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Interpreting the Address:
Have you ever been entering the address for a Web-site and wondered what all that gibberish really meant? Well wonder no more! Actually, understanding what it means will also increase your ability to better surf the Web. So sharpen your pencils students and let's figure these things out!

To URL or not to URL:A Web address is called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which exists for the sole purpose of helping your computer locate information stored on another computer connected to the Web. Let us briefly analyze a URL. We'll use the URL for this page as our example:

Okay, let's try now to break this URL down:

http: - HyperText Transfer Protocol: This tells your browser that the document contains text, links and graphics. You may also come across ftp (file transfer protocol) as a prefix instead. This alerts your browser to identify the site as an ftp site that allows you to access and download files from an ftp server. Downloading has now become easier and ftp sites are becoming less common.

Another prefix you may encounter is gopher, developed at the University of Minnesota (The Gopher is the school's mascot). Gopher uses a menu-based system to tunnel through the Internet. The World Wide Web has made Gopher virtually obsolete, but there are times where you will run into a Gopher. A Gopher URL would look like this: gopher://, and usually will lead to a text-only site.

// - Directories: Folder and file names, just like as in Windows or DOS. The Domain's name: This is the name chosen by or allocated to the person or company that owns the site.

/help/ - The sub-directory or folder: This is the name of the folder or sub-directory where the page is located in on the server.

address - The Name: Here we have the actual name of the page.

.htm or .asp - Hyper Text Mark-up Language: Finally we have the suffix html which tells the browser the type of coding the site is written in. You may also come across .html here too.

If you just want reach the "source" of the document, in this case our home page, you can remove the syntax beyond the .net. So all you'll end up with is what is shown here

As browser technology advances we'll eventually find ourselves never bothering with this sometimes awkward syntax. Even now, Netscape allows you to just type in "sesamestreet" for example and you're magically whisked away to Microsoft explorer uses the http and .html or .htm as standard default settings permitting you to omit them when entering a URL.

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