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Are there any case insensitive URL shorteners out there that have an API?

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Out of curiosity: Why would you need a URL Shortener to be case insensitive? –  Sirupsen Dec 22 '10 at 17:58
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@Sirupsen 'Cos it is insensitive to be case sensitive with URLs. Only geeks like us would think of that. For example WWW.GOOGLE.COM is the same as wWw.GoOgLe.CoM –  Sri Sankaran Mar 5 '13 at 22:04
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migrated from superuser.com Dec 22 '10 at 16:55

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3 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

TinyURL is case insensitive.

(To test: try http://tinyurl.com/28ygwgs , http://tinyurl.com/28ygwGS . http://tinyurl.com/28YGwgs, http://tinyurl.com/28yGWgs et al )

(PS: the short URL is link to this question )

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Hmm... Good one, didn't even know TinyURL was case insensitive. +1 –  BloodPhilia Dec 22 '10 at 16:02
    
For what I've heard, TinyURL just uses an increasing number, and then uses Base 36 (0-9, A-Z) to encode that. If true, than that explains why it's case insensitive by design. –  Arjan Dec 22 '10 at 16:26
    
@Arjan -that's correct. –  Sathya Dec 22 '10 at 16:28
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Not at the moment that I'm aware of. I don't think any url shortener will implement this either, it reduces the number of characters to use in a string by 26. This means a lot of different combinations will be lost requiring them to make the strings longer... That be exactly the opposite goal an url shortener is trying to accomplish.

Example, if only using the alphabet, a shortener which uses upper and lowercase has this many possible combinations when using a 5 character string:

52^5 = 380204032

roughly 380 million

A shortener which lower case only has this many possible combinations when using a 5 character string:

26^5 = 11881376

roughly 11 million

So, comparing 380 million vs 11 million, I can tell you which one the url shortener will probably choose to use.

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Your logic is sound, but see Sathya's answer - TinyURL supports this, but they use more characters. If the length is that much of an issue, yeah, case sensitivity is likely to be abandoned. –  Shinrai Dec 22 '10 at 15:58
    
@Shinrai Thanks for pointing me to Sathya's answer ;) –  BloodPhilia Dec 22 '10 at 16:03
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As shorl.com uses Koremutake, it is case-insentive by design; http://shorl.com/hidehumapryfy and http://shorl.com/HideHumaPryFy both redirect to this question.

Also, Wikipedia claims Snipurl uses Base 36 encoding (just like TinyURL), and hence is case-insensitive by design too. Indeed: http://snipr.com/1p3l9l versus http://snipr.com/1P3L9L.

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I found the Koremutake article interesting, except their pronunciation guide has a fatal flaw. They recommend O be pronounced as in mOon and U as in sUe. In English, these are the exact same vowel sound: IPA /u/. I've emailed the authors. –  ghoppe Dec 22 '10 at 22:22
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