Web Development And Emerging Standards Research Papers Examples
This report presents the evolutionary development of the web over the decades since the advent of the internet, some of the various technologies employed in the development of web applications, the current state of the technologies and the future expectations of the technologies with respect to the past and the current state.
Internet emergence and early web development
Internet emergence and early web development
The history and development of internet cannot be discussed without a mention of the Advanced Research Project Agency of the United Sates Department of Defense. The first communication using the Internet Protocol was done on the Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANET) between a computer located at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1969.
The internet as it is today was borne out of creating a network of different and separate physical networks into one single logical network so as to have a network that can survive in the eventuality of a nuclear war. The information to be transmitted over this logical network was to be broken down into smaller blocks of messages known as packets using a technique known as packet switching. Packet switching as against the traditional circuit switching used by telephony offers a better bandwidth utilization since the routing decision is made for each packet.
ARPANET used the Network Control Protocol for communication and this was later replaced by the currently used Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) on January 1, 1983. This marked the beginning of the internet as is today with the further creation of a common protocol that will unify the different network protocols in order to promote interconnection and link hypertext documents.
Web 2.0 and 3.0
Since the advent of the internet and the world wide web, they have evolved and at various times in this period of evolution have different technologies and peculiarities to the eras. Web 2.0 is used to refer to the way web pages are designed as well as consumed by users with emphasis placed on the interoperability of the technologies, on content generated by users and the use of the web sites themselves. Web 1.0 which referred to the first developmental stage of the world wide web where users were only restricted to passively viewing content. The web basically contained more of static personal web pages and most users were just passive content consumers and not content creators. In short, the earliest stage of web development was basically static.
Web 3.0 could be referred to as the third generation of the web and as yet does not have a clear definition as it is not fully evolved. It is focused on an intelligent web where data is processed by machines on a more connected and more open web. Some refer to it as semantic web. It is expected to be an amalgamation of some important technology trends such as network computing, open technologies, intelligent web and open identity among others. Other features expected to characterize web 3.0 include natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and distributed databases.
Responsive web design
The use of responsive design was borne out of an increasing variety of devices that render web pages. There is a growing increase in the number of devices with various modes of input and browsers, an example being the proliferation of mobile devices with the attendant increase in mobile browsing over desktop browsing. These devices come with different screen sizes and browser behaviours in such a manner that web pages are rendered differently on different devices. There is no design of a website, either fluid design or fixed design, that can seamlessly scale beyond the original context for which it was designed.
As a result of the foregoing the solution would be to design web pages that fits the device that it is targeted at. But since there are myriads of devices, it would be difficult to design and develop web sites targeting each existing device type and each new device with its own peculiarities. Then there comes responsive web design to the rescue.
Responsive web design is aimed at producing an optimal viewing experience for users by incorporating technologies that are based on standards into the design process in order to make them more flexible and adaptive to the media through which they are rendered.
CSS 2.1 offered the use of media types for device awareness in order to render pages based on the kind of media, whether print or screen. CSS3 specification went further with media queries to improve on the use of media types by actually query and determine the physical characteristics of the device on which a web page is being rendered and target the specific class of devices. The media query has two important components for determining the device characteristics and targeting it - the media type with the keyword screen and the query containing the particular feature (e.g. resolution, max-device-width) of the medium to inspect coupled with the value (e.g. 180dpi, 600px).
The media queries enable web pages to reshape themselves based on screen size and have support on modern browsers.
Applications and future directions
The internet is used extensively basically for communication as seen in email and instant messaging, voice and video calls as well as social networking. It finds a wide application to electronic commerce and social blogs.
The internet having been conceived during the era of time-shared computers has evolved over the decades into the era of personal computers and servers. It was initially used to link hypertext documents but now applied to more sophisticated usage.
The current demand of high speed connectivity for streaming audio and video media implies that the internet will continue to evolve as it has done over the years in order to continue to serve the needs of the computer industry on which it is based. Internet is expected to provide high bandwidth connectivity for computers and the myriads of mobile devices that are being produced in order to promote mobile access or better still nomadic communications.
Search engine optimization techniques
A lot of people resort to search engines such as Google, Ask, Yahoo, Bing etc. in order to obtain information. The search engines make use of web crawlers to find pages based on the queries entered by the user. The crawlers find pages based on a number of factors such as the keywords of indexed web pages as well as how far from the root directory a page is. Search engine optimization is thus the process of ensuring that a website shows up in the result of a search with a query that contains the site keywords as parameter. Optimization of a website for a search engine is important to increase visitors to the site since users of the search engine visit highly ranked pages first.
Search engine optimization techniques can be broadly categorized into two - white hat - techniques that are recommended by search engines - and black hat techniques which are the techniques not recommended by search engines. There are also techniques considered grey hat that are in between the white hat and the black hat techniques and are focused on improving site rank while evading penalty from the search engines.
White hat techniques are the techniques focused on presenting search engine users with the content they intend to see from the pages ranked in the search result. Black hat techniques on the other hand employ deception to improve page rank in search results that eventually presents users with information different from what they intend to see. One of such deception is cloaking where different web pages are served depending on whether the requesting party is a search engine or human.
1) Beel, J., Gipp, B. and Wilde, E., 2010. "Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO): Optimizing Scholarly Literature for Google Scholar and Co.", Journal of Scholarly Publishing, pp. 176–190.
2) Brin, S. and Page, L., 1998. "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine", Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on World Wide Web, pp. 107–117.
3) Cerf, V. G. and Kahn, R. E., 1974. "A protocol for packet network interconnection", IEEE Transactions on Communication Technology, vol. COM-22, V 5, pp. 627-641.
4) Firtman, M., 2010. "Programming the Mobile Web", ISBN 978-0-596-80778-8.
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