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From Sivakatirswami <>
Subject relative vs absolute URL's / CPU processing overhead
Date Tue, 26 Mar 2002 02:07:33 GMT
I am trying to set a development policy that will impact coding of future
web pages, both those done by hand and those done under automation by
software that we write to build pages from templates, file and from within
data bases. I suspect this  has been asked and answered but no amount of
searching on the web got me anywhere.

 The issue is whether use of absolute URLs to reference images and other
*.html documents  in the same public_html directory increases CPU overhead
or not...  in terms of time taken for Apache to serve images for that page
or serve/reference documents on the same site from links on the page. I find
two schools of thought, one says absolute URLs will require addition
overhead on the CPU in terms of DNS required to resolved every absolute URL
from "the top down," that is not required for relative URLs. The other
school of thought is telling me that no, it doesn't natter, even the
relative URL's require a DNS action before the image can be sent out along
with the .html document and portability is the only issue not CPU time. I
myself do not know which is true.

Assume, for example, some 25 images on a page all quite small mostly
navigation buttons and few larger JPGs in the content itself... assume a
*.html page  three directory levels deep... if we use

<img src="http://www.mywebsite/images/somegif.gif" > vs
<img src="../../../images/somegif.gif">

do 25 instances of the former slow down serving the page vs 25 instances of
the latter?

Of course, the issue of portability, being able to view the site locally
under development on the LAN without opening connections to the ISP host
outside the LAN where the domain actually lives etc. obviously puts relative
URL's in the lead for preferred usage... but the overhead required to "go to
the trouble" to figure out what directory level a document will be on when
it is finally complete and posted to the site and the ease of simply using
an absolute URL which will work regardless of the page's directory level...
begs for use of absolute URL's, especially by those who are doing coding by
hand and get their locations confused and would rather just use an absolute
URL instead of debugging their image references later if they have the
levels wrong where "../../image/some.gif"  should really be

And besides the CPU overhead question I would like any input from more
experienced web masters on this issue... if you have "strong feelings" about
this subject then I would like to know what they are what led you to your

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