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URL encoding, also known as percentage encoding, is a mechanism for encoding information into a uniform resource identifier (URI) under certain circumstances. Although it is known as URL encoding, it is actually more commonly used in the main Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) package, which includes both Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and Uniform Resource Name (URN). As such, it is also used in the preparation of data of the media type application/x-www-form-urlencoded, as is often the case for submitting HTML form data in HTTP requests.
URI character types
The characters allowed in a URI are either reserved or non-reserved (or one percent in percentage coding). Reserved characters are those that sometimes have a special meaning. For example, slash characters are used to separate different parts of a URL (or more generally, a URI). Non-reserved characters do not have such meanings. Percentage coding is used to represent reserved characters using special character sequences. The reserved and non-reserved character sets and the circumstances in which certain reserved characters have a particular meaning have changed slightly with each revision of the specifications governing URI and URI plans.