next up previous

4.4 Uniform Resource Locators     continued...

A URL can be thought of as an ``Internet file name.'' It identifies the host that has the information, the format of the information, and a protocol to use when retrieving the information. Most URLs have the following structure:

<form>://<site>/<file>[#<anchor>]
The first field defines the format of the information and the protocol that must be used to access it. Examples are file, which means the information is simply in a file and it can be retrieved with FTP; gopher, which means the remainder of the URL is the ID of a Gopher server; and http, which stands for ``hypertext transfer protocol.'' A URL that begins with http is the ID of a WWW server that runs a protocol specially designed for efficient transfer of hypertext documents.