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Old 12-02-2009, 01:08 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London
Posts: 451

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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