Desperately seeking: an API for TinyURL

Summary:Dave Winer notes that everybody loves the way TinyURL takes long URLs and converts them into much shorter ones. It's an awesome service that I frequently use because of how often longer URLs get truncated by the automatic line-wrapping found in many emails and discussion forums; truncated to the point that they're unusable.

Dave Winer notes that everybody loves the way TinyURL takes long URLs and converts them into much shorter ones. It's an awesome service that I frequently use because of how often longer URLs get truncated by the automatic line-wrapping found in many emails and discussion forums; truncated to the point that they're unusable.   Blech!  But TinyURL requires extra steps that could be eliminated.  Dave makes some suggestions and gives an example of how Google Maps could easily integrate shorter URLs into its user interface. 

Here's mine: Add an API to the service and let the growing contingent of mashup developers take over from there.  That way, the TinyURL capability becomes equally available to other API enabled services and there's no telling what sort of innovation will blossom out of some developers' heads.  And just because some service like TinyURL doesn't have an API (does it? I can't tell) doesn't mean that some smart mashup developer can't come along, screen-scrape the site, and strap an API onto it (technically referred to as a scrAPI).  Any takers?

Topics: Software Development

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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