High-Level Internet Protocols and Standards Coverage

Good lay-of-the-land approach, comprehensive without being immersive. Lucid, well written and useful.


Sometimes it pays to take a good look at the landscape without getting bogged down in all the details. This book takes the high-altitude view and walks the reader through virtually all significant Internet standards and protocols. Each is given enough coverage to ensure a basic understanding and to its place in the overall ecology. This book is ideal for different types of readers, including those who find themselves with an immediate need to understand the Internet standards and protocol landscape, professionals who want to round out their understanding and those who want to keep abreast of emerging ideas in this domain.

This book is organized in 6 parts. The first part is focussed on the plumbing. Chapter 1 covers the ISO network model, with Chapter 2 looking at basic transport protocols and connectivity. Chapter 3 elaborates on additional transport standards. Chapter 4 looks at encoding standards, and Chapter 5 rounds out the first part with a closer look at encryption technology. Part 2 covers directory services, management and searchability in three chapters. Part 3 covers e-mail, file transfer and chat technology.

The Web itself is the focus in Part 4. Chapter 12 looks at the basics, followed by more advanced issues in Chapter

  1. Chapter 14 touches on electronic commerce standards, looking ahead to emerging protocols. Part 5 looks at multimedia with Chapter 15 covering traditional media and Chapter 16 focussed on VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language). The books wraps up with a few appendices with plenty of links to additional information on Internet existing and proposed standards. The coverage is wide-ranging and inclusive, though it never goes into more detail than necessary.

I learned a lot about DSL (including ADSL) and other protocols from this book. Even though the book is from Microsoft, the Java coverage is fair and inclusive, though the reference to COM being a standard extension is misleading. The writing is clear and well crafted, eloquent and effective. This book is a good investment for many readers who need to get a good picture of the Internet, its standards, protocols and basic architecture. The price is relatively low, at under $30, and the information invaluable if you are in a position to need it. Its likely to be a valuable addition to your technical book collection.