[HCS-D]url brevity (fwd: Re: URGENT HRC list)

Matt Gline gline at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Dec 23 09:30:54 EST 2004


To be clear, the first of your suggestions, namely doing away with the
twiddle, is a trivial addition. I've created an aliases.conf file
(previously aliases were included in our redirects file, we can keep
that up if you like) and added an entry for hgc:

see

hcs.harvard.edu/hgc/

(sorry to use you as a guinea pig, greg, but perspy redirects to isites
and doesn't really use cgi anyway so it was a bad test :) )

If people think it'd be beneficial, and if there's no risk that I'm not
thinking of associated with this, it should be very easy to write a 3
line perl script that'll create these aliases for every user on hcs.

--Matt

On Thu, Dec 23, 2004 at 01:54:10AM -0500, Greg Westin wrote:
> As the former Hippocratic Society webmaster, and the person who set this
> up, I have to say that it's ridiculously easy.  But it still requires
> giving people instructions about using an outside service, rather than
> just having them point their domain to us.
> 
> Greg
> ---
> http://www.gregwestin.com/
> Contact info: http://www.gregwestin.com/contact.php
> 
> On Tue, 21 Dec 2004, Gregory Price wrote:
> 
> > I was telling someone how tildes are hard to get across to users in URLs.
> >
> > My example always used to be how when Scott Golder made a `Dialect
> > Survey' for a linguistics professor and stuck it in hcs/~golder, and
> > then the survey got written up in newspapers nationwide, HCS got at
> > least a dozen emails from confused folks who couldn't find the page.
> > Some of them said they'd typed in hcs.harvard.edu/-golder/blah just
> > like it said in the paper; others other things wrong, many not
> > explaining how they'd failed.  And for every user that complains, ten
> > others didn't take the trouble...
> >
> > And even Matt can forget the list-request form's URL.
> >
> >
> > The immediate lesson is we should give the list-request form a nice URL like
> >
> >   hcs.harvard.edu/mailing-list
> >
> > that people can read in the Crimson or hear from a friend and
> > remember.  Suggestions invited; I'd like the bit after the / to sound
> > as canonical as possible, so if you hear it you don't later wonder
> > which of three very similar things it was.
> >
> >
> > The broader lesson is that we should give our users nicer URLs too.
> > Say,
> >
> >   hcs.harvard.edu/mygroup
> >
> > rather than
> >
> >   hcs.harvard.edu/~mygroup
> >
> > .  (MIT does a variant of this; web.mit.edu/username is your home
> > directory, and web.mit.edu/username/www your by-convention actual web
> > directory.)
> >
> >
> > Better yet,
> >
> >   mygroup.hcs.harvard.edu
> >
> > or
> >
> >   mygroups-outside-registered-domain.org
> >
> > which each require lobbying work.  The former needs us to control a
> > DNS zone, and the latter needs us to figure out why they don't want
> > outside domains resolving to Harvard IPs and then figure out how to
> > address that.
> >
> >
> > The latter sort of works now; e.g.,
> >
> >   http://harvardgleeclub.org
> >
> > gives a redirect to hcs.harvard.edu/~hgc/.  But then the browser calls
> > it hcs.harvard.edu/~hgc/.
> >
> > The Hippocratic Society has it working nicely:
> >
> >   http://hippocraticsociety.org
> >
> > serves up a frameset referring to a page on their HCS account, and
> > links point to locations back on the hippocraticsociety.org site,
> > which give new framesets identical but for pointing to different
> > subpages.  I wonder how much work/expense that was for them...
> >
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> >
> >                 Gregory
> >
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