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URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)
Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
A URI provides a way to identify abstract or physical resources on the World Wide Web. It is a syntax for encoding the names and addresses of objects. The URI is a general form for creating some kind of address. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a specific address used with some protocol such as HTTP or FTP that follows the general URI format.
Tim Berners-Lee outlined the concept of URI in RFC 1630 (Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW: A Unifying Syntax for the Expression of Names and Addresses of Objects on the Network as Used in the World-Wide Web, June 1994).
According to Berners-Lee, the URI concept is based on the fact that network resources can be mapped into a concept of "objects" that have some kind of name, address, or identifier. There are many types of objects on many types of systems. Thus, it is important to define the concept of a universal set of all objects, and a universal set of names and addresses for those objects. Names in different namespaces can then be treated in a common way, even though they may have different characteristics.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.