Five Questions with James Padolsey
Published by Chris Coyier
CHRIS: In the mini-profile on your site, you list your age as 18. That's a typo right? You know far too much about web development to be green out of High School.
JAMES: Yep, it’s true! I was first introduced to the world of website-building at an even more surprising age of 9, when my dad introduced me to NetObjects and then later, Dreamweaver. Ever since then it's been a constant learning experience; everyday I learn something new! I guess I should state it more explicitly on my site so there's no confusion in the future! ;)
jQuery is merely an abstraction, and like all abstractions it will sometimes break or it won't do something you're after - when this happens it's helpful to know exactly what you're dealing with and how to fix it.
CHRIS: You have created a URL shortening service. There is a lot of talk recently about how these can be "bad for the internet". For example, not getting search engine credit for links and unresolved URLs when they close down. What are your opinions on this?
JAMES: I actually agree, they are bad for the internet and popular sites like Twitter don't help - creating a demand for these services. I only created it as a learning experience. I wasn't expecting it to be used a lot but surprisingly, even with already existing services like TinyURL, it's become quite a heavily-used service.
The core of the internet is in the fact it links a bunch of documents together. A URL is the most important indication of where you're going to end up, so, to the average internet-user, meaningful URLs are invaluable. I'm not against short URLs because of what technical problems they produce (e.g. unresolved URLs) but more the usability side of things. These short-URL services will eventually die, it's just a question of when...