FreeCodeCamp & URL shorteners

It’s really funny when you think about it;

FreeCodeCamp has task/challenge for making URL shorteners,
it also uses as required link for some of it’s projects,
yet when it does nothing to enforce use of such projects,
and itself - when it comes to posting HUUUUUUUGE links
in Gitter’s help chatroom. This is bugging me for months, so here I am,
finally bitching about it.

Users who seek help should really be somehow guided to
copy links into URL shorteners before pasting them on forums,
and make 10-15 line code block mess out of chatroom.

It’s also really ironic how these challenges exist, and people make them,
but in the end they’re of no use to anyone, when they could be put to really good use instead.

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Here’s just my opinion and I don’t mean to be abrasive towards anyone—but I’m not sure if it’s Free Code Camp’s, or anyone’s, fault that people are not shortening their URLs on Gitter.

In my opinion, the issue you have raised is no different to saying “it’s bugging me that people don’t line up at bus stops properly”, “it annoys me to no end that people don’t bother typing with perfect grammar”, or “why doesn’t anyone close down restaurants that make terrible food”.

It’s actually not ironic that the challenges exist and that most people who ask questions are not shortening links—many people, for good reasons, go through the FCC curriculum in the order that it is currently laid out but, if I’m not mistaken, the URL shortener challenge comes much later in the curriculum. In addition, and if I were allowed to hazard a guess, most people who ask questions are also not experienced coders, too.

If nothing else, the amount of time it takes to shorten a link and the additional amount of traffic that will be passed through the Internet to shorten a link is probably usually far greater than simply copy and pasting a long URL of an already-opened page.

I absolutely agree with your views in terms of readability and aesthetics, and I would do the same, too—but it’s most likely something that you simply can’t hope to enforce, particularly when it comes to the less experienced.

Alternatively, I suppose Gitter could automatically convert all links to links since it’s a service that they are offering.

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I believe there are ways:

  1. maybe camperbot could make automatic conversion???

bw. I meant integrating conversion via some of those existing converters campers made.

2… gitter is now open source (even tho it’s not on github, [I believe it’s on gitbucket or smth])
someone could make some changes to enforce that via I’d send PR myself if I had the skills.

I don’t click on URL shortened links on a public forum or email message. You just never know where it’s going. Could be going to a site that’s going to drop malware on you. No thanks.



Never mind url shorteners, if we really want to try to keep things clean then use GitHub markdown to format links! (See what I did there?)

There are lot of behaviors that are considered polite within our community - shortening links, formatting code, avoiding walls of text, not sharing complete solutions, etc - that we all just need to politely introduce new members to. The next time you see someone share a particularly long link just remind them, “Some of us are on really small screens and long links like that make it hard to follow the conversation. We’d appreciate it if you used formatting or an url shortener when you share a long link.”