Relative naming

The address of a hypertext document is normally given within the context of another hypertext document. Where the addresses of the two documents are the similar, this allows only the difference between the two names to be given, saving space. An example is the address of the destination of a hypertext link , which is specified relative to the source document address.

(A futher practical advantage is that a group of documents may be transmitted without internal changes, or accessed using more than one address.)

This implies that certain characters ("/", "..") have a significance reserved for representing a hierarchical space, and must be recognized as such by both clients and servers.

In the WWW address format , the rules for relative naming are:

The use of the slash "/" and double dot ".." in this case must be respected by all servers. If necessary, this may mean converting their local representations in order that these characters should not appear within path elements (see "escaping" ).