For this reason, many people rely on URL shorteners, such as Bit.ly to provide a simple alias. The resulting URL above comes out as: http://bit.ly/Thpp2u a total of 20 characters shortened from from 119. Not bad!
The concern I have always had using public link shortening services is what happens when they shut down. Since many of these services are free to the user, they expect to monetize their service with ads, etc. The problem is have no guarantee they will be here in 10 years, or next year, or tomorrow.
I have looked for Open Source URL shorteners and found several that could be implemented by a web savvy programmer. Of course, being partial to the IBM Domino stack, I hoped to find a solution I could run in Domino.
Today, on a quest to find something else, I serendipitously stumbled across ShortURL for Domino. It's a free download by Dieter Stalder, the founder of STDI Consulting.
Less than 5 Minutes later I had the database on my IBM Domino Server serving up URLS. Since I already have a short domain name (ICA.com) I decided to use that for starters but I plan to add it to all of my domains.
Here is what that 119 character URL at the top of this post looks like when I run it through my URL shortener:
The ShortURL app does not generate an unfriendly alias. I can create any unique alias I want.
While this is certainly not a polished app it does the job. It would not take much to enhance this to provide a web interface and to autogenerate and validate links. There may even be an xPages app by now.
In any case, now, I can shorten URLS without concern that the service will go away. And, because it is built on Notes and Domino I can extend the features to suit my needs.
Are you using ShortURL or a similar tool for IBM Domino?