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Chapter 17. HTTP

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the language web clients and servers use to communicate with each other. It is essentially the backbone of the World Wide Web. While HTTP is largely the realm of server and client programming, a firm understanding of HTTP is also important for CGI programming. In addition, sometimes HTTP filters back to the users—for example, when server error codes are reported in a browser window.

All HTTP transactions follow the same general format. Each client request and server response has three parts: the request or response line, a header section, and the entity body. The client initiates a transaction as follows:


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