8 Updates to URL.ie

Jul 7th, 2008   3:21 am

I’ve made a few small interim changes to URL.ie. I say interim, because I’ve a whole new code base in beta testing (with a few new handy features).. but I don’t have the time to fully test it yet (especially under load). So here’s a quick look at the new features (and the reasoning behind them).

Pasting from Clipboard:
This was present in the last version of URL.ie but I’ve had a few comments from annoyed IE7 users about the constant access prompts IE7 fires up about clipboard access, whether you want to use the clipboard feature, or not. So I’ve change it slightly. You’ll now, if using IE6/7, have an extra link under the URL input box to paste from the clipboard.

If you click on that link (using default security settings in IE7) you’ll get an IE prompt to allow/disallow access to the clipboard. It means there’s one extra click for users of this feature. Given that most use the bookmarklet, most IE7 users will now have 1 less click to use (and should be a lot less annoyed!).

Copying generated URLs to the clipboard:
In the last version, if you used IE (and only IE) your generated URL was copied, automatically, to the clipboard. 3 problems with this.

  1. It overwrote your clipboard contents without your permission
  2. It was an IE-only feature
  3. It causes IE7 to pop up a clipboard access alert (whether or not you want to use that feature)

Now, it’s an optional feature, which does require 1 extra click to use! It uses Flash (so you must have Adobe Flash installed, and not disabled (like with the FlashBlock extension in Firefox). You must also have JavaScript enabled (but you always did). With the Flash method, there are no more annoying alerts/prompts from the browser, and many more browsers are now supported. If you click on the text box with your new generated URL, you’ll get your URL automatically copied to the clipboard.

New sharing options for your generated URL:
On the generated URL page, you’ll now have 4 choices (2 more than previous) on what you want to do with your URL. Firstly, you can click on the text box to copy the URL to the clipboard automatically (or manually if you don’t have JavaScript or Flash). Secondly, as was, you have a link to your new URL which you can click to visit, or right click for browser options (like add to bookmarks). Now there’s 2 more new features! Thirdly, you can post your new URL straight to Facebook, Twitter or Pownce (by clicking on their respective icons), or to a whole host of sites/web-services using the extended dropdown (provided by AddToAny.com).

Finally, you can also get generated code for use in Forums (UBB/vBulletin supported for now) by clicking on the textbox to automatically copy the forum-specific code to link to the new URL.

Generate URLs of the page that link to URL.ie (“referer”):
This won’t appeal to many, but there was one specific request for this, and here is how it works. A website (any website) links to URL.ie. You’ll be presented with a new link under the URL input box which will automatically populate the URL field for you.

Because of its limited use, I haven’t made this a default and, so, 1 extra click is required.

As always, I value your feedback and any new suggestions.


Jul 8th, 2008   12:24 am

Feature Suggestion: One thing that I don't like about this site is the lack of ability to see where the link is about to take you. For example, take http://url.ie/i45, I have no way of knowing that this is a link to this post. There might be some feature where I can go to http://url.ie/i45/v or http://url.ie/i45/view and check where the link is pointed to, however if there is, I can't see it in the FAQ. I checked, and you don't blacklist "shock sites" such as a certain fruit based party (check the url created by this ip at around 1:20am). Also, where the quick toolbar button for one click truncating of urls?
[...] URL.ie has upgraded. Hooray! [...]


Jul 8th, 2008   8:52 am

Cheers for the suggestion Niall. Preview is already on the way. Actually it's already coded, just on the new version of code (a rewrite .. no longer a hack of TightURL.sf.net). Grouped links, preview and a move to Ireland are next up (on a new code base which will mean better performance for slashdotted/dugg URLs). It'll probably be in the next 2-4 weeks by the time it's tested, etc.


Jul 8th, 2008   9:01 am

Oh, and the toolbar thing "bookmarklet" is top left (under the logo) .. not very clear, I know. That'll be next after the above!
Jul 9th, 2008   11:40 am

Its funny that the truncated URL for http://url.ie is http://url.ie/g8 That's not truncated, its longer!


Jul 9th, 2008   10:18 pm

Yup, it'll truncate whatever URL (of certain protocols, anyway) you throw at it. I don't think I'm far off having to restrict that somewhat (like only truncate if it's shorter, and only truncate Chinese domains if they aren't to the root domain, or if the domain name contains drug/porn words, etc.). For now though, it'll happily truncate (or not) away!
Jul 24th, 2008   12:44 am

Have you considered adding API Support? I use URL.ie in my Twitter "tweets" and I'd like to suggest that the developer of TweetDeck add URL.ie to the App's shortening menu, but to do that, They need to have some type of API which allows the newly shortened URL to be returned to the client. -Donald Kelly (Thanks for URL.ie, I no longer have enough proof to get my own .ie domain, So at least I can shorten my URLs on Twitter with a .ie domain.)


Jul 24th, 2008   12:51 am

Yup, it's on the way. It's in (private) beta testing. URL.ie is moving soon, and the API will be released around that time. I'm not going to give a timeline for that but hope it's sooner rather than later (i.e. weeks / couple of months .. not a year). API will be limited to URL creation for a while (though there are reporting, querying and administrative functions, these will be for registered users only), but that would fit the purpose you describe. JSON, REST and plain text will be the formats. Watch twitter / here for updates!

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