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Overview

"Rabinovich and Spatscheck report a wealth of detailed information about how to implement Web caching and replication mechanisms, but more importantly, they teach me how to think about the general problem of content distribution. I'm pleased that there is finally a comprehensive book on this important subject."
—Larry Peterson, Professor of Computer Science, Princeton University

"This book is a remarkable piece of work, well-organized and clearly articulated. The authors have masterfully presented advanced topics in Internet Web infrastructure and content delivery networks in a way that is suitable for both novices and experts."
—Steve McCanne, Chief Technology Officer, Inktomi

As the Internet grows, evolving from a research tool into a staple of daily life, it is essential that the Web's scalability and performance keep up with increased demand and expectations. Every day, more and more users turn to the Internet to use resource-hungry applications like video and audio on-demand and distributed games. At the same time, more and more computer applications are built to rely on the Web, but with much higher sensitivity to delays of even a few milliseconds. The key to satisfying these growing demands and expectations lies in the practices of caching and replication and in the increased scalability solutions they represent.

Web Caching and Replication provides essential material based on the extensive real-world experience of two experts from AT&T Labs. This comprehensive examination of caching, replication, and load-balancing practices for the Web brings togetherinformation from and for the commercial world, including real-life products; technical standards communities, such as IETF and W3C; and academic research.

By focusing on the underlying, fundamental ideas that are behind the varied technologies currently used in caching and replication, this book will remain a relevant, much-needed resource as the multi-billion dollar industries that rely on the Web continue to grow and evolve.

The book approaches its two central topics in two distinct parts. The part on caching includes coverage of:

  • Proxy caching, including latency reduction and TCP connection caching
  • Transparent and nontransparent proxy deployment
  • Cooperative caching
  • Cache consistency
  • Replacement policies
  • Prefetching
  • "Caching the uncacheable"

The part on replication includes coverage of:

  • Basic mechanisms for request distribution, including content-blind and content-aware request distribution
  • CDNs, including DNS request distribution, streaming content delivery, and secure content access
  • Server selection

Examples and illustrations are included throughout the book. Extensive cross-referencing also enables readers to identify the corresponding parts of each section. Web Caching and Replication concludes with a thorough look into the future. It not only considers how new services can be implemented on caching and replication platforms, but also outlines emerging technologies that will allow for cooperation between different caching and replication enterprises in order to improve the overall performance of the Web.



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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Emphasizing the role of caching and replication in increasing scalability to meet the growing demands of the Web, this book discusses the current concepts and technology from the commercial world, the technical standards, and academic research. Handling caching and replication separately, chapters cover proxy deployment, cooperative proxy caching, consistency, replacement policies, pre- fetching, request distribution, content delivery networks, and server selection. Examples and illustrations are included throughout. Rabinovich and Spatscheck do research for AT&T. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201615708
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.43 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Read an Excerpt

In the past few years, theWeb has transformed the Internet from a research tool of the few to an essential part of the everyday life of many. As its proliferation in all aspects of human activities continues, it becomes more important for users to get acceptable performance when using the Web. At the same time the demand for Web capacity and the Internet in general increases, not only due to the growing number of users who spend more and more time online, but also because of the emergence of new resource-hungry applications such as video and audio on-demand and distributed games. In addition to human users, computer applications increasingly rely on the Web; their demand for performance is even greater. While a human may not notice or care about a delay of a few hundred milliseconds, the same delay may be intolerable for a computer application, especially if it is incurred repeatedly during the execution of a task.

Web caching and replication address the issues of capacity and performance, and they have become essential components of theWeb infrastructure. Broadly speaking, both Web caching and replication refer to satisfying requests by servers other than origin servers where the requested resources reside. Caching and replication can increase Web performance and effective capacity by shifting the work away from overloaded origin servers and, by satisfying client requests from nearby servers, even if origin servers are far away. Moreover, these auxiliary servers are increasingly viewed not only as a means to increaseWeb performance and effective capacity, but also as platforms to implement a variety of extra functionalities that add value to theservices offered by origin servers. These promises of Web caching and replication have given rise to new industries, including equipment vendors that supply cache servers and compatible network gear, as well as service vendors that offer caching and replication services to consumers and providers of Web resources. Web caching and replication have also become areas of active research.

