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WebRef Sitemap · Experts · Tools · Services · Newsletters · About home / experts / html / tutorial2 / 2 Anatomy of an http URL Developer News OpenOffice 3.2 Lands Amid Critical Changes Red Hat, IBM Firmly in KVM Virtualization Camp Red Hat Talks Up Open Source Cloud Plans Search
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The most widely used URL scheme is the http scheme. The http URL scheme is used to locate documents that reside on Web servers. A Web server is more accurately called an HTTP server. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol , and is a protocol designed to transfer hypertext documents over the Internet. It is used to transfer almost all of the documents you download using your Web browser. Knowing a bit about HTTP may be useful for HTML authors, but we won't cover any of it right now. An http URL may be broken down as shown below: http://WebReference.com:80/html/tutorial2/2.html?query |--| |--------------||-||--------------------||----| 1 2 3 4 5 The first part, http , is the scheme name, which I explained previously. It is followed by a colon ( : ) and two slash characters ( // ). After that follows the hostname of the computer on which the document resides. You probably already know what a hostname is; but just in case you don't, here's a few words on the topic: Computers on the Internet have a numeric address, called an IP address . This is a set of four numbers ranging from 0 to 255. For example, the IP address of the computer on which WebReference.com's HTTP server is running is: This address acts much like a phone number. If you "dial" this address into your computer's Internet software, it will find out where the computer is and figure out a way to get to it. The problem with IP addresses is that they are very hard to remember. There's no immediately obvious logic to them, and two related computers might have completely different IP addresses. Also, for technical reasons, there are often times when the IP address of a computer has to be changed. This makes it very difficult to keep track of IP addresses. So, a system called DNS, or Domain Name Service was created. The purpose of DNS is to translate names for computers into IP addresses. This way, computers can have a name that is easy to remember for humans, and computers can find the IP addresses that they need by consulting DNS. This address is called an FQDN, or
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2010 for the course CS 6913 taught by Professor Torsensuel during the Spring '10 term at NYU Poly.

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