[foaf-dev] help on short URLs

Peter Williams pwilliams at rapattoni.com
Thu Dec 30 02:02:02 CET 2010

I've been playing with modern blogging, combined with short URLs, tweets, badges, and other things. Even threw in a few PGP-style conspiracies, since it's back in vogue.

But, in terms of web architecture, the short URL is beginning to worry me.

For the first time, my wordpress blog provider allows me to spy on who cares to read my blog, and who linked where, and who pingbacked, and all sorts of other stuff.

And now, I see the short URL folks letting me use indirection to offload from the  blog provider the same kind of tracking (and also cooperate with micro-blogs). I think it was Google who wanted me to believe that their site-tracking had done virus-scans too...on the resolved site (else the short URL would not be "allowed to" resolve).

Now in turn of semweb, I could obviously make every urlref be a short URL. And, a foaf+ssl web site at that URL could even do semantic-spying/tracking, with the usual mix of good and bad side-effects.

But, as I consider all this, I'm also getting the feeling that the semweb wants direct refs to resources, without the intermediaries.

At the same time, the whole point of 301, 302 etc in HTTP (the heart of the linked data architecture) is to allow renaming, re-addressing, relocation, etc.

Is there a general position on short-URLs in the community?

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