HTTP – A Short Dive

Rahul Pulikkot Nath
Rahul Pulikkot Nath

Table of Contents

Day in and day out, knowingly or unknowingly we get to use http. While accessing a web site, even the current one that you are reading, you are using http. Http is an application protocol that forms the basis of data communication for the web. As an end user of web pages, it is not necessary to be aware of the protocol, but as developers we ought to know in detail about the protocol and its possibilities.

You could find in detail about the entire protocol spec, here.  If you have already gone through it in its entirety then this blog might be of very little or no help at all. For the others, who I suppose majority of us would be this is just about pointing you to another resource that would take hardly a couple of hours of your time, to get enough information on the protocol.

http succinctly

With all the concise and precise information , Syncfusion’s Succinctly series has a very good resource covering HTTP.  As the name, succinctly suggests, this book series gives you enough information that enables you to master a wide range of topics.  All you need to do is to fill up a contact form and get access to all the books in kindle and pdf format, all for free.  As a company this is a a very good contribution that Syncfusion is making to the community giving away all these resources for free.

The HTTP Succinctly book is written by Scott Allen and it covers Resources, Messages, Connections, Web Architecture, State and Security.

The book details on the url format , encoding and various media types and how they are served when a request is made. It expands on the request , response  messages and and different response status codes.  Scott goes on to explain on how http uses the underlying tcp protocol, to transfer messages across the network and how browsers open parallel connections to speed up the way web sites are delivered to us.  If it was not for proxies and caching the web would not be as scalable as it is today. The protocol would not be complete without mentioning about these and so does this one.  Http being a stateless protocol, maintaining state is a very important thing for developers to provide a good experience to the users. The book touches on cookies, its uses, types and downsides. The book closes on discussing about security and different modes of authentication. The HTTP Succinctly discusses on all the important topics of the protocol required to us as developers, and I would strongly urge any web developer to read through this 55 pages of concise and precise information. Having such books takes away the need for searching through the web and figuring out all related articles and blog posts to get the required information.  Hope to see more books getting added into this series of books.