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19.1. Introduction

No Python book would be complete without discussing how to do Web programming, one of the main avenues in which people discover Python. In fact, one of the very first Python books was named, “Internet Programming with Python” (unfortunately out-of-print). This introductory chapter on web programming will give you a quick and high-level overview of the kinds of things you can do with Python on the Internet, from Web surfing to creating user feedback forms, from recognizing Uniform Resource Locators to generating dynamic Web page output.

19.1.1. Web Surfing: Client-Server Computing (Again?!?)

Web surfing falls under the same client-server architecture umbrella that we have seen repeatedly. This time, Web clients are browsers; applications allow users to seek documents on the World Wide Web. On the other side are Web servers, processes which run on an information provider's host computers. These servers wait for clients and their document requests, process them, and return the requested data. As with most servers in a client-server system, Web servers are designed to run “forever.” The Web surfing experience is best illustrated by Figure 19-1. Here, a user runs a Web client program such as a browser and makes a connection to a Web server elsewhere on the Internet to obtain their information.


  

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