Something to Tell You

It’s the Sunday afternoon before I head into my FOURTH week at The Iron Yard. Wow. As cliché as it sounds, I honestly can’t believe that this much time has already passed. It simultaneously seems like the first day of class was yesterday and also a lifetime ago. Very strange dichotomous feels to be sure…

This week is the last in the formal curriculum where we’ll be focusing on front-end development — though we can choose to return for our focal path of choice in the third month. Exactly one week from today, I’ll be gearing up for a head-first launch into Ruby and will be learning more about programming logic, databases, APIs, and connecting to front-end applications.

One of this weekend’s readings is entitled ‘Understanding Remote Requests’ and the opening section of the article is headed ‘How the Web Works’. Funny that we should be almost a month into a full-time, immersive program thats whole focus is “web programming” before seeing such a section pop up.

While my initial thought was “I’ve been using the internet for most of my life and have been studying web programming for the better part of a year… I know how it works!”, my almost instantaneous follow-up thought was “Wait. How DOES the web work?”

The article starts out explaining URLs and HTTPs and other things that upon reading made me realize that despite my use of the terminology quite regularly, and my daily use of the tools, I in fact, had basically no idea what they were.

For those of you who — like me — were not super secure on the identity of these functions aside from the name, I’ll give a little sum-up based on my learning from the article.

URL (Universal Resource Locator):
 — Tells the browser (where you view your webpage) where the server is, how to communicate with it, and what request/s to make of the server once the connection is made.
 — Made up of distinct components, including

  • Protocol: how a browser will speak to a server (i.e., ‘https://’ or ‘ftp//’)
  • Domain: a human-readable name for an IP address that browsers use to send data to a server. Domains contain at least three components of their own, including — 
    - Subdomain: i.e., ‘www’ or ‘maps’
    - Second Level Domain (SLD): the name you rent for your website (i.e., ‘google’, or ‘brainpickings’)
    - Top Level Domain (TLD): i.e., ‘com’, ‘org’, or ‘gov’

HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol):
A protocol, which enables the seeking and retrieval of resources (i.e., HTML docs). Another helpful way to think about HTTP is that it essentially establishes the rules for how to request website data and which sites you’re allowed to access.

Pretty neat, huh? I don’t want to head too far into the weeds on some of the other lesson material, because I’m not sure that’s why you’re here, and — to be perfectly honest — there are many more articles on the subject presented by individuals who are far more qualified and articulate on such matters.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekends and enjoying the new Haim album as much as I am (seriously, it’s amazing).

Relevant to the post only in that I‘ve had on blast while writing and now I can say that Haim was on my blog