Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Internet is broken

For a couple years now we are breaking the internet. When popular short URL providers like tinyurl, bit.ly or tr.im have a downtime, loose a database or even go out of business, we all are using massive amounts of connections through the World Wide Web.

The way to fix this would be to do away with the need for short URL providers. Until then I think we should start archiving all short URLs and their mappings to long URLs so that we can still resolve them when the original provider can no longer do it.

For this purpose I created a little Google App Engine app permanize.org.
It resolves short URLs and stores the mapping. Upon the next resolve it will use its own database to do the resolving. You can also download the database to distribute the network (a real P2P architecture would be cool here) and make the archiving more save.
I also created a very experimental Firefox plugin with the ultra-cool Mozilla Jetpack that replaces short-urls with long urls (only the href values of links for now) and automatically archives all short URLs that you visit with the browser. To install it, download Jetpack and then go to the permanize-site.
Post a Comment