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2. Terms you should know

Let's review some terms used throughout this document. Some of these have been around a while, but their meanings have mutated or been clarified recently.

2.1. URI

URI, for Uniform Resource Identifier, is a string of characters that can be used to identify a resource. It can be either or both of:

  • a locator that specifies how to find something on the Internet, and/or:

  • A name that uniquely identifies a resource. That resource may or may not be located on the Internet.

For example, the URI “” is New Mexico Tech's World Wide Web homepage. That URI is both a locator (it tells your browser where to find the page) and the name of the resource.

However, the URI “urn:ISBN 0-201-38595-3” identifies a physical book. This is a resource name, but not a locator: it does not tell you how to get the book.

For a good discussion of URIs, see the Wikipedia article.