There’s a move afoot to get rid of the www that graces the front of almost all web URLs on the very sensible ground that it’s unneccesary (the nifty word for which in geek speak is “cruft”). no-www.org, which, you’ll note, itself lacks the sextuple-u prefix, is encouraging folks to arrange things such that their sites take traffic on the bare domain name — which Slaw does, by the way. I almost always find it best, when giving out this blog’s URL to say simply slaw.ca; and the CBC does it without fail.

Try it yourself when entering a URL in your browser: no http://, because that’s not necessary at all; and no www…

That’s one more thing almost tidied up.


  1. Some of us never put the “www.” there in the first place–
    My ejournal is at
    My personal page is
    My blog is
    Worldcat.org is, well,
    http://worldcat.org (OK,that wasn’t my doing)
    …you get the picture. Funny, I’d never think of myself as ahead of the times!

  2. How ya gonna differentiate this from .ftp, telnet and Gopher stuff, when you are using Eudora or Mosaic?

    There are some useful tips however: From the Mosaic menu bar, select “Starting Points”. Selections include Web information, Commercial, Research, Special Interest, U.S. Government, and Gopher Servers. Some of the selections give you further choices. For example, if you select Web information, you can choose between Web News, Web Data Services, Web Overview, Web Servers and more.

    To connect to a resource, click on the host name. While Mosaic is establishing the connection, the world icon (top right) will spin. Next, you will see a page of text and graphics. Clicking on blue underlined text, opens a new page. To return to the prior page select “Navigate” and “Back” from the menu bar. You will notice at the top of the page a white bar with a path and file name. This pointer is the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of the current page. Mosaic maintains a list of pages you have opened, so you can go back to any one of them at will. To do this, select “History” from the menu bar. A list of page locators will be displayed. Simply click on the one you want.

    This is a wonderful way to access information. Make sure you type www though.

  3. It has been possible to make the “www” redundant on Apache servers for about as long as I have been paying attention to such things (and that’s more than just a few years now.) Of course, it’s something the server administrator configures. I assume it’s the same with other web-server software.

    Similarly, I think most browsers have assumed “http://” by default when a protocol wasn’t specified, again for a very long time.

    Browsers do still support multiple protocols. For example, “https” is frequently encountered where extra security is needed. “ftp” and “telnet” are still around too, though they’re not very secure. Try clicking on ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/ for an example of the former. Less practically, for a very fleeting and mysterious experience, click on telnet://slaw.ca:80. For a closer look, using Windows XP, do this: “Start”, then “run”, then “command”, then “telnet”, then “open slaw.ca 80”, then “g”. What you will see is a little web page delivered in the ugliest possible way. (And then, to get out of this mess, it’s “q”, then “exit”.)

    Wikipedia has a useful article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopher_(protocol), and to see the protocol in action, use Firefox to click on gopher://home.jumpjet.info/1%5CGopher_Jewels_2. According to Wikipedia, IE quit including the gopher protocol by default some time ago, and apparently it’s altogether gone from Vista.

  4. I’m not sure who uses a browser for anything but the web these days. FTP or command line (telnet/SSH) sessions are still necessities, but as John points out, anyone not using SSH for security is taking their chances.

    I’ve really taken to putty as a secure client for SSH sessions, if anyone wants a recommendation.

  5. A good SFTP client to complement putty (which I also endorse) is WinSCP.