- Great Painters
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- Blogs
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- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
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- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
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- English Dictionaries
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- Medical Emergencies
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- The Beatles
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- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

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Uniform Resource Identifier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), is a compact string of characters used to identify or name a resource. The main purpose of this identification is to enable interaction with representations of the resource over a network, typically the World Wide Web, using specific protocols. URIs are defined in schemes defining a specific syntax and associated protocols.

Relationship to URL and URN

Venn diagram of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme categories. Schemes in the URL (locator) and URN (name) categories both function as resource IDs, so URL and URN are subsets of URI. They are also, generally, disjoint sets. However, many schemes can't be categorized as strictly one or the other, because all URIs can be treated as names, and some schemes embody aspects of both categories – or neither.
Venn diagram of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme categories. Schemes in the URL (locator) and URN (name) categories both function as resource IDs, so URL and URN are subsets of URI. They are also, generally, disjoint sets. However, many schemes can't be categorized as strictly one or the other, because all URIs can be treated as names, and some schemes embody aspects of both categories – or neither.

A URI can be classified as a locator or a name or both. A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a URI that, in addition to identifying a resource, provides means of acting upon or obtaining a representation of the resource by describing its primary access mechanism or network "location". For example, the URL is a URI that identifies a resource (Wikipedia's home page) and implies that a representation of that resource (such as the home page's current HTML code, as encoded characters) is obtainable via HTTP from a network host named A Uniform Resource Name (URN) is a URI that identifies a resource by name in a particular namespace. A URN can be used to talk about a resource without implying its location or how to dereference it. For example, the URN urn:isbn:0-395-36341-1 is a URI that, like an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), allows one to talk about a book, but doesn't suggest where and how to obtain an actual copy of it.

The contemporary point of view among the working group that oversees URIs is that the terms URL and URN are context-dependent aspects of URIs, and rarely need to be distinguished.[1] In technical publications, especially standards produced by the IETF and the W3C, the term URL has long been deprecated, as it is rarely necessary to distinguish between URLs and URIs. However, in nontechnical contexts and in software for the World Wide Web, the term URL remains ubiquitous. Additionally, the term web address, which has no formal definition, is often used in nontechnical publications as a synonym for URL or URI, although it generally refers only to 'http' and 'https' URIs.


The URI syntax is essentially a URI scheme name like "http", "ftp", "mailto", "urn", "mms", "rtsp", etc., followed by a colon character, and then a scheme-specific part. The syntax and semantics of the scheme-specific part are determined by the specifications that govern the schemes, although the URI syntax does force all schemes to adhere to a certain generic syntax that, among other things, reserves certain characters for special purposes, without always saying what those purposes are. The URI syntax also enforces restrictions on the scheme-specific part, in order to, for example, provide for a degree of consistency when the part has a hierarchical structure. Percent-encoding is an often misunderstood aspect of URI syntax.

See also URI generic syntax


Naming, addressing, and identifying resources

URIs and URLs have a shared history. The idea of a URL — a short string representing a resource that is the target of a hyperlink — was implicitly introduced in late 1990 in Tim Berners-Lee's proposals for HyperText [1]. At the time, it was called a hypertext name or document name[2]

Over the next three-and-a-half years, as the World Wide Web's core technologies of HTML (the HyperText Markup Language), HTTP, and Web browsers were developed, a need to distinguish between strings that provide an address for resources and those that merely name resources emerged. Although not yet formally defined, the term Uniform Resource Locator came to represent strings used for the former purpose, and the more contentious Uniform Resource Name came to represent strings used for the latter purpose.

During the debate over how to best define URLs and URNs, it became evident that the two concepts embodied by the terms were merely aspects of the fundamental, overarching notion of resource identification. So, in June 1994, the IETF published Berners-Lee's RFC 1630: the first RFC that (in its non-normative text) acknowledged the existence of URLs and URNs, and, more importantly, defined a formal syntax for Universal Resource Identifiers — URL-like strings whose precise syntax and semantics were dependent upon their scheme. In addition, this RFC attempted to summarize the syntax of URL schemes that were in use at the time. It also acknowledged, but did not standardize, the existence of relative URLs and fragment identifiers.

