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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Barry Caplan <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 21 Apr 2000 09:29:49 -0700
text/plain (55 lines)
> >
> > 4. Our server administrator seems to prefer
> > ""
> > over "" [in this example, we're defining the home
> > directory for the Keck research institute at our college].  I
>I would highly recommend against the but I suppose
>it depends on who your users are. Even frequent web users can become
>confused over urls that don't start with a www. At a previous company, we
>saw this time and again during usability testing.

I would say that in this case their is probably a very good reason for the
request.  What they are really asking for is a host that they can (in
theory at least) manage. Actually, it is more than that. They are asking
for an entire subdomain in the domain., with all that entails -
DNS configuration, right to control further subdomains, ability to assign
their own email aliases and run servers for any and all types of services
that are no or will become available.

At a university, that is probably a reasonable request, subject only to
firewall constraints. This is about a) academic freedom and b) freedom of
control from internal IS groups, even if it wasn't stated that way. In my
experience, any way.

All of that would be gone by thinking only about follow on urls. It is a
very different concept, couched in related terms.

Of course, the internet being the flexible creature it is, you could have
it both ways with only a little extra work... urls on could be aliased to
and vice versa.

Also, it is quite possible that this is an intranet site, not visible from
the outside. Since there can only be on host named www in each domain
(well, maybe one inside the firewall and one outside), it is quite likely  already has dozens or more hosts names that are also already
running web servers of one type or another.

> > 5.  I'm inclined to set up each major content area with its URL as
> > "" where xxxx is a recognizable version of the
> > content area's name.  E.g., "" and
> > "" and "" etc.
>This seems sensible to me. Though I could see economics being more like
>, etc.

I disagree. I think the subdomain naming space is way underused. It may
only be unrecognizable to some folks because it is not used often. But how
often do we have to say "slash this and slash that" and explain it? Those
are probably the same people who would be initially confused, but I bet
they hate the slash convention and would appreciate a simpler naming scheme.