18.647 long URLs, long filenames, care-lessness and bad style

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 07:11:36 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 647.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 06:57:53 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: care-less, bad style

Pat Galloway, in Humanist 18.639, referring to the obscenely long URLs that
have led to the intermediating services for making shorter links, wonders

>... whether the self-indulgence of
>nearly infinite filenames on our personal computing devices has led to this
>state of affairs, as much as has poor information architecture in site

I confess that I depend rather a lot these days on the ability to make long
filenames, especially for the many articles I have in digital form. For
example, if I capture an article in pdf by Doug Baldwin and Johannes A. G. M.
Koomen, "Using Scientific Experiments in Early Computer Science
Laboratories", I will store it as

>Baldwin et al, Using scientific experiments.pdf

and the file of notes I make on it will be called

>Baldwin et al, Using scientific experiments NOTES.doc

But I do make an effort to keep these things as short as possible, and
that's the inclination that I think is lacking. So often I observe that
many of our colleagues have little to no sense of craftsmanship, as I think
of it, in how they do what they do. Perhaps they have a highly developed
sense of elegance and simplicity in other parts of their lives, but when it
comes to computing, this sense deserts them. In some cases I suspect it is
because a person does not believe that the things of computing matter. In
other cases, I suspect their lack of concern is for communicating what they
know -- the disease of the specialist. In my tyrannical
world-as-it-should-be, everyone will not only have to study Latin and
programming, they will also have to serve an apprenticeship with a master


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Received on Thu Mar 17 2005 - 02:21:20 EST

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