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Can we turn off URL shortening?


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#1 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

Whenever I post a link, it gets the middle hidden. eg.: http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ReplicationHome.html

 

What purpose does this serve, other than to obscure the content of the link?

 

Is it to prevent some sort of SEO spam? If so, we have moderators and other tools for that.


Edited by Michael Tanczos, 11 February 2013 - 10:37 AM.


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#2 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1833

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

As far as I know, it's because some URLs become really long (especially any URLs that are generated on the fly by the site and/or have query terms in them) and shortening the URL is a way to prevent those URLs from taking up lots of space, especially as it can look ugly around the surrounding text. Most forums these days do this.

 

Cutting the middle is probably going by the assumption that with the beginning and the ending you can sorta figure out where it points to most of the time.


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#3 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

+1 for turning off URL shortening. We can always use tinyurl to accomplish the same, when we actually need it.


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#4 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5451

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

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Better?

 

This wasn't anything like tinyURL, it's just for the visual display of the URL.


Edited by Michael Tanczos, 11 February 2013 - 10:43 AM.


#5 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

This wasn't anything like tinyURL, it's just for the visual display of the URL.

Aye, but we can use tinyurl for shortening the visual display, too ;)


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#6 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5451

Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:08 PM

This wasn't anything like tinyURL, it's just for the visual display of the URL.

Aye, but we can use tinyurl for shortening the visual display, too ;)

 

But then that completely destroys the visual look of the URL anyway.. wasn't the point to just see the full url in an unadulterated format?



#7 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3981

Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:43 PM

why not shorten it, but on mouse over, have a pop-up that has the entire url?


Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#8 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

wasn't the point to just see the full url in an unadulterated format?

The point is to be able to selectively see it in unadulterated format.


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#9 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5451

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

wasn't the point to just see the full url in an unadulterated format?

The point is to be able to selectively see it in unadulterated format.

 

=P  Damn


Edited by Michael Tanczos, 11 February 2013 - 08:55 PM.


#10 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4756

Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:33 PM

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Better?

At last, an unaltered link to the 404 page! yay! 


"I AM ZE EMPRAH OPENGL 3.3 THE CORE, I DEMAND FROM THEE ZE SHADERZ AND MATRIXEZ"

 

My journals: dustArtemis ECS framework and Making a Terrain Generator


#11 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2949

Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:36 AM

I feel I have to say I like the URL shortening and don't see the point of displaying it all. (that is a -1 on turning off URL shorting...)

If you want the url, just right click it and copy it to clipboard.

Or point at it and let your browser display it if you just want to read it...

 

Long urls in messages breaks the flow, and looks terrible, and I would hate having to check if I need to shorten my url before posting...

How often do you really need to see the full url compared to all the cases where you just don't care?



#12 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

How often do you really need to see the full url compared to all the cases where you just don't care?

In my book, always.

 

The forum supports text links as well, and I'd suggest you always use text links unless you have a very good reason to display the raw URL...


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#13 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2949

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:01 AM

In my book, always.
 
The forum supports text links as well, and I'd suggest you always use text links unless you have a very good reason to display the raw URL...

 

That is a good point.

Though, this assumes all poster knows about the tags needed, and is disciplined enough to use them.

 

I find it to be more user friendly, and will mean a generally better looking forum, if "no extra tags" still means the output will look ok, even if I paste a 1k url.

If you really need to show off the fancy url (how often do you really need to do this?) you could always do a text link with the url as text...


Edited by Olof Hedman, 12 February 2013 - 10:02 AM.


#14 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

If you really want to show off the fancy url (how often do you really need to do this?)

Again, IMO, always.
 
There is no earthly reason why I wouldn't want you to be able to read http://trai...ppl.com, or http://goo...gamedev.

Edited by swiftcoder, 12 February 2013 - 10:05 AM.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#15 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

A URL is meant to be descriptive and tell you something about the resource. I personally get tired of clicking bit.ly links or similar only to discover I've already been there, or worse, that I've ended up on a site I didn't want to be on. It wastes my time. If the price is to have slightly less perfectly formatted posts, I'm happy to pay that price.



#16 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9280

Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:53 PM

A URL is meant to be descriptive and tell you something about the resource. I personally get tired of clicking bit.ly links or similar only to discover I've already been there, or worse, that I've ended up on a site I didn't want to be on. It wastes my time. If the price is to have slightly less perfectly formatted posts, I'm happy to pay that price.

 

But in this case, just use captions. That way it doesn't take up space, doesn't ruin formatting, and is still descriptive (more so than the actual url, probably). If people want to read the URL, they just hover their cursor over the text, and it shows up as a hint or in their browser's status bar. I don't understand the problem.


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis


#17 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

Posted 12 February 2013 - 04:14 PM

I can't tell if I've visited a site by looking at one individual's arbitrary description of it. The URL is a unique identifier that gives me a very good idea of whether I've visited it before or not. It also gives me a good idea of the authorship and type of content, if I know much about the site in question.


Edited by Kylotan, 13 February 2013 - 07:35 AM.
I typed completely the wrong word before...


#18 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2949

Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:24 AM

Ok, I withdraw my opposition :)

I do agree that the URL shortening was a bit too aggressive, could have allowed a bit longer URLs (like max one line or so).

But people here is probably sensible enough to not fill their post with insane URLs, so turning it off should be ok.



#19 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10364

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

But people here is probably sensible enough to not fill their post with insane URLs, so turning it off should be ok.

If they aren't, a friendly moderator will shortly educate them ;)


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]





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