rel=shortlink


Finally! A real solution to end the need for external 'URL shortener' services:



I've had a beef with URL shorteners for a long while now for reasons that have been covered ad nauseam (not the least of which being that in addition to adding significant overhead [techcrunch.com] - typically hundreds of milliseconds per request - they are just plain evil [techcrunch.com]). IMO the best solution is to let webmasters create and advertise their own short links using the "shortlink" link relation (e.g. rel="shortlink" in the HTTP headers and/or HTML HEAD) such that they can be auto-detected by clients who then no longer need to generate their own using 3rd party services. I wrote the shortlink specification [purl.org] a few months ago (based on similar work done by others), released it into the public domain using CC Zero and went about soliciting feedback. The standard got a big shot in the arm last week when WordPress.com announced support for rel=shortlink [wordpress.com] on over 100 million pages. I've since requested support be introduced into the top 20 Twitter clients (representing over 80% of Twitter usage) and have had only positive feedback so far. A number of other high profile sites like PHP.net and Ars Technica have also jumped on board. Anyway if you, like me, are sick of URL shorteners then you're welcome to give me a hand making them go away...


Excellent.

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