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Accessibility and Usability Forum

    
No More Extensions
I'm through with them and good riddance!
pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 4:14 pm on Jul 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is a continuation of the No More topics.

No More WWW
I'm through with it and good riddance!
2008-01-06 - [webmasterworld.com...]

I do believe I'll have a little more support this time around for my No More campaign. And, I won't be changing my mind after 20 replies either!

So, what are the Pros vs. Cons of going Extensionless? Are there any added usability and accessibility benefits?

Have you stripped yet?

 

eelixduppy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member eelixduppy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 6:41 am on Jul 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not sure there is any added benefits other than "beauty factor". I think it would help if the URL was a type-in, but other than that, not very much so. Most other pages are dealt with by the site's navigation. And what happens when you have two (or more) files with the same name but different extensions? You'd have to use the extensions anyway. Seems like something not worth it to me.

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 4:18 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not sure there is any added benefits other than "beauty factor".

Ah, but I do believe there are many "added benefits" in addition to the beauty factor as you say. I've followed a few large Internet properties that utilize Extensionless URIs, two of which are the W3 and Google. I've done quite a bit of research within those domains picking apart the taxonomy and how it all works. I really dig Extensionless.

And what happens when you have two (or more) files with the same name but different extensions?

I don't know...

You'd have to use the extensions anyway. Seems like something not worth it to me.

Those extensions are just one of many different areas that one can focus on to "lock things down" as they say. In reading a bit of server security information, the Extensionless protocol (Content Negotiation) is "one" of many suggestions in an entire "protection" package. I know, maybe not worth the time and effort just for "visible" protection. But it really does go a bit deeper than that.

Also, since Yahoo! and Live want to continue to strip away trailing forward slashes in their Display URIs, I'm going to give them what they want!

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 4:35 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see the main advantage of extensionless URLs as preserving URLs across (possibly multiple) server technology upgrades. Why take a page-ranking hit (temporary or otherwise) and be forced to install a 301-redirect when all you need to do is change a file from .html to .asp or .php?

With an extensionless URL system in place, the update is purely internal to the server.

The other advantages, although possibly minor, are still real: Shorter URLs save bytes, reduce load time, and are easier to type in and remember (eliminating the .html/asp/php extensions has advantages similar to that of AOL 'keywords' in ease-of-use).

Jim

eelixduppy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member eelixduppy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 12:19 am on Jul 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> server technology upgrades

Vert smart, didn't think of this. Thanks for that, Jim. It might be worth going extentionless just for this added benefit.

fargo1999



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 1:45 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

What about graphic or video files like .gif, .png, .jpg, .wmv, .rm, .swv and several others. Is it possible to present them with no extension (what about usability/possible confusion)?

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 1:56 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, since my sites are primarily text-based and informational, and since a .jpg file is likely to always be a .jpg file, I leave the extensions on those items. No-one using my sites normally is going to type-in those URLs anyway.

But where pages are concerned, the extension is not needed -- No-one cares if our pages are .html, .htm, .shtml, .shtm, .php, .asp, .xhtml, or .whatever or how they are produced (static vs. dynamic).

Jim

fargo1999



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 2:37 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I forgot .pdf, .doc, .ppt, .zip or other extensions where a special software is required to open.. Now when I see the extension I know if I should open it (ie. have software needed to open it) or not..

Regular user may not care, but what if web browsers won't care either by stripping domain extension and diluting/limiting branding potential (but it may be a new topic).

GaryK

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 2:44 am on Sep 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

What about graphic or video files like .gif, .png, .jpg, .wmv, .rm, .swv and several others. Is it possible to present them with no extension (what about usability/possible confusion)?

It's possible if you put each file type in a different folder and then use your URL rewriting technology to deal with it. But honestly, as with Jim I don't see the point in it. Unlike the server technology change issue, it's not likely that a .jpg will ever be anything other than a .jpg. Of course, it is possible you might want to convert all those .jpg files to .png files, so it's nice to know you can go extensionless if you want to. Personally, even as an advocate of extenionless pages, I'd avoid extensionless media types.

idfer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 11:18 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

What about graphic or video files like .gif, .png, .jpg, .wmv, .rm, .swv and several others. Is it possible to present them with no extension (what about usability/possible confusion)?

It's possible if you put each file type in a different folder and then use your URL rewriting technology to deal with it.

Wouldn't that be the same as using extensions, except that the file type is replaced by the folder name? You don't really gain much except more complexity in URL rewriting.

What if you have two versions of a file, e.g. .doc and .pdf? Intuitively, i'd refer to them as //example.com/files/blah.doc and //example.com/files/blah.pdf. It makes it obvious what kind of file it is, especially when someone sends you a link by email. It might also make it easier for some search engines to figure out that they're different versions of the same content.

The point about replacing extensions like .php, .asp, etc by .html is very valid. In reality, the produced content is not php/asp anyway but html and it should be identified as such.

The other advantages, although possibly minor, are still real: Shorter URLs ... are easier to type in and remember

How often do people type in URLs other than the domain name, possibly followed by one "folder" name? Anything more complicated than that, and i'd guess nobody would bother to remember, or at best they'll try the URL without and with a .htm/.html extension until one works.

GaryK

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 11:43 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't that be the same as using extensions, except that the file type is replaced by the folder name? You don't really gain much except more complexity in URL rewriting.

I agree completely. I only offered it as a possible way to not use extensions for media files and cited one possible reason for not using extensions. :)

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3696436 posted 11:11 am on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have tried extensionless for web pages and I like it - for some applications - especially when used with URL rewriting on a CMS.

I would not remove extensions for images.

That is, a page of HTML code will always be a page of HTML code, whatever the extension, whereas an image could be a JPEG, PNG, GIF or something else, and the extension conveys meaning.

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