The foundation of HTTP/0.9 (the first
implementation of the HTTP protocol) was the definition of the
GET method that was used by a web browser to request a
For example, the following HTTP request
would return the document "index.html" that was located in the
web server's root directory called "webdocs"
GET /webdocs/index.html CRLF
Notice that the GET request began with
the GET keyword, included a document to retrieve, and ended with
a carriage return and line feed combination.
If you would like, you can try making a
GET request by connecting to your favorite web server and sending
the GET request yourself (as if you were a web browser).
Below is a GET session I cut and pasted
from a telnet window. In this case, I used telnet to contact the
web server "www.extropia.com" and asked for the file
"irobot.html" in the "Scripts/Columns" directory (Don't forget
the two carriage returns at the end). The server responded by
sending me the contents of that file (the HTML code you see).
The beauty of web browsers of course, is
that they take care of the HTTP protocol specifications so that
the user only needs to enter the URL of the page they want to see.
The web browser formulates the actual GET request, sends it to the
web server, receives the HTML document back, and then displays
the HTML document according to the HTML instructions.