STATIC POWER | Solid-State Power Switching

STATIC POWER | Solid-State Power Switching

In this article I will quickly summarise the concept of the ‘static’ website: what it is, and what its benefits and drawbacks are.

In this article I will quickly summarise the concept of the ‘static’ website: what it is, and what its benefits and drawbacks are.

History

In the beginning, all websites were collections of documents, the most significant of which were HTML (HyperText Markup Language). Such documents were simply plain text files, with special embedded commands to describe their structure, which could then be formatted by a web browser. As a basic example:

<p>This is an <strong>example</strong> paragraph.</p>

Saved as a file on a computer, such as index.html, this document could be accessed via a URL such as [http://example.org/index.html](http://example.org/index.html.).

As sites grew larger, and documents ever more complicated, various schemes were introduced to improve ‘modularity’; without this, documents (i.e. pages) with the same content — such as a footer — duplicate that content again and again. This is problematic if such content needs to be updated, in which case the same exact edit needs to be made many times over. If an individual page is overlooked, its content becomes outdated.

One early scheme known as ‘Server Side Includes’ allowed a simple instruction — much like the <strong> in the previous example — to indicate that external content should be ‘inserted’ at that point. All the page-specific content was still present, but common content resided in additional files.

Such approaches become ever more complex until, eventually, more and more content was help separately, away from the page files themselves. Some was generated dynamically via individual programs that ran on the web server — using this approach, for example, a page could include the current time of day or the number of times it had been read (‘hits’). This advanced to the stage at which intricate databases were used to fetch content related to the specific user viewing a page, and some sites — notably blogs — went a step further and even stored some of their content in a database.

That potted history is merely to introduce the concept of a scale with ‘static’ content at one end and ‘dynamic’ content at the other, where pages are self-contained at the former and made up of many collaborating parts at the latter.

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