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I get frustrated by pages that don't wrap to the width of my browser. On Slashdot, a fairly common cause seems to be long URLs. %SECTION{summary}%If long URLS on Slashdot are written as "named links" (better terminology?), they will not interfere with wrapping. How can we effectively campaign to get more people to consider that when posting?

Here's an example of how a long link can look:

the same link

To accomplish that, use the following syntax and post as "HTML Formatted". Unfortunately, one problem with posting as HTML Formatted is that you must then use <p \> to create blank lines to separate paragraphs.

<a href="http://www.reflectionsoldiers.com/forumtest/viewforum.php?f=2&sid=7ea89aa14629180fff24300e7e874225">the same link</a>

Are there alternate approaches? (Especially to the need to post as HTML Formatted?)

I'd like to get the word out. If you are so inclined, please spread the word. If you have suggestions on how to spread the word, make your comments and suggestions this WikiLearn page.

Hmm, talk about serendipity, no sooner do I write this page (and run an errand), I come back to the computer and find this (need to dig a little deeper):

Metamark URL shortening service

xrl.us is the domain for the metamark.net url shortening service. In the future you will be redirected to the long url directly without seeing this page.

You will only see this page once!

To continue, please click on the following link:

   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0345391802/anydistancecom   Comments and questions to Ask Bjørn Hansen at ask@develooperPLEASENOSPAM.com © 1999-2003 Develooper LLC

Here's their home page: Metamark Shorten? Service, and an FAQ: Do Metamark links expire? Their answer:

The Metamark urls expire after five years or two years after the last usage - whichever comes later. However, if a link is never used, it will expire after two years. This should mean that as long as a link is on a public page, some search engine will visit it and keep it alive.

Of course, this is subject to change and is no promise but just my intentions as of this writing. If you want guarantees you can make your own service.

Looks like it's worth reading the entire FAQ and digging deeper. This page includes a list of similar alternative services. Now I'm going to put a link "in" to see what a shorter link looks like (I'll get the link for (viewing) this page):


Ok, short, but not intuitive, but short, and that's the important thing.

So, this is a usable alternative, and does not require posting in HTML Formatted, so it appears to be a better alternative. I should look at their terms of service or something — how do they support the service?

And (to be grammatically incorrect), it looks like Slashdot could:

  • incorporate logic to automatically convert either all URLs (or all over a certain length) to these shortened URLs
  • and even "host" their own service to do so

I need to try the link out, I'm hoping that, if the link is broken, I will get some clue as to the real URL so that I could consider searching for the link using, for example, Google. I guess I'll have to wait until a link fails to see if this really happens. Or, am I always redirected through that page that tells me what the real link is? Nope, not always, just tried it and came directly to this page without any intermediate redirection screen. I wonder why I saw the screen today. Serendipity??



Discussion, Comments, Suggestions?


  • () RandyKramer - 15 Jan 2004
  • If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and if you've used a comment marker (your initials in parenthesis), include it before your WikiName.

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