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

Seebs usenet-nospam at
Mon Sep 20 08:22:18 CEST 2010

On 2010-09-20, Tim Harig <usernet at> wrote:
> 1. Don't bother to manually paste when you can use something like urlview
> 	to lauch directly.

I don't know that this would actually be better than what I currently do,
which is grab text and middle-click in another window.

> 	If you want this behavior by default, you can easily wrap urlview
> 	to automatically add the prefix.

True, but since my news reading is not on the machine my web browser is
on, it seems like it might get annoying.

> I question first whether most tinyurl links are really of such an
> intransient  nature that they need to be long lasting.  I personally use
> them most when writing paper notes.  They only need to last long enough
> for me, or whoever I made the note for, to get back to them.

By default, I assume that Usenet posts are for the longer term, and a
Usenet post which relies for its content on tinyurl is thus somewhat
more vulnerable than one which doesn't.  In particular, consider things
like; they may well be able to find a long-dead web page,
but not a long-dead tinyurl link.

> This is academic as tinyurl addresses cannot be changed; but, it
> does point out that simple logic such as two points of failure must be
> worse then one isn't always correct.

Not always correct, but I think it is in this case.

> But why should the rest of us be penalized because you make the choice
> not to use (or not take full advantage of) all of the tools that are
> available to you?

For about the same reason that I should be penalized because someone else
wanted things done differently.  Which is to say, it's a tradeoff, the
right choice to make depends on what your goals are.  If you want a
piece of information to have maximal longevity, something like tinyurl
is probably a bad way to transmit it.  If you want something small that
survives line wrapping, it's probably a good way.

FWIW, the browsers I use automatically Do The Right Thing if you paste
in a multiline URL.

Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed.  Peter Seebach / usenet-nospam at <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures <-- get educated!
I am not speaking for my employer, although they do rent some of my opinions.

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