HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
1.6 The Client/Server Model
The term client/server dates from the last millennium (the 1980s) and refers to per-
sonal computers joined by a network. Client/server can also describe a relationship
between two computer programs—the client and the server. The client requests some
type of service (such as a file or database access) from the server. The server fulfills
the request and transmits the results to the client over a network. While both the
client and the server programs can reside on the same computer, typically they run
on different computers. It is common for a server to handle requests from multiple
The Internet is a great example of client/server architecture at work. Consider the fol-
lowing scenario: An individual is at a computer using a Web browser client to access
the Internet. The individual uses the Web browser to visit a Web site, let's say The server is the Web server program running on the computer
with an IP address that corresponds to It is contacted, locates the Web
page and related resources that were requested, and responds by sending them to the
In short, here's how to distinguish between Web clients and Web servers:
Web Client
Connected to the Internet when needed
Usually runs Web browser (client) software such as Internet Explorer or Netscape
Requests Web pages from a server
Receives Web pages and files from a server
Web Server
Continually connected to the Internet
Runs Web server software (such as Apache or Internet Information Server)
Receives a request for the Web page
Responds to the request and transmits the status code, Web page, and associated
When clients and servers exchange files, they often need to indicate the type of file that
is being transferred; this is done through the use of a MIME type. Multi-Purpose
Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) are rules that allow multimedia documents to be
exchanged among many different computer systems. MIME was initially intended to
extend the original Internet e-mail protocol, but it is also used by HTTP. MIME pro-
vides for the exchange of seven different media types on the Internet: audio, video,
image, application, message, multipart, and text. MIME also uses subtypes to further
describe the data. The MIME type of a Web page is text/html. MIME types of gif and
jpeg images are image/gif and image/jpeg respectively.
A Web server determines the MIME type of a file before it is transmitted to the Web
browser. The MIME type is sent along with the document. The Web browser uses the
MIME type to determine how to display the document.
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