to your local machine, where presumably you have some application that can open the file.

This section provides basic information about the layout of a standard Sites folder, discusses how you can use folders to organize the information that you are sharing over the Web, and explains how you can easily take advantage of some of the capabilities of the Apache Web server to control who can access the files located in specific folders in your Sites folder.


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