Pet peave: User un-friendly URLs

Because I sent my last post in via e-mail, which was composed offline, I only included one hyperlink, to the Apple iMac page. I couldn’t remember any others, and thought I was safe with what I thought would be an obvious URL. Here is what happened:

  • I added the link to http://www.apple.com/iMac
  • When I connected and the post was published, I checked out the link and received an error message (as you likely did if you followed the above link)
  • I found the actual URL for the iMac page (www.apple.com/imac/)
  • I modified the link in my post to be http://www.apple.com/iMac/. (The astute reader will notice the difference between what I entered and the actual URL)
  • To be safe, I previewed the post and the link. To my surprise, I found myself at the error page again.
  • I checked the URL and (as you may have figured out by now) realized my mistake. When I changed the URL to http://www.apple.com/imac, the link actually took me to the iMac page.

Now, I remember from my early days that many web servers are case sensitive for URLs, and that the “/” also is sometimes important. That’s not what bothers me. What bothers me about this is that Apple didn’t have the sense (decency?) to make all of these work. If the “wrong” URLs took me to a generic (or at least the same) error page, why not have them redirect to the actual page? Or at least have the actual URL be www.apple.com/iMac, since that is how they spell it in their ads, etc.

Sorry for the rant, but those that know me know that this (automatic redirect for obvious, and short, URLs) has always been a pet peave of mine. Something so simple, yet effective….

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