1. 9

I found this article while trying to found out how these “/~username” url schemes are called, since I’m a bit of a fan of them, but then this article tried to argue against them. So I wanted to see if people still agree (or disagreee) with the ideas from brought up, or if the argumets are outdated.


  2. 7

    Let’s see. The reasons have to do with Τεχ, with those character encodings that were used before utf8 took over, because it’s difficult to find on an unfamiliar keyboard, because of something to do with Spanish and Portuguese, and because people misprint it. Right? That’s a fair summary?

    I don’t see any point in using tilde. Home directories on multuuser servers have disappeared.

    But those are hilariously weak reasons to stop. Τεχ is dead, so are those character encodings, most typing is done on familiar keyboards, if I were to stop doing things because they’re difficult in some other language (even just ones I’ve half-learned for a vacation) I’d have to change both my first and last name, and as for misprints the tilde is a minor detail. Many pages today have more difficult URLs. The URL of the page you’re reading includes the character sequence “dlk8d1” and orgies of “…?…=…&q=…” are normal.

    1. 18

      Τεχ is dead

      … what?

      1. 16

        Home directories on multuuser servers have disappeared.

        The first one has been around for a while, while the last two are sort of new and are attempts of taking the Internet back…

        1. 12

          Home directories on multuuser servers have disappeared.

          IME many university/college sites use this. FWIW my university uses this for course sites (e.g. http://___.ca/~csXXX/)

        2. 3

          the concerns about input on international clients such as those with with diacritic marks are very real. I vividly remember my first time using a *NIX overseas and fighting to get many special characters to work.

          of course, one could argue that few users directly input URLs any more, but I would still avoid almost any even remotely special character. over the decades and dozens of languages through which I have survived, I have seen countless URL [en|de]code implementations that choked on even common punctuation. if it isn’t a slash, it isn’t worth it. (only partly being sarcastic)

          1. 5

            I vividly remember my first time using a *NIX overseas and fighting to get many special characters to work.

            Oh boi, using a *NIX machine without being able to type ~ must be a pain…

            As far as I’m concerned, the tilde has been part of unix for longer than my whole life, making it a somewhat important character. It can be found on roughly any keyboard (be it easy or not) as well. Multiuser server directories couldn’t have found a better symbol to represent the “home” of a user than the actual symbol representing “home” for the OS of roughly 80% of the web. I guess the point is not to blame that choice for URL, but rather for the OS themselves. Banning a character because it’s hard to tyoe on a keyboard isn’t good imo. But perhaps I’m mistaken and we should consider replacing the “:” with something simpler to express protocol strings ;)

            1. 1

              using vim . . . IIRC, even the esc key was mapped oddly. one of the very early reasons I got into micro PCs / early tablets was because Internet cafes abroad were hopeless for for shelling home.

              1. 1

                I didn’t mentionned the ‘:’ character because of vi. This article is about characters used in URLs, and you use ‘:’ quite a lot (think protocol/port) for them.

            2. 1

              I remember my first time using unix abroad, too. QWERTZ ick. Nowadays it’s simpler. I don’t need strange keyboards, I have my own laptop along and all I need is a WLAN password.

            3. 1

              Feels like nostalgia from another era. Today every site does what they describe later (example.com/username or example.com/users/username or some variant) including FB and Twitter.

              Man, remember when people ran their own little websites and we subscribed to each other using RSS and had tons of search engine choices and you could use a different search engine and get totally different and interesting results?

              I really miss that.