Questions and Answers

About This Site

What does 'ZedneWeb' mean?
Oh sure, give me a tricky question first. 'ZedneWeb' is a combination of 'Zednenem' and the Web, another abbreviation for the World Wide Web (or WWW, an acronym that's actually harder to say than the phrase it replaces). This leads us to our next question:

Who or what is Zednenem?
There is no real Zednenem, although he would deny it. Essentially, I use Zednenem as an alter-ego, often representing my darker side (bearing in mind that 'darker' is a relative term). It's similar to Dogbert and Scott Adams.

That's really weird. You know that, right?
We are aware of that, yes.

So how come you keep speaking in the plural?
It lets us pretend this web site isn't just an expression of my swollen ego, but rather the product of an organization of some sort. Or something. We haven't been all that consistent about it, though.

Are you ever going to get your links page up?
We're working on it. Really. Would we lie?

About David Menendez

Who is this David Menendez?
I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together.

Ahem. Let me try that again. David Menendez is an honest, humble man, who dedicates his life to the betterment of his parents' eldest child. He was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands. His mother died in infancy. Later in life, he built this web site, lovingly crafting each character by hand, occasionally grumbling about the strange lack of "smart quotes" in the ISO-Latin-1 character set, which is the standard for the web. Despite his powers over space and time, David is a kind and benevolent master -- although people who refer to themselves in the third person really irritate him....

Um, we're still working on this....

How come I see two different email addresses for him?
Actually, I only have one email address. is merely an alias for I tend to use the former, as it's easier to remember and stands out more.

About The Internet

How is the 'Net' different from the 'Web'?
The internet (or "Net") is essentially a big hornking network of computers. In fact, it is often described as a "Network of Networks" because most people don't access the internet directly. Instead, they have a connection to a local network of some sort which then has a connection to the internet. That's not really important, though. Of course, you can't really do much with just a network, so there are several protocols for exchanging information of various kinds in various ways.

One such protocol is HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol). It provides a way for web browsers (the software used to view the web) and other similar software to request pages from web servers through the internet. A page is simply a document like this one. Since these are hypertext pages, they can supplement references to each other with actual links that you can follow with your browser. The World Wide Web (or "Web" or "WWW") is simply the collective term for all these interlinked pages.

To summarize: the internet is communications channel, the web is one segment of the information avaliable through that channel.

What is HTML?
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is an application of SGML, which isn't too important for this discussion. HTML is a (mostly) standard file format used to encode web pages. What sets it apart from other systems is the concept of links, which are encoded in HTML using the <A> tag. There are far, far too many books avaliable that describe HTML in far more detail, and there are a few sites on the web as well. I recommend the Web Design Group.

How do I parse a web address?
A web address (URL; Uniform Resource Locator) consists of three main parts. As an example, lets parse

The first part is the protocol, in this case it is HTTP, and it's represented by http: (easy, right?). Other popular protocols are FTP, Gopher, News, and Mail.

The second part identifies the server, i.e. the computer where the page is stored. In this case it's Most web server addresses begin with www. This address is translated into a sequence of four numbers between 0 and 255 (the IP address) which is then used to identify the server. I'm not sure what the two slashes are for. I think they indicate that this is a server, as opposed to an email address or a newsgroup.

The last part locates the file on the server. For our example we have /~menendez/. Since it ends in a slash, it refers to a directory (aka a folder), rather than a file. Software in this server looks for a file in the directory called "index.html" when it recieves a request to view the directory and, if it finds one, it sends it. Otherwise, it sends a listing of all files in the directory. So in reality, /~menendez/ tells the server to load the file index.html which is located in the ~menendez directory. Similarly, the address /~menendez/library/library.html tells the server to load the file library.html, which is in the directory library, which is in the directory ~menendez. (To be honest, ~menendez is an alias for something else, but I don't remember what and it doesn't really matter.)

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