Three Layers of Web Design
The first layer is HTML. HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is often referred to as the “structure layer”. HTML creates a framework for the site. It is the initial step where all the user content is stored. It can be made up of both images and text. It also consists of hyperlinks used for navigation.
The second layer is the styling layer. It controls the look or appearance of your site. The language used for this is CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets. CSS instructs how the content is displayed on a browser and is used to add style and do layouts on a web page. With CSS, you can do more than just post plain text and information. Some of these functions include customizing fonts and adjusting the entire appearance of your content, from spacing to the number of columns to adding other illustrative features to make it more user-friendly. CSS is important for creating the visual frame and can be used to adapt to different screen sizes.
- Develop mobile apps
- Build browser-based games
- Go beyond static and make websites more interactive
- Do other things on decentralized platforms. It allows users or software that is off-chain to interact with the blockchain by relaying the transaction to on-chain components (more on this later.)
Web3.js Opens up a World of Discovery
A Decentralized Architecture Overview: What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. But in itself, it can be something more. In the simplest of terms, it is a public digital ledger. Many also define it as a database.
A blockchain allows information to be compiled on a public ledger that is accessible and readable by anybody. Once this information is logged, it is considered immutable or incapable of being erased.
After Bitcoin, many have attempted to create their own blockchains with varying success. Ethereum first took the concept of a blockchain to create a new ecosystem that performs more complex functions than just money or currency.
With Ethereum, servers or clouds are replaced with a node network. These nodes, just like Bitcoin, hold a copy of the network transaction history in the form of a blockchain. To agree on the truth of these transactions, the nodes need to reach consensus. However, Ethereum, unlike its simpler predecessor, was designed to be Turing-complete. To achieve consensus, it abides by more complex rules, determined by smart contracts.
What is a Smart Contract?
A smart contract is a remarkable concept. First proposed by Nick Szabo in the 1990s, it has grown to be applied in Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies and digital platforms. It is a way to implement, ensure, secure, and formalize relationships on public networks. It means that for consensus to be achieved in the network, and for nodes to validate a transaction, certain criteria or conditions must be met.
Bitcoin was the first to implement a smart contract. Since then, smart contracts have grown in scale and have become more ambitious. What does this mean? It means that decentralized systems are now able to agree on a set of laws that are beyond the simple ones first conceived in the Bitcoin protocol.
Ethereum and other “Ethereum-killers” or rivals propose a more sophisticated consensus mechanism that allows users the opportunity to independently write their program. In other words, it will do what it was written to do.
It allows for more freedom of design. For example, it can manage multi-party agreements to a more complex degree, allowing a higher level of customization in such agreements. It can also act as a means of information storage. For example, in terms of domain registration. Another popular and highly valuable application is multi-sig. Multi-sig accounts allow multiple owners to co-sign on a transaction, and the transaction (e.g. spending of funds) does not happen when not enough owners agree to it.
It is often difficult to explain smart contracts because of their remarkable breadth and level of abstraction. But you can think of a smart contract as, at its very core, a software-based transaction between parties that is secured and implemented online without the need for a trusted third party to authenticate them. Moreover, they come with a set of rules that the network agrees to, and can arbitrarily construct using software tools.
Relevance to Web3
Web3 is sometimes dubbed “the internet of blockchains”. Beyond Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, Web3 is all about moving into decentralization and self-governance.
What are dApps?
The applications built on such decentralized infrastructure are called dApps. To the user, they may not appear any different from your conventional centralized app. But on the back end, they are very different.
What is Web3.js? It is a collection of libraries that provides devs with a way to interact with the main blockchain. It allows you to connect with Ethereum nodes. For example, if you create off-chain software or an app that needs to transact on the blockchain, you will need Web3.js to facilitate the connection with a node, which then relays your transaction to the network.
The process by which a node receives such information and relays it to the network will not be covered by this article, but you can learn more by enrolling in courses like the ones Ivan on Tech Academy offers for blockchain and Ethereum dApp programming.
With Moralis, you don’t have to go through the complicated process of building dApps from scratch. You can focus on things like user experience while worrying less about back-end infrastructure. Moralis offers developer features like user profile solutions that merge Web2 and Web3 and allow authentication using Metamask and other wallets. It also allows syncing of data in real-time among users. In addition, you can get webhook and socket alerts for new events on the blockchain. All of these features and more are in one convenient platform.
It’s an exciting new world that will open you up to the possibilities of building apps over a decentralized network. If there’s a sure way to jumpstart your career prospects, create new products for your startup or just challenge yourself to get creative, this is it. Get started with Moralis now and get early access to these amazing tools!