Interpret HTTP requests
Use the .NET Framework to make HTTP requests without a browser
Work with IIS
Produce dynamic Web content without using ASP.NET yet
This chapter covers the fundamentals of building a Web-based application. Unlike the development of most desktop applications, in which most of the parts are available locally (as components on the user's hard disk drive), developing a Web application requires getting software parts to work over a widely distributed network using a disconnected protocol. The technologies underlying ASP.NET have been around for a long time. Of course ASP.NET makes use of this technology underneath, while making it very approachable at the same time.
Although ASP.NET makes developing Web applications far easier than ever before, you must have a solid understanding of how the plumbing is actually working during the development of an ASP.NET application. A good example of such a time might be when you're tracking down a stray HTTP request or trying to figure out why a section of your page is appearing in the wrong font within a client's browser. Another such time might occur while you're writing a custom control for a Web page. Custom controls often require that the rendering code be written manually. That is, you must carefully ensure that the HTML tags emitted by your control occur in exactly the right order. For that, you need to understand HTML.
This chapter covers three things necessary to allow you to work with ASP.NET:
How HTTP requests work
How HTML works
How HTTP requests are handled on the Microsoft platform (IIS)
Understanding these three technologies underlying ASP.NET frames the rest of the system. As you study ASP.NET these pieces will undoubtedly fall into place.