This book describes existing Web caching and replication technologies and concepts. It discusses implications of and trade-offs between alternative approaches, allowing a reader to understand the reasoning behind various solutions and to develop an intuition about what may or may not work and why. The book attempts to provide a unified view of approaches by commercial products and concepts from academic research. By considering both deployed solutions and far-reaching proposals, the book is intended to help readers identify current and emerging issues in this area, as well as future trends.

Web Caching and Replication concentrates on the fundamental ideas behind different technologies as opposed to particular products that implement them. Products come and go, and change in the process, especially in such an immature field as the Web. By focusing on underlying concepts, we believe this book will remain relevant as the market evolves. At the same time, there are a number of references to companies and products that implement various approaches that we consider. We fully expect these references to become obsolete rather quickly, as companies merge, disappear, or change their market focus. Our reason for providing them is to indicate the stage in the evolution of a given approach or idea; thus, we believe the references will be useful even if they are no longer entirely valid. These references should not be interpreted as our endorsement of the products or companies mentioned; they just indicate that a particular idea has been implemented commercially.

Caching and replication are ubiquitous in computers and computer networks, and it is not always easy to draw a line between caching and replication in general and Web caching and replication in particular. We chose to provide comprehensive coverage of Web caching and replication as defined earlier; that is, satisfying Web requests from servers other than origin Web servers where requested resources originally resided. This definition emphasizes distributed aspects of Web caching and replication rather than the internal architectures of individual components--browsers, Web proxies, routers, switches, and origin servers--comprising the Web and the Internet.

Intended Audience

This book should be of interest to IT professionals, engineers at companies providing Internet services or equipment, and to researchers and graduate students in such fields as computer and information systems and networking. Our goal is to equip IT professionals with enough knowledge about the technology to understand market offerings in this area (and to keep vendor representatives honest!). For engineers developing new technologies in this area, this book might suggest concepts that can improve their products and point out areas in which more research is needed. Finally, for researchers and graduate students, the book aims to provide a thorough understanding of major issues, current practices, and the main ideas in the field of Web caching and replication, to the point of them being able to start their own work in the area. This book could also be used as a text for courses in Internet-based information systems.

Organization of the Book

Organizing the book presented an interesting challenge. On one hand, caching and replication are two broad directions for improving Web performance that have completely different business models. Caching represents client-side solutions, and replication represents server-side solutions; they are usually thought of as separate and orthogonal approaches. Service providers that offer caching services often have only a peripheral interest in replication and vice versa. This suggested organizing the book into distinct parts that address these two broad directions separately. On the other hand, both directions often use similar technologies and mechanisms. For instance, the same equipment can be used as cache servers in Web caching and as surrogate Web servers in replication; the same balancing switches are used to distribute load among servers, and so on. Thus, this book could have been organized around the technologies that both directions use. We chose the former way in order to reflect the different focus of the two directions.

The book contains an introduction and four parts.

  • The Introduction describes the concepts of Web caching and replication and defines very basic terms.
  • Part I, The Background, presents the prerequisite information, introduces more detailed terminology, and provides a broad characterization of Web behavior.
  • Part II, Web Caching, discusses caching.
  • Part III, Web Replication, is devoted to replication. Because of the already-mentioned commonality of technologies used by both caching and replication, the corresponding parts in the book could not be made completely independent. We provide cross-references to enable readers to identify corresponding sections in the other parts that they might want to review.
  • Part IV, Further Directions, outlines new directions in the area of caching and replication. It discusses how new services can be implemented on servers used for caching and replication, and it outlines an emerging technology that allows caching and replication platforms operated by different enterprises to cooperate in improving overall Web performance.

Our intent was to write a self-contained book. Although general familiarity with the Web, the client-server model, and distributed computing would be helpful, reading Part I will provide sufficient information for understanding the remainder of the book. Extensive use of examples and illustrations helps clarify the presentation. In most cases, the examples use fictitious URL addresses and companies; however, when we felt that a real name was useful, we used AT&T--a logical choice given that we both work there.



