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

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Mon Sep 20 08:22:41 CEST 2010

On Mon, 20 Sep 2010 05:46:38 +0000, Tim Harig wrote:

>> 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.
> 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?

I'm with Aahz... best practice is to post both the full and shortened 
URL, unless the URL is less that 78 characters, in which case just post 
the full version.

Similarly, if I'm posting a link to some URL that looks like this:

http://blah blah blah/link=useful-bit&noise&rubbish&crap&crap&crap&more-

I try editing the URL to 

http://blah blah blah/link=useful-bit

and if the link still works, I just post that. Google search results, I'm 
looking at you.

(Although they're not even *close* to the worst.)

Personally, I think that any professional business or government site 
that exposes URLs filled with parameters, without giving a shortened 
"permalink" version, is full of Fail.


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