Last updateFri, 07 May 2021 11am

The Computer Corner: Is this the end of www?

The good news is that the World Wide Web (www) has not gone away.

The bad news, at least for the tech-savvy, is that “www” is being obscured and hidden away from the view of a very large number internet users because Google now considers “www” to be “trivial.”

Back in the days before the internet was something that was available to the general public, it was used by universities and government offices and it required a degree in computer science or at least a lot of patience to navigate. If you wanted to connect your computer to any internet resource it was necessary to type in a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The URL was and still is complicated addresses telling your computer where to find another computer somewhere out there in cyberspace. You might start off with “http” for Hypertext Transfer Protocol” followed by a colon and a pair of slashes. Then it was necessary to identify the type of server you wanted to connect to such as “ftp” for “File Transfer Protocol.” Next came the name of the server such as “Stanford” followed by the Top Level Domain (TLD) identifier “edu.” That was not the end of it; in addition to typing “http://ftp.stanford.edu” you had to add a path such as “research” and perhaps a subfolder like “1989-projects” followed by the name of the file you were seeking. Most of the time this resulted in a “file not found” error message, because you misspelled something, left out a slash, or used a lower case letter rather than a capital letter.

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