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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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HTTP Operational Model and Client/Server Communication

While the Web itself has many different facets, HTTP is concerned with only one basic function: the transfer of hypertext documents and other files from web servers to web clients. In terms of actual communication, clients are chiefly concerned with making requests to servers, which respond to those requests.

Thus, even though HTTP includes a lot of functionality to meet the needs of clients and servers, when you boil it down, you get a very simple, client/server, request/response protocol. In this respect, HTTP more closely resembles a rudimentary protocol like the Boot Protocol (BOOTP) or the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) than it does other application layer protocols like the File Transfer ...

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