Type 2 – Parsing Hint Positional URLs

This type of encoding basically replaces the ampersands (‘&’) and equals signs (‘=’) with forward slashes (‘/’) to reveal a URL like the following.


http://example.com/search/
  query/super/
  cat/action/
  cat/drama/
  edition/special/
  num/25/
  sort/price/

To decode this type you would break up the URL by forward slashes with the nth argument being the key and the n+1th argument being the value for all n where n=[0, 2, 4, …]. This would then give you the parameters necessary to pass to the SSA.

The above URL would provide the following parameters:
query=super
cat=action
cat=drama
edition=special
num=25
sort=price

Whilst there is still some redundancy within the URL path, the implementation could be done quite easily through with code or a plugin such as mod_rewrite for apache. This method of encoding does allow an almost infinite amount of category and edition parameters within a URL, which undoubtedly is a good thing.

Whilst not a perfect encoding method, it certainly balances ease of implementation with SEO friendly URLs.

Once again, you are very well within your rights to ask “Who on earth would be using the encoding method?” And once again, I can honestly answer that I personally know of at least one major search engine software programme that does this though some specialised plugins, so we are looking at options here that are in use, in the wild by some very large and successful companies1.

Up next

We will remove some of the redundant information from the URL, which will in turn introduce other problems.

Type 3 – Hard-coded Positional Parameters »

Navigation:

Use the following links to skip straight to a page, or browse through the pages one by one.

  1. Type 0 – Request Parameters
  2. Segue into URL binding
  3. Type 1 – Throwaway URLs with Request Parameters
  4. Type 2 – Parsing Hint Positional URLs
  5. Type 3 – Hard-coded Positional Parameters
  6. Type 4 – Positional Parameters with Encoded Parsing Hints
  7. Type 5 – Extra Information Positional Parameters with Encoded Parsing Hints
  8. Encoding Type Showdown
  9. Final Note

Footnotes:

  1. You will have to hold your horses to see which one(s) of the encoding type(s) are not yet in use in the wild…

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