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The World's Shortest Short URL Generator

(2009-07-07 Update: I have suspended this demo program because I find spammers has started to exploit it. What a lesson for me to learn.)

There was a long winding discussion about a short URL generator bit.ly. Many people are familiar with the pioneer in this field tinyurl.com, which for many people, is the synonym of this service. Nevertheless, with fast raising popularity, many people see a lot of promises in bit.ly as a business. On the hand, just as many people brush off it as a trivial service easy to replicate. Someone dismiss it as an application that can be done in 10 lines of code. This prompted the posting and set off a discussion on Fred Wilson's blog.

I should say I agree with most of the comments from both sides :) But as a geek, the idea of building a short URL generator in 10 lines has latched on my head. So I set out to work. An hour later out came http://tungwaiyip.info/shorturl. In just 10 lines of code, it is the world's shortest short URL generator, or so I thought.

This is a real application. It has UI, URL shortening algorithm and database persistence, all in 10 lines of code. Feel free to check out the source code. I have a lot of fun doing this. There is a fatal flaw though. It does not handle concurrent update very well. To squeeze the code even more to handle concurrency does not seem fun. So I just stopped there.

2009.05.12 [, ] - comments

 

 

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