May 30, 2005 spout writing

URLs in the Footnotes?

Here’s a question for folks. Right now, the 1st edition of the WinForms book has several footnotes like the following that include URLs:

The ntcopyres.exe tool can be obtained from”

Unfortunately, unlike the browser you’re using now, while we can underline an URL in a book, we can’t do anything useful with you click” it, which forces you to type it. Since the URL above is by no means the longest in the book (MS likes to put GUIDs in theirs), I’d prefer not to put that burden on the reader if I don’t have to. With the invention of shrinkster, I don’t have to:

The ntcopyres.exe tool can be obtained from”

The problem with this, of course, is that I don’t really know if shrinkster is going to be around forever or if I want to tie my book to a single external resource that I can’t control. The idea I had this morning was to use both, which increases the size of the URL in print but gives the reader a shortcut and doesn’t hold me hostage to shrinkster*:

The ntcopyres.exe tool can be obtained from (”

What do people think?

*Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big shrinkster fan, else I wouldn’t be dropping their links into my books at all.