URLS you can understand

Imagine being able to type plain-English names into your browser's URL line instead of long strings of cryptic characters. Then imagine being taken immediately to the page you want instead of to a list of pages that merely mention the document, as search engines often do.

That's the vision motivating a new effort inside the Web's governing organisation, the Internet Engineering Task Force, to standardise such names.

The proposed standard, the Common Name Resolution Protocol, is intended to provide the behind-the-scenes links between typed-in words and the URLs that identify Internet resources.

The types of Web databases that use the name as a keyword will determine which pages are returned, as will user-identified topical interests, says Michael Mealling, a co-author of the proposed standard and a senior research engineer at Network Solutions, the company that issues ".com" names.

Search and find . . . what

Most browsers already let you type regular words into the URL line, but there's a big hitch. "Right now, every browser does it differently," Mealling says.

If browser and portal makers and companies that publish information on the Web adopt the new protocol, words will have a standard meaning within categories, though not necessarily across the entire Web. Typing the word apple, for example, might produce a list of Web pages from Apple Computer and apple orchards, but Apple Computer employees using the company's intranet browser might receive only company-related pages.

"CNRP doesn't guarantee uniqueness of the names," Mealling says, but it should help popularise common names by broadening their "market share".

Common names could eventually be used to reference such information as stock quotes, phone numbers, and product names. In addition, the CNRP standard would unify common names already being used by RealNames, NetWords, America Online KeyWords, MSN Autosearch, Netscape Navigator Smart Browsing, and CompuServe's Go Words. (Representatives from some of those companies are on the IETF standards committee.)The IETF will likely assign CNRP to an official working group by this fall, Mealling says, with the final standard taking about a year to hammer out. Web and software companies would then have to decide whether to adopt the protocol.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Essex

PC World
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?