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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Update: I created a simpler version of this pipe using the API from LongURL. A positive side-effect of using the service is that it supports many more URL shortening services.

Some people feel that URL shortening services like TinyURL are a security risk because they take away the user’s ability to hover over a link and find out where it is taking them. An example for such an argument can be read in the TinyURL and security post from the SANS diary. You might or might not agree with this statement, but here is a little Yahoo! Pipe to de-shortify such URL’s:


Currently it supports TinyURL and, but it can be extended rather easily to other services, provided that they offer a preview feature. An other feature is that it doesn’t touch URL’s which it doesn’t know about. The structure of the pipe is somewhat complicate (as you can see it below), because – as I discovered – pipes don’t run if one component of theirs returns an error. This means that I’d had to set up different “cases” for each service and filter them:


Hope that somebody finds it useful.

PS. If you wish to consume Pipes from Javascript, they support a JSON callback style of fetching the data, even though it is not very well documented.


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