W3C * TAG * Web Architecture


DRAFT Dan Connolly, based on draft by Tim Bray
$Revision: 1.9 $ of $Date: 2002/03/26 15:10:36 $

The World Wide Web ("Web" from here on ) is a networked information system consisting of clients, servers and other agents that interchange information. Web Architecture is the set of rules that all agents in the system follow that result in the large-scale effect of a shared information space.

This architecture consists of:

  1. A single specification of the way in which objects in the system are identified: the Uniform Resource Identifier.
  2. Specifications of a small and nonexclusive set of protocols for interchanging information between agents: HTTP comes to mind first, but SMTP and others are also important. Several of these protocols share a reliance on the MIME metadata/packaging system.
  3. Specifications of a nonexclusive set of data formats designed for interchange between agents in the system. This includes several formats used in isolation or in combinations (e.g. XHTML, PNG, XLink, RDF, SMIL animation, Ruby), as well as technologies for designing new formats (XML, Namespaces, DOM).

The rules are kept to a minimum, leaving the functionality the Web can deliver open to the imagination of its developers.

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