HTTP Essentials: Protocols for Secure, Scaleable Web Sites

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9780471398233: HTTP Essentials: Protocols for Secure, Scaleable Web Sites

The first complete reference guide to the essential Web protocol
As applications and services converge and Web technologies not only assume HTTP but require developers to manipulate it, it is becoming increasingly crucial for network managers, Web masters, and anyone working with HTTP to understand the nuts and bolts of this most prevalent Web protocol. This book provides complete documentation and explanation of the protocol, including advanced and experimental extensions. Readers will get core guidance on implementing HTTP 1.1 in their products, including how to accelerate HTTP in large scale Web sites, how to secure it, and how to handle compatibility issues with versions 0.9 and 1.0. HTTP switching and invisible HTTP operations such as option negotiations, status checks, and path tracing are also examined.

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From the Back Cover:

Get inside HTTP and learn to build bulletproof Web sites

"This book is about what makes the Web tick. It explains the protocol that defines how Web browsers communicate with Web servers, the mechanisms that keep that communication secure from counterfeits and eavesdroppers, and the technologies that accelerate our Web experience."
–from the Introduction

Expert Stephen Thomas brings you up to speed on all aspects of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol––its operation, message formats, security mechanisms, and acceleration techniques. He explains how HTTP has evolved and how new implementations maintain backward compatibility with old systems. Best of all, he shows you how to apply what you’ve learned to building scaleable, reliable, and secure Web site architectures.

As you go through this book, you’ll be able to put into practice Thomas’s lessons on:

  • How Web browsers, servers, proxies, and caches use HTTP
  • The structure and format of HTTP messages, including all headers and status codes
  • HTTP authentication and other security technologies, including SSL, TLS, and SHTTP
  • Techniques for accelerating HTTP–load balancing, layer 4 and layer 7 switching, caching, and multiplexing
  • Related technologies–from Proxy Auto Configuration (PAC) and Web Proxy Auto Discovery (WPAD) to important caching protocols including Web Cache Coordination Protocol (WCCP), Internet Cache Protocol (ICP), and HyperText Caching Protocol (HTCP)
  • The evolution of HTTP and how to handle compatibility between HTTP versions

The CD-ROM includes a searchable electronic edition of the text.

About the Author:

STEPHEN THOMAS is cofounder and Chief Technical Officer for TransNexus, a leading provider of Internet e-commerce solutions. A frequent speaker at conferences and trade shows, Thomas has been actively involved in TCP/IP standard development and has coauthored and contributed to numerous Internet RFCs. He has written extensively for technical, trade, and popular audiences and is the author of several books, including, most recently, SSL and TLS Essentials: Securing the Web (Wiley).

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