W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > June 2001

Re: Proper www usage

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@akamai.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 10:03:23 -0700
To: Ian King <iking@microsoft.com>
Cc: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>, "Linda Bellitt (by way of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>)" <linda.bellitt@hunterdouglas.com>, uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <20010613100318.A31460@akamai.com>

I find it good practice to redirect other hostnames' port 80 to
www, rather than CNAME it, so that search engines, caches and the
like don't have duplicates.

I.e., instead of having foo.com and www.foo.com return the same
resources, have all requests to foo.com redirected to the appropriate
part of www.foo.com, to reduce duplication. This is easy to configure
in most servers.

On Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 11:31:52AM -0700, Ian King wrote:
> One could think of the "www" node in the same way mail servers are often
> named "mail.foo.com", nameservers are "dns.foo.com", etc.  It's a
> convention that got started some time back, but it has no formal basis
> or meaning.  For instance, one of my favorite sites is
> http://realbeer.com.  :-)  Some people configure DNS so that it is
> irrelevant; for instance, if you enter http://microsoft.com, you get the
> same site as http://www.microsoft.com.  
> Various browsers may have functionality that makes assumptions if you do
> or don't use it, but that's within the discretion of the browser maker.
> I hope that is helpful -- Ian 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Aaron Swartz [mailto:aswartz@swartzfam.com] 
> Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 10:59 AM
> To: Linda Bellitt (by way of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>); uri@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Proper www usage
> Linda Bellitt    (by way of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>)
> <linda.bellitt@hunterdouglas.com> wrote:
> > Can you tell me what parameters make it okay to drop the www when 
> > entering a URI into a browser? Does it have to do with the browser 
> > and/or its level? Does it have to do with how domain names are 
> > registered? Any input would be most helpful.
> I'm not sure what you mean, but I assume the question is when it is OK
> to enter an URI like:
> http://w3.org/
> as opposed to:
> http://www.w3.org/
> The answer is that this is based on the DNS records of the domain name.
> When you register a domain name, you provide two (or more) DNS servers
> which are used to lookup various machines on that domain
> (www.domain.com, ftp.domain.com, etc.). The effect of dropping the "www"
> is dependent on the DNS records that exist for that domain.
> -- 
> [ Aaron Swartz | me@aaronsw.com | http://www.aaronsw.com ]

Mark Nottingham, Research Scientist
Akamai Technologies (San Mateo, CA USA)
Received on Wednesday, 13 June 2001 13:03:31 UTC

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