1.1. Static Web Pages
Static web pages are the original type (and for what seemed like about 10 minutes the only type) of web pages. When dealing with the distribution of technical documents, there aren't very many changes to the original document. What you actually see more of is a couple of technical documents getting together, settling down, and producing litter after litter of little technical documents. However, the technical documents didn't have this fertile landscape completely to themselves for very long.
If you've ever traveled anywhere in the United States by automobile, you might be familiar with one of the staples of the driving vacation: the travel brochure. Often describing places like Endless Caverns, Natural Bridge, Mystic Aquarium, or Roadside America, they're a staple of the American landscape. Designed to catch attention and draw the traveler in to spend some cash, they've been around seemingly forever.
The web equivalent, sometimes referred to as brochure-ware, also is designed to draw in the virtual traveler. This type of website is usually used to inform the visitor about subjects as varied as places to visit, cooking, children, or my nephew Nick and niece Ashley's 2002 visit to Walt Disney World. This is actually a great medium for information that is relatively unchanging.
Allow me to digress for a little computer history lesson. Back in the old days when dinosaurseh, mainframesruled computing, there were pseudoconversational systems that faked some of the functionality seen in web applications. These applications essentially displayed a form on what was called a dumb terminal. It was called a dumb terminal because it had no real processing power of its own. The user then filled out the form and hit a program function key, which transferred the input data to the mainframe. The mainframe processed the data, based upon content and the specific program function key, and the results, if any, were displayed on the user's dumb terminal. End of history lesson.
Static web pages offer the same functionality as those monster computers of old, in much the same way. The only real changes are form "buttons" instead of program function keys, the presence of a mouse, and the price tags for the equipment involved. Well, maybe that isn't entirely true; a dumb terminal will set you back about as much as one of today's off-the-shelf computers. The real difference lies in the price difference between a web server and a mainframe: thousands of dollars vs. millions of dollars. Those dinosaurs didn't come cheap.