pageoneresults - 9:47 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
It's completely up to you if you decide to show your all of your content as the 'default page' for a directory rather than on a specific page of your site, but redirecting one level up from the directory for the default page (EG /directory) is essentially the same as redirecting to the actual page name of the default file to be shown for directory requests (usually index.ext EG /directory/index.ext). Neither is wrong to do, but IMO one is definitely more attractive in the address bar, shorter and much easier for type ins
I've been following this discussion closely. I want to confirm something with the above. You're stating that /directory is the same as /directory/index, is that correct? If so, that would be incorrect. I had to jump back a few replies, they are lengthy ones too, I like those, to see if I missed something in the interpretation. ;)
Let's talk about MSNBot and Slurp, the two most disrespectful bots when it comes to URIs. Both Yahoo! and Bing will trim trailing forward slashes whether or not they belong. They've been doing this for years and after complaining about it on Twitter recently, I may have touched based with someone at Bing who can escalate/correct this issue and become a Hero.
Ever since moving into an extensionless environment, I've seen just how severe the problem is with the handling of Display URIs by not only Yahoo! and Bing but all of those who cut and paste what they see on the page, not what they get in their address bar after visiting. Not to mention ALL the scrapers. They scrape, Slurp and MSNBot index those scraped URIs that are lacking trailing forward slashes where they belong. In comes the request for a URI that doesn't exist and now all sorts of things need to be accounted for.
So, just to verify, this...
Is not the same as...
And are treated as such. This is protocol. In most instances, folks will automatically 301 the non-slash request to the slash when it is a root level address. If you don't see that trailing forward slash, then there are multiple things to look at. Is /home being forced as the root level doc? Is /home a document in the root itself and there is an /index file? Or, did the developer forget to implement a 301 if the request should have been forwarded to a root level document? That last one can byte you in the arse if you're not careful. :(
Either way, when you move into an extensionless environment, you'll need to prepare for the challenges that Display URIs present. That's why I've made the decision to go extensionless and start removing the trailing forward slash when a sub-directory does not exist. This was a bad practice I picked up years ago just like most others have. I've been fortunate in that most of those /file/ have turned into true sub-directories so I feel comfortable knowing that it's not too out of hand.
Personally? I think having every URI end with a trailing forward slash presents some challenges. From a semantic viewpoint, you would expect to find additional content under each of those /file/ references. I think you're missing the last part of the equation, the final destination pages and a /file/ reference is probably not the best option in many instances. Especially based on current and future URI trends.