All communication over the Internet happens using a standard set of protocols, such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Post Office Protocol (POP), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and so on. HTTP is one of the most popular of these protocols and is integral to the World Wide Web. It is also a protocol that many of today’s applications have to be aware of and use wisely. If a Java application has to interact using HTTP, the Commons HttpClient component can make things a bit easier. Using this component, you do not have to worry about all the technicalities of the protocol but just concern yourself with the various classes and methods provided by the HttpClient component. This chapter covers the capabilities of the HttpClient component and provides some hands-on examples.
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