I got linked to an MSDN blog and noticed that the URL was http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2005/11/08/490348.aspx. I don’t think that this is the actual folder structure on the server’s filesystem. I think it’s just what gets passed on to a script, that determines what content is being requested, and generates that content.

The “.aspx” must be deliberate. I think it’s an advertisement to anyone who programs computers that the website uses XML-based ASP (Active Server Pages, a Microsoft technology).

I think that this is pretty silly, because the extensions in the URLs are extra typing, are incorrect after switching languages, and don’t make things any easier for developers that are using URL dispatchers.

On the other hand, I think it’s a pretty slick move by Microsoft, and in some way I wouldn’t mind seeing it countered by Java, Python, and Ruby programmers.

Any thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Urlvertising

  1. The “extension” .aspx == ASP.NET “page” – i.e., it is an ASP.NET compiler page/document…just like any “page” that ends in an extension – it’s specific to the language. Ex- “.php” (PHP page) or “.jsp” (Java Servlet page). There is nothing clever or intentional by MS in calling it that. It is what the server is config’d to look for when running .NET apps under MS IIS w/ the .NET framework.

    The URL of the blog is quite literal, as well- nothing extra being done on MS’s part there. “jensenh”‘s blog lives in the “blogs” directory @ the domain “msdn”. The article referenced is in the archives for 2005 – 11 – 08 – the numbers are what the app that does the archiving (and publishing) has determined the article number to be. Nothing crazy going on…

    You do see this kind of URL use by Java folks IF they are using JSP to run their Java apps…of course, they can use any web server based language to execute their Java bits if they need to, as Java itself isn’t a server-side web language- it needs to be instantiated by the likes of JSP/ASP/PHP, etc. Python folks (and Ruby, to a degree) use frameworks that don’t require documents to have physical names with extensions…a good example would be that Python frameworks such as Django compile the needed data when the server calls for it (much like ASP.NET), but, spits it out in a pre-determined directory structure (http://www.lawrence.com/events/2006/feb/23/12776/) where no “file” needs to be called.

  2. [[[
    File name extension. This is a very common one. “cgi”, even “.html” is something which will change. You may not be using HTML for that page in 20 years time, but you might want today’s links to it to still be valid. The canonical way of making links to the W3C site doesn’t use the extension.(how?)
    ]]] – http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI


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