[Bioc-devel] Short URLs for packages?

Dan Tenenbaum dtenenba at fredhutch.org
Tue Apr 28 20:08:47 CEST 2015

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Wolfgang Huber" <whuber at embl.de>
> To: bioc-devel at r-project.org
> Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 3:17:03 AM
> Subject: [Bioc-devel] Short URLs for packages?
> I wonder whether it’d possible to have the website understand URLs
> like
> 	http://www.bioconductor.org/<pkgname>
> This could resolve to
> http://www.bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/<pkgname>.html
> or
> http://www.bioconductor.org/packages/devel/bioc/html/<pkgname>.html
> depending on whether the package was yet released.
> This could be handy in papers or grants that mention packages.

We came up with something close to this, but it does include the /packages/ segment because we think that's important.


- takes you to the release landing page, unless the package is only in devel, in which case it takes you to
  the devel landing page (which will contain suitable warnings/instructions about installing the devel version).

You can also specify 'devel' or 'release' or a numbered Bioconductor version:


(The trailing slashes are optional in all of these).

These are redirects and not forwards; that is, if you enter one of these short URLs, it won't remain in your browser's address bar but will change to one of the longer URLs. So they are sort of ephemeral in this way.

We looked into doing these as forwards (i.e., short URL remains in address bar, but content from 'long' URL is served), which seems more useful, but there were too many problems with that; it breaks relative URLs and more importantly it breaks our mirrors which do not necessarily have the same content root as our web site. 

At any rate, the short URLs can be used in publications and other sites, and they are useful as a permanent link to the current release version of a package. We have added information about these short URLs to the emails we send to new package developers, so that they can use them in publications that reference their packages.


> Wolfgang
> ----
> Wolfgang Huber
> Principal Investigator, EMBL Senior Scientist
> Genome Biology Unit
> European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
> Heidelberg, Germany
> T +49-6221-3878823
> wolfgang.huber at embl.de
> http://www.huber.embl.de
> _______________________________________________
> Bioc-devel at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/bioc-devel

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