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HTTP Pocket Reference

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When doing Web Development, most people focus on the HTML and design aspects of the job, but there is a very important component that is often overlooked - the backend - the server, the HTTP, and so on. If you are a developer who understands HTTP, you can create pages that interact with it, and you will create better sites. The first thing to learn, is the transfer protocol for Web documents, HTTP.

HTTP Pocket Reference

by Clinton Wong
This small book, like the other pocket guides I've reviewed, has a lot to offer. It gives you a good overview of what the HyperText Transfer Protocol is and is also an excellent reference manual for the headers and status codes that are in an HTTP transaction. If you understand HTTP, you can manually query Web servers to help you debug problems, better understand the interactions between your browser, the Web page, and the Web server, and make your Web programs more efficient.

On page 3 of the book, you are introduced to a typical HTTP request. Wong explains clearly each segment of the request and what they do. Throughout the book you learn to translate the HTTP requests and responses, the structure of an HTTP request, and the different methods used in HTTP.

This book has a lot of information, including:

  • server response codes
  • http headers
  • URL encoding
  • media types
  • and more...

Once you understand HTTP, you'll be able to manipulate it with your server responses, your CGIs, and sometimes even your Web pages themselves. This is a powerful tool, and this book is really helpful to understanding how to use it.

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