HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
are accessing, always assume that the server has case-sensitive path-
names and take care to get the case correct when typing your URLs.
Certain conventions regarding the document pathname have arisen. If
the last element of the document path is a directory, not a single doc-
ument, the server usually will send back either a listing of the directory
contents or the HTML index document in that directory. You should end
the document name for a directory with a trailing slash character, but
in practice, most servers will honor the request even if this character is
If the directory name is just a slash alone, or nothing at all, the server
decides what to serve to your browsertypically, a so-called home page
in the root directory stored as a file named index.html . Every well-
designed web server should have an attractive, well-designed home
page; it's a shorthand way for users to access your web collection be-
cause they don't need to remember the document's actual filename,
just your server's name. That's why, for example, you can type ht-
tp:// into Netscape's Open dialog box and get O'Reilly's
home page.
Another twist: if the first component of the document path starts with
the tilde character (~), it means that the rest of the pathname be-
gins from the personal directory in the home directory of the specified
user on the server machine. For instance, the URL ht-
tp:// would retrieve the top-level page from
Chuck's document collection.
Different servers have different ways of locating documents within a
user's home directory. Many search for the documents in a directory
named public_html . Unix-based servers are fond of the name index.html
for home pages. When all else fails, servers tend to cough up a directory
listing or the default HTML document in the home page directory. The http document fragment
The fragment is an identifier that points to a specific section of a docu-
ment. In URL specifications, it follows the server and pathname and is
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