What’s with those four weird letters before your colons : and your slashes//? http?

You know websites, those things that you end up on after you google for something and click on a blue underlined piece of text? In very old school computer lingo, everything that you see on a website is made of something called HyperText documents.

HTTP, The HyperText Transfer Protocol is how that information gets to you.

You can think about this as a very formal way of communicating with your bookstore clerk. When you want to get a book (or document) and you can ask the clerk, 'Where is Harry Potter' or you could say 'Where can I find Harry Potter?' Or you can say 'Harry Potter, please!'.

Computers on the other hand can’t decipher such nuance. We need to be really specific and have a protocol when asking for things on the internet. Just like how the Military have their “Voice Procedure” and say things like 'roger' and 'copy', and 'over', computers have very formalized ways of speaking to each other.

HTTP is the computer version of something like that. Instead of commands that mean 'Yes, I understand you', or 'You should start speaking now', HTTP includes things like 'Get me this document', 'Change this document', or 'Delete this document'. It’s a legalese way for computers to speak to each other and the basis for how the web works.