TightURL

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1
2 TightURL
3 Version 0.1.3.2
4
5 What is it?
6 -----------
7
8 TightURL is a LAMP-based (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) blind redirection
9 service similar to TinyURL, designed for personal or company use by
10 those who prefer not to use external services, or cannot use them for
11 legal or logistical reasons. It may run correctly on a WAMP server
12 (Windows Apache MySQL PHP), but it is unknown if it does or not.
13
14 The major consideration in the design was the ability to customize
15 the application without altering program code. All browser output
16 except fatal error messages is produced by HTML-based templates.
17
18 A fair amount of customization is possible simply by setting a few
19 configuration variables in the configuration file or editing the
20 included HTML template files. Under no circumstances does the program
21 script file ever have to be edited, unless you're a developer.
22
23 The primary reason for a blind redirection service is to avoid
24 e-mailing URLs to people that are broken when received, because the
25 recipient's e-mail program is unable to pick up the rest of the URL
26 after a line-wrap. It is called a blind redirection service because
27 you can't tell where you'll end up just by looking at the link.
28
29 For the purposes of TightURL, we want to generate the shortest
30 redirection URL possible, thus we use a blind redirection URL, and
31 encourage the use of mod_rewrite or the "404-page Method" to achieve
32 the shortest possible URL.
33
34 Can I use it without getting a special domain for it?
35 -----------------------------------------------------
36 Yes. The requirement for TightURL to be considered useful is the
37 ability is to create a URL that won't wrap in a plain text e-mail
38 message. That means the upper limit is about 72 characters of URL.
39 A worst case scenario looks like this:
40
41 http://www.a-really-quite-long-name.com/~example01/tighturl.php?i=abcdef
42
43 Even this example can actually be made 10 characters shorter in most
44 cases without needing to ask the webmaster for special settings:
45
46 http://www.a-really-quite-long-name.com/~example01/t/?i=abcdef
47
48 See INSTALL for more details on how to "squeeze" your base URL down
49 to the smallest possible size.
50
51 Why was it written?
52 -------------------
53
54 This software was written for the oldest reason in the Free Software
55 book; to scratch an itch. The author had been looking for some
56 Free Software to run his own URL shortening service. Finding no Free
57 Software that fit the bill, and wanting a first PHP project to work
58 on, TightURL was born. Issuing an HTTP Redirect is not exactly
59 rocket science, what the URL shortening service is really providing
60 is convenience and processing resources.
61
62 The software itself can be boiled down to a very few lines if it is
63 hard-wired to its configuration values and output screens. But
64 since the author had been looking for some cookie-cutter software and
65 couldn't find any, he decided to write this so that hopefully no one
66 else will have to. It can be cosmetically tweaked from the config
67 file very easily, and in more depth by editing the HTML templates.
68
69
70 Additional Disclaimer
71 ---------------------
72
73 Original author's code sucks. He is a rank amateur, evertything a
74 professional developer despises. (I wouldn't run code written by me
75 if I were you.)
76
77 Contributing (code) to TightURL
78 -------------------------------
79
80 Patches welcome. Critical advice welcomed if gently given.
81 Access to CVS or Arch possible, please contact maintainer.
82 ron-a-t-vnetworx.net
83
84 The Latest Version
85 ------------------
86
87 Details about the latest stable and development versions are
88 available at the TightURL Web site at http://tighturl.com/ .
89
90 Documentation
91 -------------
92
93 The documentation available as of the date of this release is the
94 contents of this README file. Additional documentation is available
95 at runtime in the browser for using TightURL.
96
97 Requirements
98 ------------
99
100 PHP - Should work with any version >= 4.3.0
101 MySQL - Should work with versions greater than >= 3.x
102
103 Features
104 --------
105
106 * Can create very short URLs using mod_rewrite or the "404 Method"
107 * ID size kept very short by using Base-36 IDs
108 * The same URL entered more than once always returns the same ID
109 * All output is generated by templates.
110 * Site design is controlled by a single template.
111
112 Known Limitations
113 -----------------
114
115 TightURL probably works under Windows with Apache and MySQL, but we
116 have no way of knowing for sure until someone reports they've tested it
117 and it works. One possible problem would be if TightURL can't find
118 nslookup on the PATH. The Windows version uses nslookup as a kluge for
119 missing functionality in PHP for Windows.
120
121 Coming Features
122 ---------------
123
124 Please see the file called TODO.
125
126 Installation
127 ------------
128
129 Please see the file called INSTALL for detailed installation
130 instructions.
131
132 Anti-spam Features
133 ------------------
134
135 A problem with blind redirection services is they can be abused by
136 spammers to conceal the domains their spam is trying to get people to visit.
137 The TightURL Library attempts to screen out other known redirection
138 services, Windows executables, and matches against your local blacklist.
139
140 To keep spammers and phishers from abusing TightURL, it checks the URI
141 blacklists at multi.surbl.org and black.uribl.com . TightURL will refuse to
142 add URLs that appear on these URI BLs. You can add additional URI BLs.
143
144 Licensing
145 ---------
146
147 Please see the file called LICENSE.
148
149 Acknowledgments
150 ----------------
151
152 The TightURL developer(s) acknowledge the following copyrighted works
153 that make up portions of the TightURL software:
154
155 Bad Behavior

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