Refinement of specifications

In December 1994, RFC 1738 was published in order to formally define relative and absolute URLs, refine the general URL syntax, define how relative URLs were to be resolved to absolute form, and better enumerate the URL schemes that were in use at the time. The definition and syntax of URNs was not settled upon until the publication of RFC 2141 in May 1997.

With the publication of RFC 2396 in 1998, the URI syntax became a separate specification, and most parts of RFCs 1630 and 1738 became obsolete. In the new RFC, the "U" in "URI" was changed to represent "Uniform" rather than "Universal", and all parts of RFCs 1630 and 1738 relating to URIs and URLs in general were revised and expanded. Only those portions of RFC 1738 that summarized existing URL schemes were not rendered obsolete by RFC 2396.

In December 1999, RFC 2732 provided a minor update to RFC 2396, allowing URIs to accommodate IPv6 addresses. Some time later, a number of shortcomings discovered in the two specifications led to the development of a number of draft revisions under the title rfc2396bis. This community effort, coordinated by RFC 2396 co-author Roy Fielding, culminated in the publication of RFC 3986 in January 2005. This RFC is the current version of the URI syntax recommended for use on the Internet, and it renders RFC 2396 obsolete. It does not, however, render the details of existing URL schemes obsolete; those are still governed by RFC 1738, except where otherwise superseded — RFC 2616 for example, refines the "http" scheme. The content of RFC 3986 was simultaneously published by the IETF as the full standard STD 66, reflecting the establishment of the URI generic syntax as an official Internet protocol.

In August 2002, RFC 3305 pointed out that the term URL has, despite its ubiquity in the vernacular of the Internet-aware public at large, faded into near-obsolescence. It now serves only as a reminder that some URIs act as addresses because they have schemes that imply some kind of network accessibility, regardless of whether they are actually being used for that purpose. As URI-based standards such as Resource Description Framework make evident, resource identification need not be coupled with the retrieval of resource representations over the Internet, nor does it need to be associated with network-bound resources at all.

URI reference

A URI reference is another type of string that represents a URI, and, in turn, the resource identified by that URI. The distinction between a URI and a URI reference is not often maintained in informal usage, but protocol documents should not allow for ambiguity.

A URI reference may take the form of a full URI, or just the scheme-specific portion of one, or even some trailing component thereof—even the empty string. An optional fragment identifier, preceded by "#", may be present at the end of a URI reference. The part of the reference before the "#" indirectly identifies a resource, and the fragment identifier identifies some portion of that resource.

In order to derive a URI from a URI reference, the URI reference is converted to "absolute" form by merging it with an absolute "base" URI, according to a fixed algorithm. The URI reference is considered to be relative to the base URI, although if the reference itself is absolute, then the base is irrelevant. The base URI is typically the URI that identifies the document containing the URI reference, although this can be overridden by declarations made within the document or as part of an external data transmission protocol. If a fragment identifier is present in the base URI, it is ignored during the merging process. If a fragment identifier is present in the URI reference, it is preserved during the merging process.

In web document markup languages, URI references are frequently used in places where there is a need to point to other resources, such as external documents or specific portions of the same logical document.

Uses of URI references in markup languages

  • In HTML, the value of the src attribute of the img element is a URI reference, as is the value of the href attribute of the a or link element.
  • In XML, the system identifier appearing after the SYSTEM keyword in a DTD is a fragmentless URI reference;
  • In XSLT, the value of the href attribute of the xsl:import element/instruction is a URI reference, as is the first argument to the document() function.

Examples of absolute URIs

  • http://somehost/absolute/URI/with/absolute/path/to/resource.txt
  • ftp://somehost/resource.txt
  • urn:issn:1535-

Examples of URI references

  • http://example/resource.txt#frag01
  • http://somehost/absolute/URI/with/absolute/path/to/resource.txt
  • /relative/URI/with/absolute/path/to/resource.txt
  • relative/path/to/resource.txt
  • ../../../resource.txt
  • resource.txt
  • /resource.txt#frag01
  • #frag01
  • (empty string)

URI resolution

To "resolve" a URI means either to convert a relative URI reference to absolute form, or to dereference a URI or URI reference by attempting to obtain a representation of the resource that it identifies. The "resolver" component in document processing software generally provides both services.

