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

Tim Harig usernet at
Mon Sep 20 07:06:03 CEST 2010

On 2010-09-20, Seebs <usenet-nospam at> wrote:
> On 2010-09-20, Steven D'Aprano <steve at> wrote:
>> On Sun, 19 Sep 2010 06:16:49 -0700, Aahz wrote:
>>> Please don't use tinyurl -- it's opaque and provides zero help to anyone
>>> who might later want to look it up (and also no accessibility if tinyurl
>>> ever goes down).  At the very least, include the original URL for
>>> reference.
>> Do you have something against tinyurl in particular, or would any URL 
>> shortener service also get your ire?
> I'd assume all of them have the same essential problems:
> * 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.

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

Same point as above.  Same solution.

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

This happens a lot on the web anyway.  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.

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.

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