Don't link to us!

I'm such a web geek I punch in web addresses I hear on the radio. One such was the web site for an upscale dining magazine for Albuquerque and Santa Fe called La Cocinita—Spanish for "Kitchen." I wanted the "Around Albuquerque" column, which is about restaurant news.

The dropdown menu Being a web geek, I zoomed in on the dropdown menu on the the home page. I found "Food News" too abstract. I had to guess that it had "Around Albuquerque" columns in it. "Around Albuquerque" and "Santa Fe Scoop" need to be items on the menu.

But that's not even the most annoying thing. I ran into one of my pet peeves, which I've referred in the past without explaining: They made it hard to link to a specific page by using a POST rather than a GET.

You want that without technobabble? OK, here goes. There are two ways to send in the stuff in a web form after you click the submit button: A GET or a POST. (In this case, using the dropdown sends in the form.)

The POST method puts some of the stuff that should go in the link elsewhere, and a Favorite that uses a POST will either dump you on a generic page or the middle of no-where if you try to do the site the favor of revisiting. (I could explain what elsewhere is, but trust me, it won't help) Show and tell time.

Here's a POST. Notice how short it is:
A not very helpful POST that dumps you on the home page

In a GET, on the other hand, a full link shows up in the Address area of your browser, and if you add this Address to your Favorites, it will work.

Here's a GET. It's longer, but it takes you to the page you want: This actually pulls up what you want, even as a Favorite.

GETs are almost always better. I'm not saying a POST should never be used: if I'm submitting credit card information, they better be using a POST for the increased security. Yes, GETs are more usable than POSTs.

Funnily enough, the link to the advertising page uses a GET.

So I cobbled together a link to the Food News page. The most current column (September) is way at the bottom. I thought January was the last time it had been updated at first, which didn't make any sense with the Radio Free Santa Fe ad I just heard. (Radio Free is, so far, still worth listening to despite having been acquired by Clear Channel. This Clear Channel link [was] another GET link I had to create by hand. (3/25/2003: Update: the link is broken, and Clear Channel is hiding their radio station stuff on their site. I have removed the links below)

The listing on Clear Channel call[ed] Radio Free "Classic Rock" on the Albuquerque listing page, but
"Adult Alternative" on the detail page. I know why it got screwed up: it's because they moved the station to 104.1, which used to be a Classic Rock station. It's a much better signal you can listen to all the way to Santa Fe and back to Albuquerque.

I would email them, but Clear Channel's contact page lists only phone and street address. Helpful.

Why do people still make it hard to link to them, when it's been known for years (scroll to number 7) this is a bad idea?

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, September 26, 2002 (Link)