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Terminology

In the introduction to this chapter, I teased you about what a web application is but stopped short of actually defining it. Simply put, a web application is a website that contains static and dynamic pages working together to facilitate interaction between a user and a web server. That clears it all up right? To sum up this rather lame attempt at defining web applications, think of what we've done so far. Up until this point, we've built simple web pages (static ones), pressed F12, and magically the page appeared in the browser window as it was intended. Nothing special was required from us, we didn't have to install anything on the computer to get it to work (aside from Dreamweaver), and best of all, we didn't have to manually write any code in the Code view of the web page. If we were to diagram the process involved for a user browsing to your static web page (assuming that it was hosted by a web hosting provider rather than by your computer), the process might resemble what's shown in Figure 21.1.

Figure 21.1. Static web pages follow a simple flow: The user requests the page and the web server displays it.



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