The HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, is the backbone of the World Wide Web. HTTP is the language that each web browser (or other web client) uses to communicate with servers around the world. All web programmers, administrators, and application developers need to be familiar with HTTP in order to work effectively.
The HTTP Pocket Reference not only provides a solid conceptual foundation of HTTP, it also serves as a quick reference to each of the headers and status codes that comprise an HTTP transaction. The book starts with a tutorial of HTTP, but then explains the client request and server responses in more detail, and gives a thorough technical explanation of more advanced features of HTTP (such as persistent connections and caching).
Most people use the Web every day without knowing anything about HTTP, but for those who need to get "beyond the browser," this book is the place to start.
Comments about O'Reilly Media HTTP Pocket Reference:
Refer to this little book often when a question arises about HTTP. The protocol offers much more than most know about and Wong does a nice job of laying out the various options. With the wide adoption of RESTful services, this reference is great to have close at hand.
An index would be helpful, but at only 75 pages, finding what you need to pretty easy.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Book reviews: http://sd.znet.com/~dwlarson/bookReviews.html
The Internet is in full swing, more and more people are starting to create content for the web using some of the new HTML (HyperText Markup Language) tools available. For those that want to understand what goes on underneath the hood, this book is an excellent reference.
Underneath the hood in this case refers to how the browser sends and receives information to a HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol) server where the content is primarily managed. For anyone wanting to understand the communications of the messages between the browser and the server, one must understand the protocols underlying the communication process. Typically, system administrators, web site developers, and software engineers need to know this topic very well.
Essentially this book delves into great detail surrounding the basic message transactions: Requests, Responses, and the Parsing of those categories. Static web pages (files, usually ending in .html), web forms, and cgi functionality rely on the proper sequence of commands being issued and understood between the browser and server. The book explains every command and response/ error code that is exchanged in the dialog (headers) comprising the transactions. As such, the book also serves as a handy encyclopedia of terms and definitions concerning HTTP.
Portions of the book explains some of the differences between browsers and the evolving versions of the HTTP Standard, cookies, MIME, authorizations, persistent connections, and client (browser) caching of information. There are certain caveats in these implementations and the book helps point some of them out.
I would like to suggest that for the Second printing, that an index is added to the book. There are a number of places where information should be easily cross-referenced so adding an index is a requirement, in my humble opinion.
Rating: 8 out of 10
This rating is my own personal value system and as such is very subjective. I think a rating of 5 means I would read finish reading a book. A rating of 10 would indicate I had trouble putting a book down and have no complaints at all about it.