shortlink brainstorming

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Part of the shortlink effort. Per the microformats process this page is here to document brainstorming for references to shortened URLs/links.

Additionally documentation of why/how rel="shortlink" was developed/proposed, along with reasoning of why other shortlink formats may be inadequate (extract that from the "inferior alternatives" section at the end of the rel-shortlink page.)

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hAtom and shortlink

Here is an algorithm for doing shortlink discovery in an hAtom entry:

  1. In an hAtom post ("hentry"), grab the first link with rel values of "bookmark" and "shortlink" (per rel-shortlink ) and use it as the shortened link for that hAtom entry.
  2. Lacking any such link, use the first element inside the "hentry" with class names of "url" and "shortlink" inside the hAtom entry.

Advantages over methods involving a separate resource/file;

  • No separate file required, no separate discovery path required.
  • Much better to keep a tight visible connection between a post and the shortlink for the post. (see Ruby's postulate about metadata / data distance).

A similar algorithm can be applied to an Atom feed with Atom entry elements, using a link element with rel values of alternate and shortlink, and lacking that, nested well-formed (X)HTML in the Atom entry with an element with class name of "shortlink".

see also