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Ban The WWW. !


Posted by Non-Hamster on October 15th, 2009

I finally saw a partial answer to something that's been bugging me for years.  A NY Times article had a story in which Tim Berners-Lee (one of the instrumental architects of the world wide web) was asked if he had it all to do over again, is there anything he'd do over again. 

Mr. Berners-Lee smiled and admitted he might make one change — a small one. He would get rid of the double slash “//” after the “http:” in Web addresses.

Now I am not a hamster, I knew (even before the article mentioned it) that the double slash was part of programming conventions at the time but it's really served no real purpose.  The only reason it's there is because of that old standard.

Of course, me being me, I am not a hamster to be satisfied with half an answer.  The part that the article and Mr. Berners-Lee did not address while sitting in his fancy barcelona chair talking it up with the reporter that I'd like to hear about is why is it that most (not all) web addresses have to include "www." at the beginning of them?

I happen to know that it's not needed, a large percentage of websites work just as well without the "www." as they do with it.  In my opinion, it's just another four characters that could well be dropped from every url.  I realize that it's only four bytes, but multiply that by the billions of times that the billions of urls are recorded in hundreds of millions of databases and you're talking about a monstrous amount of storage.

Besides all that, it just annoys the hell outta me when I run into one of the relatively few sites that are deliberately set up so that they don't work at all without the "www.".

I'd like to see the end not only of the double slash, but the "www." as well.  that's six characters times billions of websites that we could all do without.

Technorati Tags: double slash, tim berners-lee, www, internet addresses, programming standard

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3 Comments

  1. Addy on 21.10.2009 at 09:40 (Reply)


    “www” is just a subdomain that many sites used, just like mail is to “mail.google.com”. Assuming all websites should have that record is a bad idea, and most every site will work without the www.

    1. Non-Hamster on 24.10.2009 at 16:40 (Reply)


      Exactly.  That’s why I’ve always configured my domains to not use the “www.”.  Besides, as I said in the post, I think it’s pretty much wasted bandwidth.  Granted, it’s only four bites, but when you multiply that by the number of times it’s used that little bit snowballs quickly from a molehill into a mountain all by itself.

  2. Addy on 24.10.2009 at 16:45 (Reply)


    Or, instead of worrying over a tiny little waste of bandwidth like that, you could get rid of all the useless markup in your site’s code. That’d save you quite a bit more bandwidth.

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