[Seaside] Truly Opaque URLs

Jimmie Houchin j.squeak at cyberhaus.us
Fri Nov 30 18:50:33 UTC 2007

Ramon Leon wrote:
>> Oh, I just don't buy that without a much better backing.
>> What about Amazon's URLs?
>> http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-M59-00033-Mass-Effect/dp/B000O
>> LXX86/ref=
>> pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1196443532&sr=8-1
>> Or eBay's?
>> http://search.product.ebay.com/Mass-Effect_UPC_605433010413_W0
>> QQfifptsZ1
>> QQfvcsZ1453QQsoprZ53000938
>> Do you consider them beautiful? Or any other more or less 
>> complicated solution out there? Simply put, the end user 
>> could care less about the URL if the app does what users want.
>> Before someone brings up bookmarkability, I'll step in and 
>> warn that it has nothing with how URL looks :)
>> Now let me go back and don my fireproof suit.
>> -Boris
> I agree, the only people who complain about URLs are developers, no one else
> gives a crap.  There's nothing wrong with Seaside's URLs, the whole point of
> the framework is make you stop thinking about building URLs.  How exactly is
> a meaningless key any less annoying when placed in the path instead of as a
> parameter?  Don't worry about people fiddling with the _s and _k params, let
> them, all they'll end up with is a lost session.

I disagree. I am not really a developer. But I care.
I also don't know what study has been done to determine such. In the
experience of some developers on the apps they have done. That might be
the case. But users silence on the issue doesn't mean that anything but
silence. Voicing an opinion to Amazon, eBay, my bank or whatever
wouldn't change a thing. Most people understand that and keep silent.
And that is regardless as to what irritates any specific user.

I get irritated all the time about extremely short sessions on many
different websites I've visited. But I've yet to voice an opinion on
such to any of the websites that so irritate me. But that doesn't mean
it hasn't happened. And I'll wager that most everyone on this list has
such irritants in various aspects of using the web. And I would wager
most are silent with regard to such. But that doesn't mean they like it
or don't care.

I watched a video with one of the Django developers. He spoke about how
often visitors to their website attempted modifications to the URLs. So
they wrote code to specifically catch such instances and to understand
them and provide a positive experience to their users. I am not
advocating such. But just stating that the opinions expressed by many
here are not the only opinions or experiences.

I am not worried about anybody fiddling with the _s, _k, _n parameters.
However, I don't see any reason that they should belong in a Seaside
URL. To me they seem antithetical to the "we don't need to marshall
parameters" argument of Seaside. The only difference is that you don't
have to think about the params or the marshalling. But somebody did at
some point.

And then I don't believe that developers opinions or complaints about
such are invalid simply because they are developers. The majority of
people don't care. Fine. The majority also uses Windows. That doesn't
make their opinion about OSes superior or correct.

Despite any other reason for my idea. Why keep the parameters? Besides
that you don't have to do anything in order to keep them and you have to
do something to not have them?

If they weren't there already and there was just a simple short opaque
id at the end. Would argue for them?

To me legacy is the only reason for them. And that isn't the best of
reasons. It is a valid reason for a season. But there is a lot of legacy
code that is regularly cleaned up and removed or changed.


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