Domains, Hosts, and FOSS (Class Notes)

The World Wide Web, in Plain English (Short Video)

domain names

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Domain Names


  • First registered commerical domain name was (1985)
  • By 1992 fewer than 15,000 com domains had been registered.
  • In December 2009 there were 192 million domain names.

Domain Name Registrars are given permission (by ICANN) to register and charge for the use of domain names.

Some domain names are restricted, for example .gov and .edu.

Protect Act of 2003 includes the Truth in Domains Act and prohibits using misleading domain names for the purpose of deceiving a minor.

web servers

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Web Hosts

types: shared, dedicated, virtual, managed, file, image, email, etc.

Operating System, Web Server Application, Database Application, Programming Environment

LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python

cPanel: A control panel for your Web space.

Components of your web space that you should know about:

  • File system (kind of like the files on your computer). Some files are public, some are not. You can browse these in your browser from cPanel
  • Databases. These live “underneath” the software you install and contain the data that the software uses.
  • Software (and script installer). You can install web applications on your server. WordPress is one of these.
  • Your domain management. In addition to your main domain, you can designate subdomains.
  • Other stuff:
    • email
    • security
    • ftp (this is a way to transfer files from your personal computer to your web space)
    • logging and stats
open source communism

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FOSS (Free, Open-Source Software)

Old days: Published static “pages” to the web in HTML. Uploaded lots of pages to build a site. Hand coded these pages to link to one another.

Eventually, desktop software emerges that makes it easier to manage the creation of pages.

Eventually, programming languages for the Web emerge that make it possible to create software that lives on Web servers (and, often, interacts with databases).


  • Free
  • Not necessarily developed by a company or one person
  • Often developed by hundreds/thousands of world-wide developers
  • Can be “forked”
  • Code is not only “open” (you can read it) but your allowed to edit/modify it.

 Installing and Using Your Blog



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