Quick And Dirty URL Shortner On Any Site

First, I think this is a terrible idea and you should never do this. Second, I did this right here on this site. 

I wanted to add a URL shortener to my website so when people go davidron.com/something, the user will be redirected to some arbitrary location. I added the following to my 404 page:
<script language="javascript">
var key = window.location.href.split("/")[3];
var urls={

        document.write("'"+key+"' not found :(");
Now, I can go to davidron.com/ssh to open a terminal or davidron.com/emacs to download a qe binary.

This has several disadvantages:
  • It's a complete abuse of the 404 page, which should't redirect anywhere.
  • It's javascript, and a URL shortener should really use HTTP 3xx redirects.
  • It's slow because you have to load and render the 404 page, show (part of) the 404 page to the user, run the script on the 404 page.
  • Whatever security through obscurity there might be in a cryptic short URL is lost by the fact that I've published the entire database of URLS on my 404 page.
It also has a couple of advantages:
  • It's stupid easy.
  • It works.
  • It's easy to edit right in the HTML.

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