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The World Wide Web & Hypertext

The World Wide Web, commonly referred to as the Web or the WWW, is the most recent (and probably the most revolutionary) addition to the Internet. Simply defined, the Web is a large information retrieval system on the Internet, with hundreds of inter-connected hosts (computers). The Web has two features that make it stand apart from other parts of the Internet: hypertext and multimedia.

Hypertext is what makes all of the documents on the Web inter-connected. Basically, hypertext can be defined as any text that includes hyperlinks, which are words or pictures that, when clicked with your mouse, automatically load another Web document on your Web browser. These hyperlinks are usually called links.

You can distinguish a link from ordinary text because it is usually displayed (depending on your specific Web browser and its configurations) in a different color and is underlined. Your Web browser displays links like this:

This is a link!

Whenever you see text that looks like the link above, you will know that it is in fact a link. When you click on a link, your Web browser will automatically load another Web document.

The second feature of the Web, multimedia, can be defined as the ability of a Web document to display graphics and produce sounds. Although Web documents including sound files (MIDI files) are somewhat rare, most Web pages do make use of graphic images.

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