It’s not Slashdot, but my small proof-of-concept project BURL has made the front page of lifehacker. So a welcome to everyone from lifehacker who have found your way to my site. I have a Calc II test tonight, so there won’t be any BURL updates until after then. However, thanks for the suggestions some of you have sent in. I will be working on incorporating them into the next BURL release.
As I said before, I’ve created BURL (Better URL). It’s really more of proof of concept based on an article at Lifehacker on Tiny URL Etiquette. The issue with TinyURL and just about any other site similar to it is that all context is lost. If I post a link to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=fad44098-8b73-4e06-96d4-d1eb70eacb44&displaylang=en, you can take one glance at it and know that it has something to do with Microsoft. However, if I post a link to http://tinyurl.com/4gdju, you have nothing. There is zero context to what is being linked to and you have to trust the sender of the link to provide that context. What I tried to do is maintain some of the context of the original link. A BURL link looks like this: http://burl.fergcorp.com/microsoft/6e1c1. Yes, it is longer but you now have context. And the best part is, all you still have to do is enter just the URL in. BURL automatically takes the domain name and makes that the context word.
Now a few notes on the programming side. This is just a proof of concept. I wrote the code in just a few hours and while I’ve done quite a bit of testing, I’ve not done enough to consider it final. So, if you come across any bugs or glitches, just let me know. Otherwise, enjoy!