Scott Rosenberg takes up the case in his post, Terror of tinyurl.
From the earliest days of the Web to the present, there’s been a fundamental split between people who get the value of “human-readable URLs” and people who don’t.[…]
Today, though, we’re taking a step backwards, or at least sideways, in the cause of human readability, thanks to the growing popularity of the “tinyurl.”
I have had this discussion (arguing for human-readable URLs) with well-intentioned but clueless developers so many times it borders on the absurd. In fact, Nadia and I were just discussing it last night! Like Rosenberg, I understand why it’s important in the twitterverse, but outside of that relatively limited context, tinyurl is a user-hostile pain in the backside.
or rather, the miserable/long/unreadable URLs that make tinyurl so necessary and useful …are a user-hostile pain in the backside.
as it stands, tinyurl is a decent solution to a bad problem.
Yeah, those database-generated URLs are pretty bad, but at least you can see what site they’re pointing to.
Best of all – URLs that make sense. THAT is the argument I’ve had countless times.
You got that right. Like you, I can think of a few cases where tinyurl is useful, but some folks seem to use them for all cases, which is stupid and annoying.
Human readable. Are we still having that discussion? (Sigh…) Remember Compuserve? Back in the day, they used to use numbers as email addresses. So instead of mikel@compuserve you were 4578923475@compuserve. Even in 1995 or so, there were people with those numeric email addresses.
You will note that Compuserve is no more.