Reading Protocols and Standards


While not as precise as computer source code, protocols and standards can be a great resource from time to time. In this lesson, we spend some time learning about RFCs, how to read them, and then explore RFC 3986, Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax, in detail.

Learning Material

Read through this post about reading RFCs.

Read RFC 3986 Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax.

Browse through the full table of contents of the HTML standard. Read through section 1 carefully.


We recommend that you write your response to each question, before revealing the provided answers.

Exercise 1

What is the purpose of a URI?

TODO: Write answer

Exercise 2

Give two examples of commonly used “schemes.”

TODO: Write answer

Exercise 3

What is URI normalization? When is it important that a URL be normalized?

TODO: Write answer

Exercise 4

How does percent encoding work?

TODO: Write answer

Exercise 5

What are absolute vs relative URIs? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

TODO: Write answer

Exercise 6

Following the collected ABNF for URIs in Appendix A, draw a tree diagram that demonstrates the parts and subparts of

TODO: Write answer

Exercise 7

Select an aspect of HTML that you wish you understood better, and spend some time reading the relevant section of the HTML standard. Familiarize yourself with any relevant terms, and write a few notes from what you have learned.

TODO: Write answer