Henrik Frystyk, July 1994

WWW Icon Thesis on the World-Wide Web

This paper is an attempt to document my work as a technical student at CERN, "the European Laboratory for Particle Physics" from February 1 1994 to August 1 1994. It is, however, also an attempt to visualize the potential features of the information exchange system called the World-Wide Web that I have been working on during this period. The document serves as my master thesis from Aalborg University, Denmark, Institute of Electronic Systems, Department of Communication Technology

During my stay, my main task has been to maintain and develop the World-Wide Web Library of Common Code and the Line Mode Browser. As the library is a part of the CERN HTTP Server a part of my time has been devoted to this application as well. However, this thesis reflects my work in designing, developing and testing software modules that provide the interface between the World-Wide Web applications and the Internet. Especially attention has been put into the design of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and how it has been extended to provide a multi-threaded interface to the World-Wide Web applications.

The documentation is organized into several hypertext documents which gives the reader the possibility of reading it in an unknown number of ways which makes it fundamentally different from what any paper version can provide. All internal references are made as hyperlinks so that any jump back, or forth, in the documentation is immediately accessible using whatever means are available within the World-Wide Web client used. All external references available on the Internet are also accessible through hyperlinks. This means that the reader is not limited within this particular information but at any instant can jump to any other information provider on the Internet using the World-Wide Web. Another characteristic is, that unlike a paper version, this documentation is constantly changing as the Web itself is constantly changing. This is an inherent consequence of using a global information system with thousands of highly independent users and information providers.

The documentation is organized in a tree structure in which this document serves as the top node or the root document for further browsing. The following list is a "list of contents" that indicates the overall structure of the tree and a proposed way of traversing it.

  1. Title Page
  2. Abstract
  3. Danish Abstract
  4. Introduction to the Internet
  5. The Internet Protocol Stack
  6. Presentation Layer Protocols
  7. The World-Wide Web
  8. World-Wide Web Software at CERN
  9. Implementation of the HTTP client
  10. Multi Threaded Clients
  11. Client Interface for Posting
  12. Summary
  13. References
However, any other path might be just as good, and I hope that when you are reading it you will find your own way through. All documents related to this work have a "home link" symbolized by the little icon to the left that points back to this page.

The thesis is also available in a Postscript version for A4 and Postscript version for 8.5"x11". It has been generated from the HTML version using the Line Mode Browser as a filter.

Finally, I would like to thank my supervisor at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee and Ari Luotonen for their great support and source of inspiration throughout the project.

Henrik Frystyk, frystyk@info.cern.ch, July 1994