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Dion Almaer:

"I really want readable URLs that have meaning. URLs are the gateway to the content. If your users can guess things based on urls then you have won (or you may have lost if your usability is so bad that the user needs to guess urls ;). [...] If the dropdown is just lots of /article/XXXXX that will not help me at all."

[You can find that post at this URL: http://www.almaer.com/blog/archives/001220.html.]

The issue here isn't really what URLs look like, though that's important; it's how stable the URLs are. The problem with exposing any kind of synthetic database key is, come the day you have to reconstitute your database, or partition the data, or whatever, all your content URLs are subject to change.

magna carta

[You can find that image at this URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dehora/199870588/.]

The URLs don't always have to be readable to be good: Flickr uses hashes in its URLs which is just fine, as is Amazon's use of ISBN/ASIN numbers. When working with the number of resources they do, I'm reminded of what David Gelterner said: "If you have three pet dogs, give them names. If you have 10000 head of cattle, don't bother."

[You can find that quote at this URL: http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge70.html. It's about 40 internet years old.]

July 27, 2006 10:22 PM


(July 28, 2006 03:54 AM #)

So true. I completely agree that the stability of URLs is the single most important thing (not that I can say I've always maintained it on my personal stuff).

That having been said, I'd still prefer my URLs to be readable, too. :)

David Powell
(July 29, 2006 10:16 AM #)

Aritstotle, that's pretty cool.

I suppose you could do a cheaper, nastier version of it by using stable URIs with friendly fragid components.