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Course: Internet basics for web developers

Next available session:

Avail.:next session begins Feb/2013
Admits:open to everyone, including non-members
Prereq.:user experience
Cost:vol $0, pm $20, Bm $35, nm $55, supplies included
Where:TFN office
When:Thursday evenings 7:30 pm - 9 pm
Length:5 days (7.5 hrs), starts 28/Feb/2013, ends 28/Mar/2013

Format:lecture with class participation & supervised lab
Homework:half hour per class meeting
Extra help:during the half hour before and after class


  • Experience with browsing the web.


Iain Calder is a network administrator experienced in troubleshooting and in setting up web servers.


This course is a prerequisite to the follow-up course, "Hand-code your own HTML web pages".  It covers the minimal technical background needed before one can begin to develop web pages.

Students learn to use web browsers more expertly than lay users.  They gain a basic conceptual understanding of the workings of web servers and browsers, of how web pages are stored, and of how web data is transported over the Internet.  Finally, they learn to interpret URLs.

This knowledge is essential for becoming an effective web developer and for troubleshooting your work.  Each lecture builds on the previous ones, so missing a lecture would put you at a significant disadvantage.

Each class meeting begins with a review of the material taught in the previous meeting, and students are quizzed to verify that they understood and remember the material.  Any material that the students did not fully understand is revisited.

This course is designed for people who aren't expert computer users.  The material is covered slowly, with frequent reviewing and lots of examples, to it approachable to lay users.  The teaching style is tuned for people who like to take the time to really master a concept before proceeding to the next topic.


Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • use keyboard shortcuts for web browser functions.
  • make configuration changes to a web browser.
  • use a web browser to see other people's HTML code.
  • find invisible hyperlinks in a web page.
  • identify the different parts of a URL.
  • deconstruct URLs and reassemble them to your preferences.
  • upload and download files to/from your webspace.
  • reach hidden web servers, once you are told their location.
  • use a small amount of the jargon used in the Internet industry.

You will also have a mental image of how web data is transported over the Internet and a budding ability to identify the causes of problems when accessing web pages but you won't yet have enough experience to be an effective troubleshooter.


No homework is assigned.  However, before each class meeting, you should set aside some time to review the handouts and your notes from previous class meetings.  You should also make a point of using, in your day-to-day browsing, the tips taught in class.

Supplies & equipment:

  • Some handouts are provided.
  • Having a computer with a web browser and Internet connection would be useful.  However, on TFN office days, you can use TFN's workstations for your homework.


  • web browser keyboard shortcuts.
  • what are hosts, web servers, webspace, the web.
  • the web browser as a tool for exploring and for testing HTML code.
  • protocols involved in transmitting web data over the Internet.
  • the parts of a URL.
  • the different roles that people play in the web industry.
  • web browser fields and status messages.
  • web browser configuration pages.
  • using ftp to upload files to your webspace.

About the Internet and the WWW:

The Internet is a computer network and a collection of technologies.  Its popularity with the lay public has made it global and ubiquitous, overshadowing other networks and technologies that once competed with it.  This success is largely due to the world wide web (WWW).

The WWW is a collection of components that interact within the Internet: computers, programs running on those computers, and files stored in those computers.  The WWW can be thought of as a virtual network that was built on top of the Internet.

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