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Q: What is URL? ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: What is URL?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: bernie123-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 18 Aug 2002 15:50 PDT
Expires: 17 Sep 2002 15:50 PDT
Question ID: 55993
what is meant by URL?  Is it my email address?  My email address is
Subject: Re: What is URL?
Answered By: webadept-ga on 18 Aug 2002 16:23 PDT

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) (pronounced YU-AHR-EHL) is the
address of a file (resource) accessible on the Internet.

That's a really confusing thing, but I'll try to make it a bit
simpler. Your Email URL is your complete email address. Your server's
URL is

A page on the internet has a URL, such as

This is a complete address for the page and how to read that page once
you get there.. but its all the URL.

http:// means to use a web browser when looking at it, instead of 
mailto: meaning its a email address
ftp:// meaning its an FTP site and to use that protocol. is the name of the server the page/file is on that we
want to look at. This is matched up with a number address called an IP
address. The name is really called the Domain Name or DNS name. In
this case the IP address for this server is . But we
don't want to have to remember we would much rather
remember, so a DNS server translates those for us, but
its the same server address. You can see this by going to

This will take you to the same page, because its the same place. 

The /help/refinesearch.html
 is the real page we are looking for and the directory its under, and
so completes the URL of that page.

Now, you can go to :// and not see a file name there
at the end of the address, but if no file name is given at the end,
then the web server assumes that you are looking for the main index
page.. which could be index.html, index.htm or index.php depending on
what the server is setup to default too. In this case it is index.html

Your email address is a locator for you on that server. If you type in
on your browser the address your email
program will probably open up, because your system knows that this
address is an email address.

You can think of a URL like any other address. http, mailto, and ftp
can be thought of as states. Server names, as cities and the file
names as the street address.

A great site for other questions like these can be found at



Clarification of Answer by webadept-ga on 18 Aug 2002 16:28 PDT
Something else that came to mind. Your email address  is read by the system as " User bleytus AT The
Server "

Thanks again.
Subject: Re: What is URL?
From: pne-ga on 19 Aug 2002 10:26 PDT
"Your server's URL is"

That's not correct. That's the server's hostname -- maybe... but it's
probably or or something like that.
It's also the domain name of the server. (There are a fair number of
servers whose hostname is the same as the domainname, but abbreviating to won't always work; they're different
hostnames which may or may not map to the same host, or even to any
host at all.)

To get technical, see RFCs 1738 (on URLs) and 2396 (on the more
generic URIs: Uniform Resource Identifiers). A URL, basically,
consists of a scheme and a scheme-specific part. Common schemes are
http, ftp, and mailto. But simply "" is not a URL, since
it lacks a scheme and the separating colon. You're probably thinking
of something like for a web server URL (don't
know if that URL works).

(Just because you can type it into the location bar of your browser
doesn't mean that it's a valid URL; browsers commonly fix up things
such as adding http:// at the beginning, or sometimes .com to the end,
and things like that.)
Subject: Re: What is URL?
From: pne-ga on 19 Aug 2002 10:45 PDT
"Your Email URL is your complete email address"

This is also not technically correct; is a
URL, but simply is not.
Subject: Re: What is URL?
From: pne-ga on 19 Aug 2002 10:51 PDT
' Your email address  is read by the system as "
User bleytus AT The Server " '

And while I'm in nitpicking mode, that's OK as a simplification, but
also not necessarily true :) Due to the concept of "mail exchangers",
mail to might end up at, say, either or and there might not
even be a machine called ""! Or even in a more normal
situation, there might be a and a and
a but no host called simply but would still work.

But again, as a simplification your statement above is OK, more or

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