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Table of Contents

Preface xv
Intended Audience xvi
Organization of the Book xvi
Acknowledgments xix
Introduction xxi
I.1 The Basics of Web Caching xxiii
I.1 The Basics of Web Replication xxv
I.1 Beyond Performance xxx
I.1 Summary xxxi
Part I Background 1
1 Network Layers and Protocols 3
1.1 The ISO/OSI Reference Model 3
1.2 Network Components at Different Layers 5
1.3 Overview of Internet Protocols 6
1.4 Summary 8
2 The Internet Protocol and Routing 9
2.1 Addressing 9
2.2 IP Datagram Header 11
2.3 Routing 13
2.3.1 Routing within ASs 14
2.3.2 Routing between ASs 15
2.4 Multicast 17
2.5 Summary 20
3 Transmission control protocol 21
3.1 Segment Header 22
3.2 Opening a Connection 24
3.3 Closing a Connection 26
3.4 Flow Control 27
3.5 Congestion Control 28
3.6 Retransmission 30
3.7 Summary 30
4 Application Protocols for the Web 33
4.1 Uniform Resource Locators 33
4.2 The Domain Name System 35
4.2.1 Name Hierarchy 35
4.2.2 The DNS Protocol 36
4.3 The HyperText Transfer Protocol 38
4.3.1 The HTTP Request 39
4.3.2 The HTTP Response 40
4.4 The HTTP Message Exchange 41
4.5 Hyperlinks and Embedded Objects 43
4.6 Summary 45
5 HTTP Support for Caching and Replication 47
5.1 Conditional Requests 47
5.1.1 Conditional Headers Used for Caching 48
5.1.2 Conditional Headers Used for Replication 48
5.2 Age and Expiration of Cached Objects 49
5.3 Request Redirection 50
5.4 Range Requests 51
5.5 The cache-control Header 52
5.5.1 cache-control Header Directives in Requests 52
5.5.2 cache-control Header Directives in Responses 53
5.5.3 Example of the cache-control Header 54
5.6 Storing State for a Stateless Server: Cookies 56
5.7 Support for Server Sharing 58
5.8 Expanded Object Identifiers 58
5.9 Learning the Proxy Chain 58
5.10 Cacheability of Web Content 60
5.11 Summary 61
6 Web Behavior Rules of Thumb 63
6.1 Evaluation Methods 64
6.1.1 Live Measurements 64
6.1.2 Trace-Based Methods 64
6.1.3 Benchmarking 65
6.2 Object Size 66
6.3 Object Types and Cacheability 68
6.4 Object Popularity 69
6.5 Locality of Reference 70
6.5.1 Temporal Locality 70
6.5.2 Spatial Locality 72
6.6 Rate of Object Modifications 73
6.7 Other Observations 73
6.8 Summary: Rules of Thumb for the Web 75
Part II Web Caching 77
7 Proxy Caching: Realistic Expectations 79
7.1 Do Proxy Caches Deserve a Hearing? 80
7.2 Latency Reduction 81
7.2.1 An Optimistic Bound on Latency Reduction 82
7.2.2 A Pessimistic View of Latency Reduction 83
7.2.3 TCP Connection Caching 84
7.2.4 Connection Caching versus Data Caching 86
7.2.5 TCP Connection Splitting 87
7.2.6 Environment-Specific TCP Optimizations 89
7.3 Bandwidth Savings 90
7.4 Proxies and Streaming Media 92
7.5 Summary 93
8 Proxy Deployment 95
8.1 Overview of Internet Connectivity Architectures 95
8.2 Nontransparent Proxy Deployment 98
8.2.1 Explicit Client Configuration 98
8.2.2 Browser Autoconfiguration 98
8.2.3 Proxy Auto-Discovery 99
8.3 Transparent Proxy Deployment 99
8.3.1 Multipath Problem 102
8.3.2 Interception Mechanisms 104
8.3.3 Layer 4 Switch as an Intercepter 107
8.3.4 Router as an Intercepter 109
8.3.5 Layer 7 Switch as an Intercepter 111
8.3.6 Intercepting Link 113
8.3.7 Performance Pitfalls 115
8.4 Security and Access Control Issues 117
8.4.1 Proxies and Web Server Access Control 117
8.4.2 Proxies and Security 118
8.5 Summary 119
9 Cooperative Proxy Caching 121
9.1 Shared Cache: How Big Is Big Enough? 122
9.2 Issues in Cooperative Proxy Caching 124
9.3 Location Management 125
9.3.1 Broadcast Queries 125
9.3.2 Hierarchical Caching 128
9.3.3 URL Hashing 129
9.3.4 Directory-Based Cooperation 133
9.3.5 Directory Structures 135
9.4 Caching on a Global Scale: Proxy Pruning 138
9.4.1 System Model 139
9.4.2 Cache Routing 141
9.4.3 Vicinity Caching 143
9.5 An Overview of Existing Platforms 145
9.5.1 Cache Hierarchies 145
9.5.2 Caching as a Service of a Network Access Point 148
9.5.3 Satellite Broadcast Cache Service 149
9.6 Summary 151
10 Cache Consistency 153
10.1 Cache Validation 154
10.1.1 The Basic Validation Scenario 155
10.1.2 Implicit Time to Live 156
10.1.3 Fine-Tuning Validation 157
10.1.4 Asynchronous and Piggyback Cache Validation 158
10.2 Cache Invalidation 159
10.2.1 Leases 160
10.2.2 Subscriptions 161
10.2.3 Delayed versus Immediate Updates 163
10.2.4 Volumes 164
10.2.5 Volume Lease Protocols 166
10.2.6 Piggyback and Delayed Invalidation 168
10.2.7 Invalidation in Cache Routing 169
10.3 Issues in Cooperative Cache Consistency 170
10.3.1 Validation with Cooperative Proxies 170
10.3.2 Non-Monotonic Delivery Problem 172
10.4 Summary 174
