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URL General Syntax
(Page 1 of 4)
Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)
are a subset of Uniform
Resource Identifiers (URIs) that consist
of two components that identify how to access a resource on a TCP/IP
internetwork. These two components are the location of the resource,
and the method to be used to access it. These two pieces of information,
taken together, allow a user with the appropriate software to obtain,
read or otherwise work with many different kinds of resources such as
files, objects, programs and much more.
The most general form of syntax for
a URL contains only two elements, which correspond to the two pieces
of information just described:
The term scheme refers to
a type of access method, which describes the way that the resource is
to be used; it usually refers to either an application protocol, such
as http or ftp, or a resource type such as file.
A scheme name must contain only letters, plus signs (+),
periods (.) and hyphens (-). In practice, they
usually contain only letters. Schemes are case-insensitive but usually
expressed in lower case.
The rest of the URL after the scheme
(and the required colon separator) is scheme-specific. This is necessary
because various protocols and access methods require different types
and quantities of information to identify a particular resource. When
a URL is read, the scheme name tells the program parsing it how to interpret
the syntax of the rest of the URL.
Key Concept: Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are the most widely-used type of URI. In its most basic form, a URL consists of two elements: a scheme that defines the protocol or other mechanism for accessing the resource, and a scheme-specific part that contains information that identifies the specific resource and indicates how it should be used. Some schemes use a common syntax for their scheme-specific parts, while others use a syntax unique to the scheme.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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