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EricNau
Feb 22, 2006, 02:10 AM
Just a quick question; why do some sites have "www" in their url, and some do not?

I know "WWW" stands for World Wide Web, but does that mean if a site doesn't have "www" in their url, they aren't part of the World Wide Web?

For Example, why does Apple (http://www.apple.com/) have www, and Intel (http://intel.com/) does not. :confused:

It just doesn't make much sense to me.



edesignuk
Feb 22, 2006, 02:32 AM
It means absolutely nothing. AFAIK it's just a naming convention that doesn't need to be, and isn't stuck to.

tag
Feb 22, 2006, 02:33 AM
Well if you notice, both www.apple.com and apple.com resolve to the same address, just as both www.intel.com and intel.com do.

A more detailed article called 'Why do some Web sites include www in the URL while others don't?' (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question180.htm) gives some insight. I'll try to word it my way and quickly...

Basically when you type in the address, lets take www.apple.com, a request is sent to a .com nameserver which sees where apple.com is located, then once that is found, it checks apple.com's nameserver and sees where the prefix www. on apple.com is located, and returns an IP address which you can connect to.

Say you typed in ftp.apple.com in the webrowser, the samething happens, though once you ask apple.com's namerserver where its ftp. prefix location is, it will connect you to a different port, directory, or even a completely different IP address than the www. prefix.

So to really get to your question. Usually the reason websites with no prefix resolve to an actual site is because the administrator of said website sets a rule that when just say apple.com is requested with no prefix, the nameserver should connect to apple.com's server using www. prefix. So in actuality connecting to a .com without using www. is usually just a shortcut to www.whatever.com

So yes, even without the WWW its still part of the web. :D

PS: Ok thats annoying, no matter what I try, the url samples always become links, even if I manually remove the url quotes and save. Grr.

Dalriada
Feb 22, 2006, 02:50 AM
Maybe not the right thread but I'm puzzled why for most websites you can type the url in either small or capital letters however an iWeb page via .mac you must specifically type the url in this format http://web.mac.com/xxxxxx/iWeb i.e. type iWeb with a capital W..... :confused:

EricNau
Feb 22, 2006, 02:52 AM
Thanks guys. :)

So, (using Intel as an example) why do they choose to be different than most, and accept with or without www? (I realize most will accept either one, but then redirect you, where Intel won't)

For example;
No matter if I type www or not, I will always end up at www.Apple.com, but with Intel, if I type the www, I go to www.intel.com but if I leave it out, I just go to http://intel.com.

I'm just trying to figure this out entirely...

edit: Ignore links, they won't go away!

tag
Feb 22, 2006, 02:58 AM
Maybe not the right thread but I'm puzzled why for most websites you can type the url in either small or capital letters however an iWeb page via .mac you must specifically type the url in this format http://web.mac.com/xxxxxx/iWeb i.e. type iWeb with a capital W..... :confused:

Well on unix based webservers, the reason /iWeb is not equal to /iweb, is because in unix, directories & files are saved based on a case sensitive naming structure, so say you have two directories /iWeb and /iweb , each directory would be its own, they are not the same thing. Just as you could have two files in the same directory called hi.txt, except one would be hi.txt and the other Hi.txt

The reason a website can be in either say GOOGLE.com or goOgLE.com or google.com is because they are not case sensitive. Easy as that, just thought I'd mention it in case it was brought up next. :D

tag
Feb 22, 2006, 03:06 AM
Thanks guys. :)

So, (using Intel as an example) why do they choose to be different than most, and accept with or without www? (I realize most will accept either one, but then redirect you, where Intel won't)

For example;
No matter if I type www or not, I will always end up at www.Apple.com, but with Intel, if I type the www, I go to www.intel.com but if I leave it out, I just go to http://intel.com.

I'm just trying to figure this out entirely...

edit: Ignore links, they won't go away!

Well this happens because of the way the websites administrator set it up is all.

Continuing with your example... Apple's nameserver when asked about apple.com, instead of just directly pointing you to a direct IP address, it is pointing you to the www. prefix on the server which then resolves into an IP which you can then connect to and is displayed for you.

Intel on the other hand, when you type in intel.com, the nameserver is directly resolving the address to an IP, not linking intel.com to www.

This all just depends on how its set up as seen here for more info on DNS (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/dns6.htm)

Dalriada
Feb 22, 2006, 03:09 AM
Thanks Tag for your explanation... you learn something every day :D

EricNau
Feb 22, 2006, 03:25 AM
Thanks :)

zimv20
Feb 22, 2006, 10:05 AM
So, (using Intel as an example) why do they choose to be different than most, and accept with or without www? (I realize most will accept either one, but then redirect you, where Intel won't)
i have a different understanding of all this.

when intel registered their domain name, they registered intel.com, not www.intel.com. afaik, it takes an extra step during DNS setup to also define www.intel.com. further, i don't know if it's even possible to disallow resolves for intel.com.

if i'm right, then no one should ever have trouble accessing a domain without the 'www', and there will be examples here and there of a 'www' prefix not working. indeed, the first time i put up a site (running off my home osx box), i did my own DNS and the 'www' didn't work until i defined it.

Josh
Feb 22, 2006, 10:32 AM
There are also different replacements for "www" rather than just removing it.

Common ones are "ww2.somesite.com" and "w3.somesite.com".