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Chapter 7. HTTP Connection > Characteristics of HTTP

Characteristics of HTTP

HTTP is the main protocol that powers the web. It is ideal for live interaction between user and server. It is a relatively simple interchange of text messages that allows one computer to request information from another. Besides asking for the file, it supplies information about itself, such as its capability to accept various file types. The server responds with it own messages. In a simple and successful interchange, the server also downloads the file that was requested.

Stateless

A fundamental characteristic of HTTP interchange is that it is stateless. Each transaction is independent. Each request or response is a brand-new interaction between strangers. There is no recognition or memory of previous interactions a week ago or ten seconds ago. Any history—either a long-term account or the record of a simple session (the interactions of a single visit)— must be maintained by the server application. It requires cooperation from the client that must introduce itself to the server again with every mouse click.


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