dub-dub-dub, or: How we pronounce the World Wide Web.

At my office, during some point in 2004 someone got tired of referring to the company web domain as (in phonetics): double-u, double-u, double-u, dot, digital look dot com. So, he slurred the longest part in to ‘dub-dub-dub’.

The result was a team of professional developers speaking to clients about our web site like we’re half cut!

WWW or the World Wide Web. It’s got it’s use, but why do we still attach it to the front of our web addresses?

There was a point in the past where the web was new to everyone, and more importantly, there were other online services just as common as HTTP.

So, if someone was saying to have a look at their web page, probably just a bulletin at the time, the WWW part would tell us that it was served over HTTP.

Times are a changin’. In fact, times have changed. If you hear ‘visit bbc dot co dot uk, slash radio one – you know that means http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1.

This begs the question: why did you add the ‘www’? What does it mean?

It means it’s a web page on the Internet. Well, you knew that already didn’t you?

You don’t send emails to [email protected] because it’s an email – your email program does the math for you. For those non-techs – your email is sending through a protocol called SMTP – which knows the email needs to go to an email server.

So, why did you add the ‘www’? You don’t need to*.

What’s worse is that ‘WWW’, to say out loud, is 9 syllables long! ‘World Wide Web’ is only 3 – so actually it’s backward to abbreviate let alone add it to all the web site addresses we visit.

Interested? Join in with the revolution.

* I say you don’t need to – perhaps you should take this with a little pinch of salt. I know of a few web sites that act differently if you drop the leading ‘www’, but this is something we can campaign for together can’t we?

9 Responses to “dub-dub-dub, or: How we pronounce the World Wide Web.”

  1. I believe that the www is the host name, which is followed by the domain name (bbc.co.uk). The operator of the domain could call that computer anything other than www but www has been the convention. You notice that some web sites let you omit the www. For example, http://google.com will also map you to http://www.google.com. That’s because google’s domain server will map a URL with an omitted host, to http://www.google.com.

  2. What we need is a keyboard with a button that is WWW.

  3. “At my office, during some point in 2004 someone got tired of referring to the company web domain as (in phonetics): double-u, double-u, double-u, dot, digital look dot com. So, he slurred the longest part in to ‘dub-dub-dub’.”

    That’s probably the most annoying thing he ever did – and that’s including @$mixed_grill (and various other things I won’t mention on here!).

  4. [...] Personally, since I work on multiple websites, so I have to set up offline versions, such as: http://apple.dev (why no www?) (and then at a later date upload to the production web site…though thankfully not apple.com!) [...]

  5. [...] †† It’s important that the domain redirects correctly, otherwise this step won’t work. For instance, I had the OpenID server redirecting back to http://www.todged.com rather than todged.com (without the www) which broke the redirect (since I don’t support ‘www’). [...]

  6. if you say it dubya dubya dubya its only 6 syllables long, still confusing though

  7. www is technically a subdomain. Just like if you were to have http://subdomainpage.remysharp.com – It’ll be around until a new standard is formed (I think we’re due for a change).

  8. lol – this is a great post. I agree they should do away with the www sometimes when you visit a site with no www it isnt there thats because the @ records are not pointing to the same IP as the www records.

  9. Before you start throwing away your www, I would read the accepted answer to this question: http://stackoverflow.com/q/486621/39321

    But either way, I would say that the most important part is to have working redirect from one to the other. Personally I like to use www, but I don’t say it. I rather just let mydomain.com redirect to http://www.mydomain.com.