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Old 12-01-2009, 08:19 AM   #1
Richard Waller
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Default www.websites

I am told to access
https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

Whatrs with the https:// thingy. I know it is the government but how can they get away with this? www. is the convention.

   
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:30 AM   #2
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Web browsers and other "consumers" of internet services can gather data using several protocols. They locate the source of data using an address that begins with the protocol: [protocol]://hostname/directories/file.ext

http is the usual protocol for web pages.
https is for secure web pages

www is indeed the convention but not a necessary part of a full address specification.

   
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Waller View Post
Whatrs with the https:// thingy. I know it is the government but how can they get away with this? www. is the convention.
HTTP is the everyday form; HTTPS designates a secure site. If you watch closely, you will often be sent to an HTTPS site when asked for credit card information, for example.

As for the WWW, its use is established at the server level. It was required at first, but hosts increasingly configure servers to work with or without the preliminary WWW.

It is probably easiest to enter URLs as they are provided, but if you want to experiment, try adding or deleting the WWW and see what happens.

   
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:10 AM   #4
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Most sites work with either of these options - but not all so use what they give you. You can even just type in sitename.com, or whatever and you'll get there (mostly).

   
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:15 AM   #5
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It used to be, but so many servers need various sub-domains to filter out different visitors, it is hardly mandatory these days. (I would say that, looking at my sig...)
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Waller View Post
I am told to access
https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

Whatrs with the https:// thingy. I know it is the government but how can they get away with this? www. is the convention.
Apart from the secure-site instance above, you might like to read this thread from 2007 that discusses the need – or lack thereof – for the use of www.

All my sites work either with or without www and I always quote (and type) them without.

   
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:08 AM   #7
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In the good old days, an institution would likely have several subdomains, such as "ftp.example.org"; "www.example.org"; "gopher.example.org"; "members.example.org".
So www is just a subdomain to separate where the web stuff is kept.

Nowadays, almost everything is www, so it has become slightly redundant. It is also redundant as the protocol http or https signifies that it's web stuff. You don't need to type in "john@mail.example.com", do you?

There is/was a campaign to encourage people to do away with the prefix. It is up to the hosting server to map "www.example.com" to "example.com", or not. Some do, some do not.
For instance, the BBC News website is "news.bbc.co.uk". If you add "www.", the address will not resolve.

I always quote without, whenever possible.

By the way, did you know about http://example.com?
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
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In the good old days, an institution would likely have several subdomains, such as "ftp.example.org"; "www.example.org"; "gopher.example.org"; "members.example.org".
So www is just a subdomain to separate where the web stuff is kept.
Seems to me that, in those good old days, web.example.com was as common as www.example.com—I don't know why www won out.

--don

   
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:34 AM   #9
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www is the least convenient set of initials (double-u double-u double-u). Second comes the people on the radio who say 'forward-slash'.

I have been inquiring about a new number plate for my car W 11 RRW (double-u double-one double-r double-u. £390 apparently. But my wife will not allow me to put it on 'her' car.

   
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Waller View Post
Second comes the people on the radio who say 'forward-slash'.
My job requires me to provide technical support over the phone, and I find myself having to say 'forward slash' many times a day, because people I speak to think in terms of Microsoft's operating system, which uses backslash in paths. And in spite of saying forward slash ad infinitum, I have to repeat it in about 50% of instances because the person on the other end of the phone has typed in a backslash.

   
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