Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Firefox extension now open source on code.google.com

I've moved the source code for the longurlplease firefox extension to code.google.com/p/longurlplease-firefox

Can you spot something I could be doing better? Have you any new feature ideas? Please make any bug reports and feature suggestions in the issue tracker.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How's longurlplease doing so far?

Here's a quick rundown of activity so far:
  • We've had more than 9000 unique visitors to www.longurlplease.com (4000 on 23rd December and another 5000 in the 10 days since then). Big thanks again to ajaxian for kicking that off.
  • A massive 1435 people have installed the firefox plugin - An impressive conversionconsidering it's still marked as experimental and requires login to install. Fingers crossed it will get approved to go public ono addons.mozilla.org soon.
  • Over 5000 requests lengthening over 16000 short urls today alone. Keep track of these figures on the new stats page.
  • 39 followers on twitter
  • 25 votes on my suggestion to lengthen short urls in tweetdeck.
  • Dozens of people getting in touch by twitter and email with feedback, criticism, suggestions and conratulations.
Keep it coming!!!

Using longurlplease with flXHR

I've been improving the longurlplease javascript library to work seemlessly with different remoting techniques. The one js library supports jQuery, Adobe Air AJAX and flXHR so far.

flXHR provides an alternative approach to making cross domain requests from your browser. 
Using flXHR with longurlplease is easy:

  1. Include the javascript file for longurlplease.

    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.longurlplease.com/js/longurlplease.js"></script>

  2. Include flXhr javascript file (and have the various other flxhr files available as per documentation)

  3. Include this json parser

  4. Call longurlplease.lengthen({transport:'flxhr'}) to lengthen all short urls in your document.

See docs for more information and this demo of it in action .

Thanks to @getify for helping me get the crossdomain.xml policy file sorted.

Get in touch if you've any other remoting approaches that you'd like integrated into longurlplease.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Example of using long url please in an Adobe Air application

@Swizec sent me a modified version of the longurlplease jquery plugin that works from an adobe air application. I'm quite new to AIR - but it turns out the two things you've got to do differently are how you make requests and how you parse JSON. 

I've put together an example air application using longurlplease, based on what @Swizec sent me, but without jquery, so that it will make sense to you no matter what other js libraries you may be using.

I use the URLLoader class to make calls to the api and this JSON parser to parse the responses.

Thanks @Swizec for helping me figure this out. Hopefully it will help more people lengthen short urls in their adobe air applications.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Firefox plugin

Benefit instantly by installing the Long URL Please Firefox plugin. The plugin works in the background when every web page loads, replacing short urls with the proper ones, so that you can tell exatly where links will take you.

A picture tells a thousand words. Here's a made up, but not unrealistic bit of content you'll often see on sites like Twitter

Until you click the link, you've got no idea where it will actually take you. Will it be safe? will it be offensive? will it be obscene? will it be useful? from the url alone you'll have no idea. The context around the link will help (by who, what words etc), but quite often it's not enough to answer these questions.

Here's what you'll see after installing the firefox plugin

Without any action, you can see that the link will take you to youtube. For me knowing this makes me more confortable, I know it'll be safe, it's unlikely to be extremely obscene or offensive and I may find it interesting or amusing, but more often I'll know not to click it since I won't take the time to watch it.

That's it - it's that simple. It's about improving your experience when dealing with short urls, by unhiding where they link to. It saves me time and frustration every day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long URL Please

I built longurlplease to scratch an itch - I don't like short urls because I have to click on them to see where they link to. Please just show me a long url for a change...

Plenty of people have a dislike for the misuse of short urls, even calling them evil. The reality is, short urls are here to stay.

I want to help users and application developers to efficiently convert short urls to their originals. The json api is intended for developers to enhance their web site or application. The firefox plugin gives ordinary users instant benefit - just install and wave goodbye to short urls.

Does this service help you? Get in touch. I'm delighted to assist anyone who wants to use it to improve their app.