11 Replacement Policy 177
11.1 Replacement Policy Metrics 177
11.2 Replacement Policy Algorithms 178
11.3 The Value of Replacement Policy 180
11.4 Summary 180
12 Prefetching 183
12.1 Performance Metrics 183
12.2 Performance Bounds of Prefetching 185
12.3 Taxonomy 186
12.4 Nondata Prefetching 186
12.5 Nontransparent Prefetching 188
12.5.1 User Nontransparency 188
12.5.2 Server Nontransparency 189
12.6 Server Push versus Client Pull 190
12.7 Information Used in Prefetching Algorithms 191
12.7.1 User-Specific Information 191
12.7.2 Group Information 192
12.7.3 Multiuser Information 193
12.8 Prediction Algorithms 194
12.8.1 Popularity-Based Predictions 194
12.8.2 Markov Modeling 195
12.8.3 Examples of Algorithms Using First-Order Markov Modeling 197
12.8.4 Exploiting Longer Request Sequences 199
12.8.5 Structure Algorithms 204
12.9 Summary 205
13 Caching the Uncacheable 207
13.1 A Note on Implementation 207
13.2 Modified Content and Stale Delivery Avoidance 209
13.2.1 Cache-Friendly Approaches to Stale Delivery Avoidance 210
13.2.2 Utilizing Cached Stale Content 210
13.3 Cookied Content 213
13.3.1 Cache-Friendly Usage of Cookies 213
13.3.2 Caching Cookied Content 214
13.3.3 The Semantic Transparency Issue 215
13.4 Expressly Uncacheable Content and Hit Metering 216
13.4.1 Cache-Friendly Approaches to Hit Metering 216
13.4.2 Caching Expressly Uncacheable Content 217
13.5 Dynamic Content 217
13.5.1 Cache-Friendly Design of Dynamic Content 218
13.5.2 Base-Instance Caching 219
13.5.3 Template Caching 221
13.5.4 Base-Instance Caching versus Template Caching 223
13.6 Active Proxies 225
13.7 Summary 227
Part III Web Replication 229
14 Basic Mechanisms for Request Distribution 231
14.1 Content-Blind Request Distribution with Full Replication 231
14.1.1 Client Redirection 232
14.1.2 Redirection by a Balancing Switch 233
14.1.3 Redirection by a Web Site's DNS 235
14.1.4 Anycast 237
14.2 Content-Blind Request Distribution with Partial Replication 238
14.2.1 Using Surrogates as Server Replicas 239
14.2.2 Back-End Distributed File Systems 240
14.3 Content-Aware Request Distribution 241
14.3.1 Client Redirection by a Java Applet 241
14.3.2 HTTP Redirection 242
14.3.3 Redirection by an L7 Switch 243
14.3.4 Fine-Granularity Domain Names 244
14.4 Summary 245
15 Content Delivery Networks 247
15.1 Types of CDNs 249
15.2 Delivering Requests to a CDN 252
15.3 Finding Origin Servers 254
15.4 Request Distribution in CDNs 255
15.4.1 DNS/Balancing Switch Redirection 255
15.4.2 Two-Level DNS Redirection 256
15.4.3 Anycast/DNS Redirection 257
15.5 Pitfalls of DNS-Based Request Distribution 258
15.6 Fine-Tuning DNS Request Distribution 259
15.6.1 Post-DNS Request Distribution by Triangular Communication 260
15.6.2 Post-DNS Request Distribution with HTTP Redirection and URL Rewriting 261
15.7 Data Consistency in CDNs 262
15.8 Streaming Content Delivery 264
15.8.1 Using Multicast for Streaming Content Delivery 265
15.8.2 Using Application-Level Multicast for Streaming Content Delivery 266
15.8.3 Constructing a Distribution Tree 268
15.9 Supporting Secure Content Access 270
15.9.1 SSL Overview 270
15.9.2 Performance Impact of Supporting SSL in a CDN 272
15.9.3 Key Management 273
15.9.4 Content Retrieval from the Origin Server 274
15.10 Summary 274
16 Server Selection 277
16.1 Metrics 277
16.1.1 Proximity Metrics 278
16.1.2 Server Load Metrics 280
16.1.3 Aggregate Metrics 281
16.1.4 Internet Mapping Services 284
16.1.5 Aging of Metrics 284
16.2 Algorithms 286
16.2.1 Obtaining Passive Measurements 287
16.2.2 Avoiding Oscillations 288
16.2.3 Supporting Client Stickiness 291
16.2.4 Respecting the Affinity of Server Caches 292
16.3 Server Selection with Multiple Metrics 293
16.4 DNS-Based Server Selection 294
16.4.1 A Typical DNS Server-Selection Scheme 294
16.4.2 Estimating Hidden Load Factors 295
16.5 Why Choose a Server When You Can Have Them All? 297
16.6 Summary 298
Part IV Further Directions 301
17 Adding Value at the Edge 303
17.1 Content Filtering 303
17.2 Content Transcoding 304
17.3 Watermarking 306
17.4 Custom Usage Reporting 306
17.5 Implementing New Services with an Edge Server API 307
17.6 The ICAP Protocol 308
17.7 Distributing Web Applications 310
17.7.1 How to Replicate Applications 310
17.7.2 Where to Replicate Applications 311
17.8 Summary 313
18 Content Distribution Internetworking 315
18.1 Pros and Cons of CDI 315
18.2 Request Distribution 316
18.3 Content Distribution 318
18.4 Accounting 319
18.5 Summary 320
Glossary 321
Bibliography 331
Index 345
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Preface

