Portrait of Edd Dumbill, taken by Giles Turnbull

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What I make

expectnation
a conference management web application


XTech Conference
a European web technology conference

Make nice URLs

The URLs you choose for your web applications say a lot about your intentions. There's a lot of theory and highfaluting preaching about making good URLs, but here's a rule of thumb: don't expose implementation details.

Earlier today a friend pointed to this PR Newswire story and somebody else commented that they'd have linked it, but the URL didn't look permanent. As it turns out, I think PRN's URLs do hang around for a long while, but the point was that strings like /cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/01-31-2005/0002939445&EDATE= just don't look right.

The content management system I hate most for doing this is Broadvision, which creates the most awful URLs that aren't valid for more than 20 minutes, and Vignette's StoryServer comes a close second, with all those digits and commas.

Making good clean URLs isn't anything new. It's a great aid to usability and navigability. These days it can also be helpful in a semantic web or web service context. For me it's most importantly about looking good, and delivering that often subliminal message that you're well organized and take your web site seriously.

(And yeah, this web site needs a bit of help. The /read on the end of the permanent blog entry URLs should go away. It's a Zope implementation detail.)

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