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

Brian Victor homeusenet4 at
Mon Sep 20 17:49:15 CEST 2010

Tim Harig wrote:
> Posting two URLs rather defeats the purpose of using a URL shortening
> service in the first place; but, if that is what you feel is effective,
> then by all means, do so.  You are the master of your posts and you have
> the right to post them using whatever methods and formating that you
> feel is most effect; but, other people should have the same priviledge.

The thing I haven't seen anyone make explicit in this conversation is
that URL shorteners remove all the information from a URL.  When someone
posts a URL, I very frequently find one of the following is true:

  * I've already read the article or doc page being linked to
  * I haven't read it, but I recognize the domain name and can guess
    what it says based on what I know about the author.
  * I haven't read it, but the title (which is often a slug in the URL)
    tells me that it's not relevant to my problem.

In any of those cases, I don't even have to click the link, much less
copy and paste and add "preview" to the URL to see if it's something I
care to read.

Given this, I concur that URL shortening makes sense as an addition to a
full URL if you're concerned about line-breaking, but feels like a
needless obstacle when presented alone.

And as a datapoint on the topic of archiving, I search usenet archives
regularly when faced with a problem.  


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