In the past few years, the Web has transformed the Internet from a research tool of the few to an essential part of everyday life for many. As the proliferation of the Web in all aspects of human activities continues, it becomes more important for users to get acceptable performance when using the Web. At the same time, the demand for Web capacity, and the Internet in general, increases, not only because of the growing number of users spending more time online, but also because of the emergence of new resource-hungry applications, such as video and audio on-demand and distributed games. In addition to human users, computer applications also increasingly rely on the Web. Their demand for performance is even greater: While a human may not notice or care about a delay of a few hundred milliseconds, the same delay may be intolerable for a computer application, especially if it is incurred repeatedly during the execution of a task.

Web caching and replication that address the issues of capacity and performance have become essential components of the Web infrastructure. Broadly speaking, both Web caching and replication refer to satisfying requests by servers other than origin Web servers where the requested resources reside. Caching and replication can improve Web performance and effective capacity by shifting the work from overloaded origin servers and satisfying client requests from nearby servers, even if origin servers are far away. Moreover, these auxiliary servers are increasingly viewed, not only as means to improve Web performance and effective capacity, but also as platforms to implement a variety of extra functionalities that add valueto the services offered by the origin servers. These promises of Web caching and replication have given rise to new industries, including equipment vendors that supply cache servers and compatible network gear, as well as service vendors that offer caching and replication services to consumers and providers of Web resources. Web caching and replication have also become areas of active research.

