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The Data Basket UI design shows shortened URLs (eg "").
Such functionality was not discussed in the spec, but was accepted as a given during the UI design discussion.
Here we will put the design decisions about how we'll implement URL shortening.

URL Shortening Disadvantages

Shortened URLs have many disadvantages including unreadability, reduction of trust, instability, overhead traffic, and security risks.

The fact that you can surmise what the above pages are about is a simple example why shortened URLs should not be used

URL Shortening Software

References :

Stateful or Stateless

The key question is whether to:

  • use a state-full service (i.e. save the redirects),
  • or a functional service (i.e. use a 1:1 mapping based on a hash, with no need to store state).

Since we won't let the user select the short URL (a "vanity keyword"), it's better to use a 1:1 mapping

Internal or External

Should we deploy our own service, or use an external service?
I think internal, because:

  • see the explanations about security risks and instability
  • we'd need to access the external service somehow, and perhaps maintain the mappings
  • such service is not very complicated

If external, which one should we select? I'd go with

Domain, Resolving

If we decide to go with internal software, then we need to get an actual domain, establish DNS record, and setup a redirector. This is required for short URLs to be resolvable (to work).

Examples of shortening domains include:


These are Top Level Domains (TLD), belonging to some country. Eg is Lybia (silly!) and is Greenland.
To get such domain, one should follow the specific procedures of the respective TLD authority.

The UI mockup uses domain "" which is modeled after "" but the abbreviation doesn't make much sense.
We could get a domain such as (stands for "researchspace project"); rs is the Republic of Serbia TLD.
Could also use subdomains per project, eg,, etc.
TODO Dominic: Decide about domain


TODO: trial and select some software, describe how we'd deploy it

Storing and Processing


  • Need two properties for full and shortened URL.
  • display the full URL in tooltip
  • describe that RS URIs are not resolvable yet, so maybe we should use a fixed short form such as ""
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