See also: Address
The addresses Web are one of the three inventions at the base of the World Wide Web, and according to its inventors, most fundamental. The general public knows them in the form of the wording of ten characters, often starting with “www”, and which identify a Web page; for example
www.example.com . The technically correct address must in makes start with a name of protocol; for this example, that gives
. The Web addresses are the base of the Hyperlien S of the Web.
In the technical language, one does not speak about Web address but about URI (for Uniform Resource To identify , either uniform identifier of resource ), about URL (for Uniform Resource Locator , or uniform reference mark of resource , a type of URI), or more rarely about URN ( Uniform Resource Name , or uniform name of resource , another type of URI). They are three standard of Internet which specifies the Syntaxe and the semantics of the Web addresses, in particular the RFC 1738, RFC 2396 and RFC 3986. Moreover, U of “uniform”, which meant in the beginning universal (RFC 1630), stresses the capacities of almost universal addressing of these addresses: forums Usenet, box of Email, files on site ftp, etc; that is to say practically all that is available on Internet and even beyond, like reference documents, books, etc
One should not confuse the Web addresses with the email addresses nor the IP addresses. The denomination Adresse Internet can indicate a Web address, but it is in fact completely ambiguous.
A fundamental inventionThe three inventions at the base of the World Wide Web are:
- the addresses Web
- the Communication protocol Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
- the Language of beaconing Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
Although a protocol (HTTP) and a format of data (HTML) were developed specifically for the Web, the Web is conceived to impose a minimum of technical constraints. The relation is established on the level of the access path. Thus, if one a:
|URI referred relativement|
Evolution of the terminology
In the technical circles, the Web addresses were known under various names: addresses WWW, Universal Document To identify , Universal Resource Identifiers (RFC 1630), and finally divided into Uniform Resource Locator S (URL, RFC 1738, RFC 1808) and Uniform Resource Name S (URN, RFC 1737), the whole being Uniform Resource To identify S (URI, RFC 2396, RFC 3986). Abbreviation URL is used in the standard HTML 3.2 is it become is known and used by the technicians. The situation became sufficiently confused so that the RFC 3305 is written to clarify the terminology.
Various Francization S was proposed by national organizations. The Vocabulary of data processing and the Internet published to the Official journal of the March 16th 1999 by the general Commission of terminology and neology of France proposed “addresses reticular” and “addresses universal”. These two denominations were rejected by the Québécois Office of the French language because of their lack of precision, and they did not enter the everyday usage. The Québécois Office of the French language proposes, “addresses URL”, “URL”, “addresses Web” and “addresses W3”. It points out that “addresses Web” is used generally only for the resources of the Web sites, whereas abbreviation URL stresses the universality of these addresses, which can identify forums Usenet, sites ftp, etc the general public also often confuses addresses Web, Adresse email and IP address. To avoid all these ambiguities, the professionals of the Web often use abbreviation “URL”, although they make in refers to the URI.
The original name that the inventive of the Web gives to the Web addresses is Universal Document To identify (UDI). The summer 1992, it proposes with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to standardize these UDI, but the denomination “universal” because was considered to be isolated too much “arrogant” for a project then young like the Web. The denomination Uniform Resource To identify (URI) is the resulting compromise.
During the standardization of the URI, it was clear that in practice, the Web addresses did not identify documents, but sites of documents. In other words, if a document is moved, then its address changes. In practice, when a resource is moved, all the hyperlinks which carry out to it are broken, which gives the Erreur HTTP 404 on a Serveur HTTP.
In front of this irrefutable fact, it was decided that the Web addresses would be called Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The idea was to standardize two kinds of URI: The URL would be the URI which indicate “how” (by which way on the network) to reach a resource; Uniform Resource Names (URN) would be the URI which identify the same documents eternally, where that they are.
Tim Berners-Lee did not cease however insisting that, at least in theory, the Web addresses are designed to be universal. It also found that the IETF wasted its time in discussions, also in June 1994 it publishes the RFC 1630, Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW . This first Request For Comments on the Web addresses is informative category. It describes simply the practice of the time, and contains some errors.
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