Down with tinyurl! (was Re: importing excel data into a python matrix?)

Seebs usenet-nospam at seebs.net
Mon Sep 20 07:10:05 CEST 2010


On 2010-09-20, Tim Harig <usernet at ilthio.net> wrote:
> On 2010-09-20, Seebs <usenet-nospam at seebs.net> wrote:
>> * No hint as to what site you'll be getting redirected to.

> Tinyurl, in particular, allows you to preview the url if you choose to do
> so.  Other URL shortning services have a similar feature.

I have no idea how.  If I see a "tinyurl" URL, and I paste it into
a browser, last I tried it, I ended up on whatever page it redirected
to.

>> * No cues from URL as to what the link is to.

> Same point as above.  Same solution.

I'm not reading news in a web browser.  I don't want to have to cut
and paste and go look at a page in order to determine whether I want to
switch to my browser.

>> * If the service ever goes away, the links become pure noise.

> This happens a lot on the web anyway.

True.

> Do you have any idea how many
> pieces of free software are first hosted on university servers to
> disappear when the author graduates/moves to another school or free
> shared host servers that have to be moved due to lack of scalability?
> Sourceforge solved much of this problem; but, then if sourceforge should
> ever disappear, all of its links will be pure noise as well.

This is true.

But two points of failure strikes me as worse than one.  :)

> The simple fact is that the Internet changes.  It changed before URL
> shortening services came into the mainstream and it will be true long
> after they have left.

Oh, certainly.

I'm not particularly convinced that these are *significant* complaints
about URL-shorteners.  But I will say, of the last couple hundred links
I've followed from Usenet posts, precisely zero of them were through
URL redirectors.  If I can't at least look at the URL to get some
initial impression of what it's a link to, I'm not going to the trouble
of swapping to a web browser to find out.

-s
-- 
Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed.  Peter Seebach / usenet-nospam at seebs.net
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