Internet and the World Wide Web, Network from the standpoint...

5.4. Internet and the World Wide Web

In computer science, much attention is paid to computer networks. Their most prominent representatives are the Internet and the World Wide Web. The Internet is a telecommunications network of computers. It is the foundation of the World Wide Web, a system of interconnected documents located on various computers connected to the Internet. If you want to emphasize the virtual nature of documents, their totality is characterized as hyperspace. It's pretty obvious that the Internet, the World Wide Web and hyperspace are an inseparable trinity. Their subject is not individuals, but network communication community. In accordance with this circumstance, the concepts communication, group discourse and of the social community come to the fore. All these concepts were considered by philosophers long before the appearance in the 1980s. World Wide Web. The results of their analysis can shed light on the nature of the Internet and the Network1. Imagine them in the most economical way.

The concept of communication is the result of a complex process of understanding the nature of interactions between people. But it is not enough to assert that people interact with each other: it is important to understand the conceptual content of such interaction. By doing things as social beings, people tend to optimize their values. Communication is the exchange of values, the result of which is to reach agreement (consensus) or disagreement (dissensus). Hermeneutics (H.-G. Gadamer, J. Habermas) are given greater ethical weight than agreement. Directly opposite point of view is held by poststructuralists (J. Derrida, J.-F. Lyotard). For them, dissent is ethically more important than consensus. Both disputing parties do not think social reality without discourse - exchange of judgments of value content. Discourse always indicates the presence of some community of people: the participants of the discourse by definition are not atoms claiming individual privacy.

So, in the future we will have to keep in mind the inextricable trinity of concepts: communication, discourse, community of people. And all of them act in different guises, depending on the nature of the knowledge in question. The mentioned concepts are most often considered in the context of: 1) informatics; 2) management; 3) the economy; 4) political science; 5) sociology; 6) psychology; 7) everyday knowledge.

Not always researchers distinguish levels of knowledge. In this case, they are in the pursuit of universal values, straying to superficial arguments like "The net is good", "the Internet is evil." This kind of reasoning is only at first glance meaningful. On closer inspection, it turns out that they need a specification, and it is impossible without resorting to the conceptual richness of the sciences. With this in mind, consider the Internet and the Network in the context of various sciences, as well as unscientific knowledge.

5.4.1. Network from the standpoint of computer science

Of course, the phenomena of interest to us have absorbed all the wealth of informatics as a science. But the decisive role in the formation and development of the Network had five "whales": hypertext, HTML, URL, HTTP and search engines.

Hypertext is a document that includes references to other texts. The term was invented and introduced into computer science by American T. Nelson in 1969. The first feature of hypertext is its non-linear, and branching character. Knowledge is realized in the form of cross-references. Consequently, there is a crossing of texts, and this, as you know, is a necessary sign of dialogue. A remarkable achievement of specialists who developed the concept of hypertext was to create a technological possibility of reproducing discourse in the form of intertextuality. Its peculiarity consists in the fact that the initiative constantly passes from one person to another. This possibility is provided by hypertext. At the beginning of the XX century. philosophers L. Wittgenstein and M. Heidegger initiated a language turn under the motto "language is more important than mentality." In the process of its implementation, it was also realized that dialogue is more important than a monologue. Intersecting texts in structural and semantic respect are much richer than linear constructions.

HTML is the standard language for structuring and formatting documents on the Web. Text documents containing HTML code are processed and displayed in formatted form by browsers.

URL is a uniform locator (locator) of a resource on the Internet. All resources are assigned the names by which they are found on the Web and to which they respond.

HTTP is the HyperText Transfer Protocol. The consumer (the client) sends a request to the provider (server). He makes the necessary actions and returns the message with the result. In the request and response, the resource is indicated in accordance with a certain encoding method.

The concepts of HTML, URL, HTTP were developed by the creator of the World Wide Web by the Anglo-American scientist T. B. Lee in 1990-1992. The genius of TB Lee manifested itself first of all in a deep understanding of the conceptual structure of the Network.

A search engine is a software and hardware complex that provides the ability to search documents on the Internet. The software part of the search engine that provides its functionality is called the search engine. The main criterion for the quality of the search engine is relevance, ie. the degree of matching of the query found. According to numerous surveys, to date the most popular search engine is Google. The universal search engine, of course, does not exist. Various search strategies lead to new knowledge. It is always important to remember that any search is not accidental, but in connection with the decision taken. Thus, the search launches the mechanism for the synthesis of new knowledge, and this is impossible without communication with other subjects of the Network and, therefore, without the formation of a particular virtual community of people, for example, the adherents of the Yandex search engine, so popular in RuNet. As we can see, the concepts of communication, discourse and the community of people receive a specific form in informatics.

The above were the conceptual foundations of the Internet and the Network. Of course, all of them undergone and undergo numerous metamorphoses. HTML, URL, HTTP, search engines and browsers have numerous competitors. If you want to understand their history, you need to build relevant problem series and their interpretations. It was also important for us to identify the main conceptual nodes of the Network, which are the property of the informatics itself.

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