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Wednesday
Sep072011

A Great Diagram: URL Slicing by Tantek Çelik

Bombarded by colorful infographics and rich 3D renderings, we may forget that fancy tools and visual tricks are not needed to communicate complex ideas.

This week I discovered a diagram that for the intended audience – those who have a familiarity with URLs and URIs – is a remarkably clear summary. The diagram is by Tantek Çelik in his blog post: How many ways can you slice a URL and name the pieces?

Things this diagram does well:

  • Communicates a hierarchical structure for each URL slicing method
  • Allows us to compare the hierarchies. There are few diagrams that do a good job of this.
  • Reveals some interesting patterns. Consult his original blog post to learn more.
  • And required no graphics application to create. This diagram is just a simple HTML table

If you must document how your code handles URLs, then learn from Tantek’s work. A diagram would provide an intuitive and concise explanation to your readers.

image

 

I wanted to see if I could represent this in a different way to make the hierarchy more clear. My attempt at creating one with Microsoft Excel is shown below. Ultimately, I think Tantek’s original diagram is much better.

image

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