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7.3 HTTP, the Web, and All That

It has always been possible to connect computers together and share information between them, but the rise of the World Wide Web over the last couple of decades has made it much easier to do so. The result is a richly connected network of computation, in which Guile forms a part.

By “the web”, we mean the HTTP protocol(23) as handled by servers, clients, proxies, caches, and the various kinds of messages and message components that can be sent and received by that protocol, notably HTML.

On one level, the web is text in motion: the protocols themselves are textual (though the payload may be binary), and it’s possible to create a socket and speak text to the web. But such an approach is obviously primitive. This section details the higher-level data types and operations provided by Guile: URIs, HTTP request and response records, and a conventional web server implementation.

The material in this section is arranged in ascending order, in which later concepts build on previous ones. If you prefer to start with the highest-level perspective, see section Web Examples, and work your way back.

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