The Internet is familiar to modern man, but this state of affairs was preceded by a rather long and difficult path of formation and development of technologies, thanks to which it was possible to ensure the deployment of the World Wide Web on a global scale. What are these solutions? How did the World Wide Web develop in Russia?
The Internet as a global information system is a computer network, the nodes of which are distributed around the world, and at the same time are logically connected through the use of a special address space. The functioning of this global network is possible primarily due to the unification of communication standards: for example, TCP / IP is used as the main one, which is implemented equally on any computers connected to the World Wide Web.
In its modern form, the Internet as a global information system has existed for about 30 years. But by the time of its appearance, the infrastructure, on the basis of which the World Wide Web was deployed, was quite developed in many countries of the world.
It will be useful to consider how it was built in certain states. It is noteworthy that the history of the development of infrastructure, on the basis of which the modern Internet began to be built, practically coincides with the period of confrontation between the two largest world technological systems - Western and Soviet. Of course, this is a very simplified classification, because both the first system and the second actively developed regional, national technologies, which are very different in a number of cases.
Ultimately, the Western model nevertheless became the basis for the development of the modern Internet - however, by the time of its introduction in the USSR, Soviet specialists already had experience in deploying computer networks, somewhat similar to the Western model of the Internet. Thus, we will consider how the World Wide Web developed within the framework of the Western technological system, as well as when the Internet appeared in Russia based on the specifics of the development of the national infrastructure of computer networks.
History of the Internet in Western Countries
At the end of the 1950s, during one of the most difficult periods of the Cold War, the US government set the task for American scientists: to create a data transmission infrastructure that could function even in a global armed conflict. Scientists have proposed the concept of a similar system - the project was called ARPANET.
In 1969, the computers of several large American universities were networked according to schemes developed by scientists as part of this project. Subsequently, the experience gained by the researchers was adopted by many other interested structures: this led to the expansion of computer networks operating according to ARPANET standards on a national scale.
Specialized programs appeared for this infrastructure: for example, already in 1971, software was developed for ARPANET designed to send messages. In fact, we are talking about the appearance of the first email - the main functions of the Internet today still include the organization of data exchange in the appropriate format. In the 70s, e-mail was, according to researchers, the most popular function of a computer network, deployed as part of an American project.
Gradually, the scale of ARPANET went beyond the United States: various European organizations began to connect to the network. Communication with the American infrastructure was organized through a telephone cable laid across the Atlantic Ocean.
In fact, since the Europeans joined ARPANET, in particular in 1973, British and Norwegian organizations began to exchange data with the network, the project became international. However, communications between computers located in different parts of the planet were not always stable due to the lack of generally accepted data exchange standards.
The corresponding problem was fixed after the introduction of the universal TCP / IP protocol. Almost all Internet resources still use it.
By the time TCP-IP was introduced, the US-European network was more likely to be inter-regional than global - despite the fact that in 1983 it was assigned the name "Internet". But its further deployment was swift. This process was facilitated by the invention of the DNS standard in 1984 - the domain name service began to function on its basis. It can be noted that in the same year, the ARPANET project became a serious competitor in the person of the NSFNet network, which unified computers of various universities.
NSFNet as the infrastructure foundation of the Internet
NSFNet infrastructure allowed for significantly higher data transfer dynamics . She grew at the same time at the most active pace. Gradually, the NSFNet network was just called the growing Internet. In 1988, it became possible to use its resources for organizing instant messaging in chat format - according to the IRC protocol.
In 1989, British scientist Tim Berners-Lee developed the concept of a global computer network, the World Wide Web. Over the next 2 years, he creates a hypertext transfer protocol - HTTP, HTML, as well as URL identifiers. According to many researchers, it was thanks to the inventions of Tim Berners-Lee that the Internet as a global information system began a rapid march on the planet.
These standards, as well as the capabilities of the universal TCP / IP protocol, have allowed the World Wide Web to scale at a gigantic pace. In the early 90s, the basic Internet features that were accessible to modern users were formed: access to web pages through browsers, posting information on them, receiving and transferring files. Of course, the e-mail, IRC services remained in demand.
Improved the language of hypertext, site management technology. NSFNet servers have been used for a long time as the infrastructure base of the Internet, but in 1995 this function was transferred to network providers. In 1996, the WWW standard became widespread, through which it was possible to transfer almost any data using Internet channels. But the FTP standard has also retained its relevance. And today, many Internet resources continue to use it in order to organize effective file sharing.
In its usual form, the World Wide Web as a whole was formed by the beginning of the 2000s. As the speed of user access to online resources increased due to technologies such as DSL, fiber, 3G, 4G, resources for hosting video content such as YouTube, game portals, and cloud services became especially popular. Through the Internet, not only the exchange of data between people is organized, but also between various devices - from simple household items to large industrial infrastructure. There are a large number of scientific concepts regarding how the Internet will develop as a global information system in the future. They are very different, and in many respects their implementation depends on the course of development of computer technologies per se.
History of the Internet in Russia
We will now study when the Internet appeared in Russia. We familiarized ourselves with the Western model of the development of online communications; now it is important for us to understand how the appropriate infrastructure was implemented in our country.
As we noted at the beginning of the article, for a long time, information technologies in the Soviet Union developed in parallel with Western ones. It should be noted that, to a large extent, their development was made possible thanks to the emergence of resources from the USSR for the reproduction of the Western microprocessor base, which began to be actively introduced at various levels of communications management in the 60-70s, although before that Soviet scientists had very progressive in-house developments . But one way or another, the essence of the Internet in the Western interpretation could differ significantly from the concepts of computer network development in the USSR.
