Archive for the ‘Persistent Search URLs’ Category

persistent search urls; can be tricker than it seems

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

persistent search urls; can be tricker than it seems

From the post:

One simple thing everyone these days wants (or ought to) in a ‘discovery layer’ these days is persistent urls for nearly all pages; including both individual record pages and search results pages, as well as other appendixes.

By persistent urls, we mean a url which you can bookmark, or include in a blog post, or tweet, or send in an email — and when you or someone else later accesses the URL, it will still work, and still point to the same page it did before.

The uses in that list beyond ‘bookmark’ are actually probably more important that actually bookmarking. It’s what lets our catalogs or discovery layers particulate in the community, conversation, and information ecology of the web. For instance, librarians here at my place of work are already using persistent URLs to particular searches in our new blacklight-based catalog to point to what we have on a certain topic, linking in blog or facebook posts.

Many of our legacy OPAC’s failed at persistent URLs in the most basic way; with all or most of the URLs not only having a session ID in the URL, but having URLs that were not neccesarily interpretable by software at all outside the context of that sessionID. That is, there was a sessionID in the URL and the URL could not be interpreted by software without the session ID.

Web software stopped being designed that way oh, about 10 years ago, when people started to realize that making the URLs good web citizens was important for useability and power.

So our ‘next generation’ interfaces start out (rightfully) by avoiding this, and having persistent URLs that do not include session IDs.

And that’s pretty much it for your individual record URLs, which then will proabably look something like “/records/12345″. But there are still a couple tricks for reliably pesistent search urls.

Excellent post!

Question: Are “persistent search URLs” more of an issue for librarians than others?