The World Wide Web as it is today has witnessed myriad changes. It began as a closed resource only used for governments and large organisations until later when it was revolutionized and became an open resource for the whole world. The benefits the internet has brought forth are mind boggling particularly in the aspect of globalising the world. The possibilities accompanied with its robust growth are inexhaustible.
The internet has become the world’s richest resource of information making knowledge far more accessible at the touch of a button. This paper will look at a few factors and how they have each contributed to the immense growth of the internet. It will also look at scripting languages both one server side and one client side and discuss the different methods used to integrate multimedia features into various multimedia products such as websites and CD-ROMS.
Scripting languages are increasingly gaining popularity as a result of the emergence of web based applications on the internet. The World Wide Web market is exponentially moving towards the age of dynamic web content which is a great advancement compared to the static content that has been in existence for a long time.
Day in day out web gurus are busy developing new scripting languages which are more user friendly requiring very minimal or no programming prerequisite. This in turn has led into an explosion in the development of highly interactive web pages. Nonetheless scripting languages have a major loophole that developers have not been able to counter which has proved to be a major security breech that is encountered by majority of the internet users.
This is the ability of executable code to be unconsciously downloaded to a web browser’s machine from the remotely located server and easily run on the browser’s interpreter. This in turn results to issues of security where malicious characters use this loophole to get into peoples computers and steal valuable information (Whitcomb, “Client and Server”).
The integration of multimedia features into multimedia products on websites is perhaps one of the paramount achievements witnessed in web development. One therefore wonders how this has been achieved. This is where the concept of one server scripting language and one client scripting language kicks in.
The one side client environment solely plays the role of running scripts this is in essence a browser. The scripts (in form of source codes) are obtained from the web server over the internet and processed on the end users browser (“Methods Used to Implement Client-side Scripts” n.p). The client computer’s browser has to have the scripting language enabled for it to run. Various methods can be used in the implementation of client side code. These include;
Integration of scripts in between a pair of script tags
Can be stored in an external file that is singled out form the extension src which attributes a script tag.
Can also be implemented within an event handler.
Finally can be implemented in various URL’s that use certain kind ofprotocols.
The one server side environment scripting language is run by the web server. When a user on the client server side sends a request it is fulfilled directly after the script is run of the web server thus generating dynamic HTML pages.
The generated HTML is then sent to the client browser as output.One server side scripting language is the wheel behind dynamic and interactive websites which are linked in with databases on the server (“PHP Server Side Scripting Language” n.p). It generates items from the database and sends to the client browser which is the displayed out by the browser as results.
The major advantage of one server side scripting is the unlimited ability to highly customise results based on the user’s requirements, access databases in form of queries and the unlimited access rights they poses. With the use of this different scripting languages integration of multimedia features into products has become a reality and with the advancement in scripting languages the internet in the near future is expected to have limitless functionalities embedded within it.
Having looked at how scripting languages work it is imperative to look into how modern scripting languages have further backed the transformation of the web. As explained earlier,modern scripting languages have been instrumental in the transformation of the web. Earlier scripting languages such as Perl are slowly fading awaydue to their limitation in functionality as well as their complexity levels.
Another major difference between modern and earlier scripting languages is the fact that the modern languages are easy to pick up and learn even for beginners as compared to earlier languages that were more structured with heavy code(Joan, “Difference between Pearl and Python”). This limits the users as not many people would easily understand them.
Earlier scripting languages used confusing keywords that more often than not do not conform to the task that the coder had in mind. This only served to confuse the more. Scripting languages in the earlier days were as complex as software development languages and thus took longer time to debug. This would mean that a programmer writing complex code would have to take a very long time in checking for errors. However modern languages have overcome this barrier.
As it has been shown modern scripting languages have in more ways than one proved to be advantageous in many ways thus propelling the growth of the internet. Other factors of modern scripting languages that have propagated this growth include (“Advantages and Disadvantages of Scripting Language” n.p);
They require minimal programming experience to learn
They allow programmers to perform intricate tasks relatively fast
They provide room for simple editing within most text editors
Provide room for the creation of very interactive web pages
Code runs fast
The last part of this paper will chiefly focus on the importance of open source movement and its role in the development of the modern internet. Open source movement is an organisation that believe that human knowledge is for the world and should be shared among all free of charge.The issue of open source software has been one that has brought forth many mixed reactions from different groups of people.
Notwithstanding the idea of open source software has been a great motivator and a large catalyst in the advancement of the internet. Many advantages are associated with open source movement. The first easily perceivable benefit of this open source model of software is the fact that it is made available at minimised cost or free of charge in many cases(Gonzalez, “Advantages of Open Source Software”).. However this is not exclusive to open source kind of software as some companies provide proprietary software products at no cost.
The distinguishing factor between open source software and software that is provided at no fee is the fact that the source code for open source software is made publicly available and modification rights granted to anyone who would like to make changes unlike with proprietary software where only the developers can make changes to it.
The public availability of source code has ensured the limitless modification of software products. This in turn for enthusiasts as well as pro developers to be able to carry around code within different hardware under different modifications to enable the software survive different changing conditions. Thisfactor has by itself fuelled the growth of the World Wide Web to the levels that are witnessed today.
Another key advantage of open source software that has propelled the growth of the internet is the right to make improvements to code and redistribute. The fact that distribution rights cannot be revoked is an attractive package for developers worldwide. They are attracted by the fact that these rights are universal and they can have their idea spread out to the whole world.
The right to use software in whichever manner one pleases ensures that software attracts a large crowd of users. When a large user base is created it promulgates the creation of a market for the support and development of the software and in the long run attracts more and more developers. This encapsulation of many developers leads to quality products in the market and thus the user numbers keep increasing. This factor has been key in the growth of the World Wide Web over the years (“Key Advantages of Open Source” n.p).
Open source software is advantageous because of the fact that no single entity that determines the future which certain software will take. Say a certain company A relies on another company B for all its software upgrades. Incase something befalls B since they own all the rights to the software and thus it means that the production of the software ceases (Delaney, Cleg & Williams, “The Advantages of Adopting Open Source Software”).
In conclusion, this paper has tried to show the various factors have enhanced the growth of the World Wide Web. The reader gets to understand how scripting languages have propelled further the growth of the World Wide Web. The reader further gets an insight into how these various scripting languages have been slowly manipulated and exploited with time until developers are now able to translate multimedia functions into multimedia products simply by exploiting the use of these languages.
The paper has also given a great insight into how these scripting languages have developed over the years thus providing ample room creativity and opening up the field to more developers thus pushing forward growth. Finally the paper has been inestimable in helping the reader understand the various advantages that have come forth with open source software and how it has led to the revolutionising of the World Wide Web.
As the trends in the internet are clearly drawn out on the paper the internet in the near future is expected to witness explosive growth especially when it upgraded to ipV6 which will be an advancement of the current. This will allow more room for expansion and in turn lead to more and more exponential growth. The world should thus be prepared for a surprise when it comes to internet in the future.
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