This book describes existing technologies and concepts in Web caching and replication. It discusses implications of and tradeoffs between alternative approaches, allowing a reader to understand the reasoning behind various solutions and to develop an intuition about what may or may not work and why. The book attempts to provide a unified view of approaches by commercial products and concepts from academic research. By considering both deployed solutions and far-reaching proposals, the book is intended to help readers identify current and emerging issues, as well as future trends, in this area.

Web Caching and Replication concentrates on the fundamental ideas behind different technologies as opposed to particular products that implement them. Products come and go and change in the process, especially in such an immature field as the Web. By focusing on underlying concepts, we believe the book will remain relevant as the market evolves. At the same time, there are a number of references to companies and products that implement various approaches that we consider. We fully expect these references to become obsolete rather quickly, as companies merge, disappear, or change their market focus. Our reason for providing these references is to indicate the stage in the evolution of a given approach or idea; thus we believe the references will be useful, even if they are no longer entirely valid. (These references should not be interpreted as our endorsements of the products or companies mentioned; they just indicate that a particular idea has been implemented commercially.)

Caching and replication are ubiquitous in computers and computer networks, and it is not always easy to draw a line between caching and replication in general and Web caching and replication in particular. We chose to provide comprehensive coverage of Web caching and replication as defined earlier, that is, satisfying Web requests from servers other than Web servers where requested resources originally resided. This definition emphasizes distributed aspects of Web caching and replication rather than the internal architectures of individual component—browsers, Web proxies, routers, switches, and Web servers—comprising the Web and the Internet.

Intended Audience

This book should be of interest to IT professionals, engineers at companies providing Internet services or equipment, and researchers and graduate students in such fields as computer and information systems and networking. Our goal is to equip IT professionals with enough knowledge of the technology to understand market offerings in this area (and to keep vendor representatives honest!). For engineers developing new technologies in this area, this book might suggest concepts that can improve their products and point out areas where more research is needed. Finally, for researchers and graduate students, the book aims to provide a thorough understanding of major issues, current practices, and the main ideas in the field of Web caching and replication, to the point of their being able to start their own work in the area. This book could also be used as a text for courses in Internet-based information systems.

Organization of the Book

Organizing the book presented an interesting challenge. On one hand, caching and replication are two broad directions to improving Web performance that have completely different business models. Caching represents client-side solutions, and replication represents server-side solutions; they are usually thought of as separate and orthogonal approaches. Service providers that offer caching services often have only a peripheral interest in replication and vice versa. This suggested organizing the book into distinct parts that address these two broad directions separately. On the other hand, both directions often use similar technologies and mechanisms. For instance, the same equipment can be used as cache servers in Web caching and as surrogate Web servers in replication; the same balancing switches are used to distribute load among servers, and so on. Thus this book could have been organized around the technologies that both directions use. We chose the former way to organize the book in order to reflect the different focus of the two directions.

The book contains an introduction and four parts.

  • The Introduction describes the concepts of Web caching and replication and defines very basic terms.
  • Part 1, The Background, presents the prerequisite information, introduces more detailed terminology, and provides a broad characterization of Web behavior.
  • Part 2, Web Caching, discusses caching.
  • Part 3, Web Replication, is devoted to replication. Because of the already-mentioned commonality of technologies used by both caching and replication, the corresponding parts in the book could not be completely independent. We provide cross-references to enable readers to identify corresponding sections between two parts they might want to review.
  • Part 4, Further Directions, outlines new directions in the area of caching and replication. It discusses how new services can be implemented on servers used for caching and replication and it outlines an emerging technology that allows caching and replication platforms operated by different enterprises to cooperate in improving overall Web performance.

Our intent was to write a self-contained book. Although general familiarity with the Web, the client-server model, and distributed computing would be helpful, reading Part 1 provides sufficient information for understanding the remainder of the book. Extensive use of examples and illustrations helps clarify the presentation. In most cases, the examples use fictitious URLs and companies; however, when we felt that a real name was useful, we used AT&T—a logical choice given that we both work there.



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