Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Decoding URLs

Why is it that some web-addresses carry a long tail while other do not? How much does a web-address reveal?

For instance, a Yahoo mail-page has the following code:

While  Facebook pages come up with something a lot simpler, like-!/

Even though most web-addresses (aka URLs - universal resource locators) follow the format, << transfer protocol://servername.domain/directory/subdirectory/filename.filetype>>, they contain clues that tell you a number of interesting things:
  • <~> - a tidle: Usually indicates a personal folder -- perhaps the customer of a Web host, or a student at a university, etc.
  • <?> - a question-mark: Typically means that behind the scenes, a script will call information from the server or a database. Eg.,
  • <=> - the equal-to mark: Indicates use of stylesheets
Some gurus recommend the use of CURL-tools to dig out more information from URLs...


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