[ANSTHRLD] URL Shortening Considered Harmful
Coblaith at sbcglobal.net
Sat Apr 10 02:14:23 PDT 2010
Daniel de Lincoln commented:
> I recommend NOT using a link shortener.
> . . .what prompted the suggestion to use a URL shortener was a URL
> that linked deep into a book on google books (notorious for
> impossible to decipher long URLs). . .
Google Books ain't so bad. It's just. . .misunderstood.
However lengthy and convoluted the URL you see when you get to a
Google Books page, it's always easy to recognize the book ID within
it. And that's all you need to get to the book's overview page. The
ID for the second volume of the Cadbury and York Society's 1838
_Registrum Simonis de Sudbiria: Diocesis Londoniensis A.D.
1369-1375_, for example, is "Jw9AAAAYAAJ". So its overview is at
<http://books.google.com/books?id=vJw9AAAAYAAJ>. The ID for Mark
Antony Lower's 1860 _Patronymica brittanica_ is "-fhtxH5vKV8C", so
its overview is at <http://books.google.com/books?id=-fhtxH5vKV8C>.
From the overview page you can search for specific words in the text
or start browsing it, and in many cases download a PDF of the book,
so if you're referring someone to an entire work (perhaps because it
includes many examples of a certain type of construction) that's the
right place to send them.
Linking directly to an individual page isn't much harder. If you
wanted to cite the instance of "Feltewell" on page 12 of _Registrum
Simonis de Sudbiria_ Vol. II, for instance, you'd only need to add
"&pg=PA12" to the end of the overview page URL, generating <http://
books.google.com/books?id=vJw9AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA12>. And you could point
to any other specific page in the main body of that book just by
replacing the "12" with the appropriate page number, or to any part
of the prefatory material by replacing the "PA" with "PR" and the
"12" with the number assigned to the relevant page. (The title page,
for instance, is numbered iii, and can be found at <http://
> Unless someone has another suggestion for avoiding that problem?
If the main problem is folks using five-mile Google Books URLs when
two-inch ones would do, perhaps a "How to link to Google Books," page
off the main ACE index would be useful.
Then again, anybody who's sending URLs that long without bothering to
see what happens if they delete some of the variable strings might
not be the type to read the instructions. . .
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