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What's a reasonable antonym for "permalink"?
November 19, 2012 1:08 PM   Subscribe

I can't find a standard term used on websites to mean "impermanent link", but I need one.

I'm setting up a website whose primary content is a database of stable documents. They are typically accessed via searching where the browser-bar URLs are human-unfriendly, so each document has a canonic link labeled as "Permalink: " within a metadata div.

However, there will also be in-progress, non-final documents in the database, clearly labeled as such, that will be removed and replaced with final versions at indefinite points in the future. By definition, they will not have permanent links. So I don't want to label their human-friendly URLs as "permalinks", but I can't think of an existing antonym. ("Impermalink" would be too cute.) "Provisional link" or "current link", plus explanation, is the best I can do. Any better ideas?
posted by Creosote to Computers & Internet (22 answers total)
 
Ephemeral?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:10 PM on November 19, 2012


Transient?
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:10 PM on November 19, 2012


Templink?
posted by inturnaround at 1:13 PM on November 19, 2012


Temporary is what I've seen used.
posted by safetyfork at 1:14 PM on November 19, 2012


I thought of "temporary", but it suggests "will be replaced pretty soon", whereas these links may persist for weeks or months before going away.
posted by Creosote at 1:17 PM on November 19, 2012


Seconding templink.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:17 PM on November 19, 2012


"Placeholder link"
posted by Rock Steady at 1:19 PM on November 19, 2012


Temp only suggests impermanent to me, not that it's being replaced soon. Temp workers for examples may work for months at a time or days or weeks as the job requires. Same thing for your links. Plus it has a nice echo in my ear to template.
posted by inturnaround at 1:21 PM on November 19, 2012


If you leave a 301 for the impermanent URL's (once they're gone), then you probably don't need to worry too much about relying on the users to understand the longevity of the links.
posted by paulg at 1:21 PM on November 19, 2012


Given your particular use case, I would describe the temporary links as non-canonical, and the permanent ones as canonical.
posted by bfranklin at 1:24 PM on November 19, 2012


Draft link? Since the documents being linked to are draft versions...
posted by cabingirl at 1:38 PM on November 19, 2012


How about "Current link:"
posted by amtho at 1:39 PM on November 19, 2012


You don't need to use the word "link" in the name of a link, since...it's a link. In my experience, things like this are termed, "perishable."
posted by rhizome at 1:44 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


In similar contexts I've sometimes called these brittle links.
posted by sub-culture at 1:53 PM on November 19, 2012


I always write out "not a permalink." Which isn't great, but gets the point across.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:29 PM on November 19, 2012


dynamic link?
posted by squorch at 2:44 PM on November 19, 2012


Temporary Link, Expiring Link, Perishable Link, Stopgap Link, Impermanent Link...

But it seems to me that this isn't the right way to go about it. It's not the link that's fragile, it's the destination. How about labelling it as In Progress Versions, or Temporary Versions, with a small disclaimer below: "subject to removal without notice", or something similar. Alternatively, you could mark them with a more explicit description than a two-word phrase, or add a separate marking with a key elsewhere on the page.

It's an interesting quandry, because I do think the web needs something like this - so much of the web is ephemeral, and yet that's not a commonly expected behaviour. Noting that something will disappear at a moment's notice, whenever you least expect it, would be a useful phrase.
posted by Magnakai at 3:19 PM on November 19, 2012


I'd say temporary (not impertinent, in any case)
posted by Namlit at 3:35 PM on November 19, 2012


I thought of "temporary", but it suggests "will be replaced pretty soon", whereas these links may persist for weeks or months before going away.

I think "temporary" is best anyway. Better would be think of a way that the links don't break in the first place. Surely you can redirect them in the future?
posted by callmejay at 4:55 PM on November 19, 2012


Draft.
posted by empath at 5:59 PM on November 19, 2012


Why not just make it a permalink and just replace the content when it gets revised? Sort of like how newspaper websites use the same link for stories that are ongoing or get changed?

But the way I would do it if that's not the way you want to go would be to have a link called "current revision" and then a greyed out permalink next to it. For consistency, you could then have a greyed out "current revision" and a working permalink for stable data. As the document changes to final, your backend could perhaps see a "final=true" in the xml and change how it presents the link.
posted by gjc at 6:47 PM on November 19, 2012


Thanks, a wealth of good answers here, and this gives me something to take back to my development group for discussion. Future redirection from the current URL should be the proper solution, but for this project there isn't a guarantee that someone is going to maintain an accurate lookup table mapping the provisional links to the permanent identifiers (which will have different values). So I'm tending to think that "temporary link" plus a clear explanation is the way to go.
posted by Creosote at 7:19 PM on November 19, 2012


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