Back in the 1950s, Soviet scientists formed computer networks as part of missile defense infrastructure projects. These networks were based on Soviet computers of the Diana-I, Diana-II type and other solutions. The exchange of information between the respective computers was carried out in order to calculate the flight path of the anti-missile.
In the 1970s, computer networks were also actively involved in the civilian sphere - in particular, as an infrastructure within the framework of systems such as ACS-Express and Siren, which make it possible to reserve rail and air tickets, respectively. In 1974, the computer coding KOI-8 was invented.
In the first half of the 80s, the VNIIPAS Institute began using computers to remotely exchange data with foreign organizations. In general, in the 80s, the deployment of Soviet networked computer systems was quite active, largely due to the appearance in the USSR of localized versions of the UNIX operating system (on the principles of which modern Linux operating systems operate, and, in turn, Android operating systems based on it, which can be attributed to the most common in the world, if you take the mobile device market). In fact, by 1990, the USSR had formed all the necessary infrastructure for the subsequent integration of Soviet computer networks and the Internet, which operated on the basis of NSFNet resources.
RELCOM - national computer network
The all-Union computer network "RELCOM" appears, which uses the protocols and technologies of the Internet. Communication between computers is provided through telephone channels. The most important role in building this infrastructure was played by the developers of the Demos cooperative, which carried out the development of various software solutions.
In August 1990, researchers from the Kurchatov Institute established contact with the University of Helsinki in order to ensure the functioning of channels for transmitting mail messages within the framework of the Internet itself. In September 1990, specialists from RELCOM, as well as from Demos, registered the .Su domain of the Soviet Union, which is still in use - and there are versions that its popularity will grow.
In the USSR, along with RELKOM, FIDO user networks are developing. By 1991, for Soviet users connecting to RELCOM, resources with domain addressing became available - like on the modern Internet. In 1992, the first providers appeared in the Russian Federation.
The use of the international TCP / IP standard in Russia is becoming widespread. In April 1994, the national domain .Ru was registered. Since then, the Internet in Russia has developed as a whole in the same way as in Western countries. At the same time, Russian experts also made a significant contribution to the development of the World Wide Web, in particular at the level of developing anti-virus, server solutions.
So, we have studied how the Internet works, the features of the development of appropriate communication technologies in Russia and the West. We will now study what the World Wide Web is today.
Modern Internet: Providers
Internet access for users is provided by providers. We study the specifics of the tasks they solve.
Who is an internet provider? In the early years of the World Wide Web, such was considered a company that provides switching services to ensure communication between the user and the nearest Internet servers. Now the provider is a supplier of high-tech communication resources that ensure the functioning of the network infrastructure on a regional, and sometimes national, scale. Companies providing relevant services can be both very large, international, and local, which can operate on a city-wide scale.
There are a large number of technologies through which providers can provide their services: optical and telephone channels, satellite, cellular Internet. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. The prices of Internet formed by the provider depend to a large extent on which channels are used. As a rule, the most affordable for the user are wired channels, a little more expensive - cellular, the most expensive - satellite. In this case, payment for the services of the provider can be carried out:
- in the format of a monthly fee;
- for traffic;
- in some cases, during access to the Web.
The role of the Internet in the modern world is primarily to provide users with the opportunity to visit various sites.
Modern Internet: sites
A website hosted on the Internet is a collection of files (text, graphics, video and audio recordings containing other multimedia components) that can be accessed using protocols such as WWW, HTTP, FTP and others that are optimal in a particular case. Of course, these files are systematized in a certain way to facilitate the perception of information by the user.
The main system element of the site is a web page. In most cases, it is written in HTML, often using various scripts. The site may have different themes. It can be an Internet newspaper, a blog, video hosting, a sports, entertainment portal - there are a huge number of types of resources that can be posted on the World Wide Web.
Modern Internet: Radio and Television
We noted above that with the development of communication technologies and an increase in the speed of data transfer, various video resources on the Internet are gaining popularity. Such can be considered, for example, Internet television, as well as online radio. These technologies allow the broadcasting of television and radio broadcasts on special sites using special technologies.
It is noteworthy that many of the modern services allow you to organize your own broadcast to any interested user. Given the prevalence of high-speed lines, Internet television is no longer a privilege, but a regular resource. Which, at the same time, may require significant investments from users (labor, financial) in its promotion and development. The same can be said of sites. An online newspaper or entertainment portal can be registered by any interested user, but turning them into a recognizable brand is not an easy task.
Modern Internet: Mobile Applications
One of the most pronounced trends in the development of the modern Internet can be considered the ubiquity of mobile applications - special software launched from smartphones or tablets. Functionally, these applications in many cases can be similar to web pages. But there are specialized solutions of the appropriate type, for example, adapted to organize secure access to a personal account, such as a bank. The Internet today is a communication environment in which virtually any digital data can be transmitted, and in many cases this requires the use of special protocols and technologies, including those implemented in mobile applications.
So, we have studied what the concept of the World Wide Web is, as well as the basic technologies that are used to ensure its functioning. The essence of the Internet is to provide users from all over the world with stable, inexpensive access to various types of useful information, files, multimedia content, as well as to resources through which people can communicate with each other and exchange various data. A similar opportunity today is already familiar to residents of probably all countries of the world, although it was previously available to very few people, in many cases it could be used only if there was a high qualification in information technology.
Who is the Internet provider, which one can I connect to, and at what price - questions that a typical resident of a modern metropolis almost certainly knows about. The World Wide Web continues to evolve: new services, technologies, concepts for organizing user communication appear, and devices for data transfer are being improved. How technological progress will go, how the world economy will develop, will determine the vectors for the further development of the Internet.