A URI reference may be considered to be a same-document reference: a reference to the document containing the URI reference itself. Document processing software is encouraged to use its current representation of the document to satisfy the resolution of a same-document reference; a new representation should not be fetched. This is only a recommendation, and document processing software is free to use other mechanisms to determine whether obtaining a new representation is warranted.

According to the current URI specification, RFC 3986, a URI reference is a same-document reference if, when resolved to absolute form, it is identical to the base URI that is in effect for the reference. Typically, the base URI is the URI of the document containing the reference. XSLT 1.0, for example, has a document() function that, in effect, implements this functionality. RFC 3986 also formally defines URI equivalence, which can be used in order to determine that a URI reference, while not identical to the base URI, still represents the same resource and thus can be considered to be a same-document reference.

Same-document references were determined differently according to RFC 2396, which was made obsolete by RFC 3986 but is still used as the basis of many specifications and implementations. According to this specification, a URI reference is a same-document reference if it is an empty string or consists of only the "#" character followed by an optional fragment.

Relation to XML namespaces

XML has a concept of a namespace, an abstract domain to which a collection of element and attribute names can be assigned. An XML namespace is identified by a character string, the namespace name, which must adhere to the generic URI syntax. However, the namespace name is not considered to be a URI because the "URI-ness" of strings is, according to the URI specification, based on how they are intended to be used, not just their lexical components. A namespace name also does not necessarily imply any of the semantics of URI schemes; a namespace name beginning with "http:", for example, likely has nothing to do with the HTTP protocol. There has been much debate about this among XML professionals on the xml-dev electronic mailing list; some feel that a namespace name could be a URI, since the collection of names comprising a particular namespace could be considered to be a resource that is being identified, and since the Namespaces in XML specification says that the namespace name is a URI reference. The consensus seems to be, though, that a namespace name is just a string that happens to look like a URI, nothing more.

Initially, the namespace name was allowed to match the syntax of any non-empty URI reference, but the use of relative URI references was later deprecated by an erratum to the Namespaces In XML Recommendation. A separate specification was issued for namespaces for XML 1.1, and allows IRI references, not just URI references, to be used as the basis for namespace names.

In order to mitigate the confusion that began to arise among newcomers to XML from the use of URIs (particularly HTTP URLs) for namespaces, a descriptive language called RDDL was developed. An RDDL document can provide machine- and human-readable information about a particular namespace and about the XML documents that use it. XML document authors were encouraged to put RDDL documents in locations such that if a namespace name in their document was somehow dereferenced, then an RDDL document would be obtained, thus satisfying the desire among many developers for a namespace name to point to a network-accessible resource.

See also

  • Help:URL
  • History of the Internet
  • IRI (Internationalized Resource Identifier)
  • Namespace (programming)
  • percent-encoding
  • URI scheme
  • Uniform Resource Locator
  • Uniform Resource Name
  • Website
  • XRI (Extensible Resource Identifier)


  1. ^ RFC 3305 and W3C Note: URIs, URLs, and URNs: Clarifications and Recommendations 1.0 (the same content, published by different authorities).

External links

  • RFC 3986 / STD 66 (2005) – the current generic URI syntax specification
  • RFC 2396 (1998) and RFC 2732 (1999) – obsolete, but widely implemented, version of the generic URI syntax
  • RFC 1808 (1995) – obsolete companion to RFC 1738 covering relative URL processing
  • RFC 1738 (1994) – mostly obsolete definition of URL schemes and generic URI syntax
  • RFC 1630 (1994) – the first generic URI syntax specification; first acknowledgment of URLs in an Internet standard
  • URI Working Group – coordination center for development of URI standards
  • Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One, §2: Identification – by W3C
  • Example of discussion about names and addresses
  • Identifying, locating, and naming things on the Web – by D.Connolly
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