Sunday, March 30, 2003

Comments, Links

An old school web service that provides a simple, valuable, though possibly outdated service is the PURL service, where PURL stands for Persistent Uniform Resource Locator. In a sentence, they provide allow users to create URLs that redirect to specified sites. When PURLs began to operate in 1996, Google wasn't the main resource for locating sites on the web so it was important to have short, succint URLs. In this respect, PURLs may have outlasted their usefulness. On the other hand, they also serve to provide a persistent link to sites that may change location. In that respect, PURLs should never become outdated.

An unintended use of PURLs is to make short URLs for, say, CMS sites whose pages are referenced by lengthy addresses. Other sites, like Make a Shorter Link have taken this to be their sole function. But I still use purl.org because of its solid seven year history, and the thoroughness of its documentation and functionality.

A few examples that I maintain, edited to show possible variation:

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