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1.3 Implementing an Insecure HTTP Client

Web browsers are complex because they need to parse and render HTML—and in most cases, render images, run Javascript, Flash, Java Applets and leave room for new, as-yet-uninvented add-ons.

However, a web client that only retrieves a document from a server, such as the wget utility that comes standard with most Unix distributions, is actually pretty simple. Most of the complexity is in the socket handling itself—establishing the socket and sending and receiving data over it.