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

RE: Proper www usage

From: Ian King <iking@microsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 11:31:52 -0700
Message-ID: <8D25F244B8274141B5D313CA4823F39C0235D338@red-msg-06.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Aaron Swartz" <aswartz@swartzfam.com>, "Linda Bellitt (by way of Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>)" <linda.bellitt@hunterdouglas.com>, <uri@w3.org>
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:


as opposed to:


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 ]
Received on Monday, 11 June 2001 14:37:53 UTC

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