introduction to web programming URL Encoding Besides allowing web browsers (or you pretending to be one) to get documents from a web server, the GET method also implements a method for a web browser to send optional search parameters as well (it was used with ISINDEX HTML files originally).

Search parameters were encoded in a special way that the web server can deal with. Encoding works like this:

The URL is differentiated from the search parameters by a question mark (?). In other words, a URL generically looks like the following:

     http://www.domain.com/dir/file?search parameters

Since you may want to have multiple search parameters, the GET method specifies that parameters are differentiated by placing an ampersand sign (&) between them. Thus, the encoded URL above becomes something like the following:

     http://www.domain.com/dir/file?search1&search2&search3

Next, search parameters themselves are specified as "name/value pairs" separated by an equal sign (=) such as in the following example that sets the variable "lname" equal to "Sol" and the variable "fname" equal to "Selena":

     http://www.domain.com/dir/file?lname=Sol&fname=Selena

Further, any spaces in the encoding string are replaced by plus signs (+) as in the following example:

     http://www.domain.com/dir/file?name=Selena+Sol&age=28

Finally, any non-alphanumeric characters are replaced with their hexadecimal equivalents that are escaped with the percent sign (%). For example, a single quote character (') is encoded as %27 and a line break (which is a carriage return plus a line feed) is encoded as %0D%0A. Thus, we might see the following example that specifies that the variable pageName is equal to "Selena Sol's Page":

      http://www.domain.com/dir/file?pageName=Selena+Sol%27s+Page

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