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Twitter Hashbang URLs Will Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

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Favstar.fm founder Tim Haines had a Twitter conversation with Twitter engineer Dan Webb, and found that Twitter is apparently moving away from hashbangs in its URLs.

Haines shared the conversation at a Storify link, but here are the relevant tweets:

Reading a gazillion articles on hashbang URLs (#!). 99% of them seem to be over-emotionalized FUD. 22 hours ago via Twitter for Mac ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@timhaines read mine. It’s all facts. danwebb.net 22 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

In that post, Webb writes (though he expresses that the opinions are his own, and not necessarily that of his employer’s):

A few months back there was a flurry of blog posts and conversations over Twitter both for and against the now fairly common practice of using hashbang urls (example) and JavaScript routing in favor of traditional URLs and full page loads. There is also growing interest around several JavaScript MVC frameworks that are make heavy use of this technique. Since people started doing this kind of thing I’ve been pretty squeamish about the idea. At the time that this discussion erupted across the web I really wanted to comment on it but until recently, although I was almost certain that hashbang URLs were destructive, I found myself unable to put in definite terms why.

As you probably know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I have for a long time been an avid proponent of progressive enhancement and as many people correctly pointed out many of the arguments against hashbang URLs seemed to fold this philosophy in which clouded the issue quite a lot. In a well reasoned post, my colleague, Ben Cherry pointed this out and expressed that it wasn’t really hashbangs that were the problem and that they were merely a temporary work around until we get pushState support. As he put it, “It’s Not About The Hashbang”.

After quite a lot of thought and some attention to some of the issues that surround web apps that use hashbang URLs I’ve come to conclusion that it most definitely isabout the hashbangs. This technique, on its own, is destructive to the web. The implementation is inappropriate, even as a temporary measure or as a downgrade experience.

He goes much more in depth in the post itself.

@timhaines plus, now I’m in charge of undoing twitters hashbang URLs I can confirm that all the issues in that article are very real. 22 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@danwrong x months from now (when your project completes) Twitter will no longer use hashbangs? 22 hours ago via Twitter for Mac ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@timhaines correct. All gone. It was a mistake for several reasons. PushState or bust. 22 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@danwrong You’re going to revert to page refreshes if the browser doesn’t support PushState? Adding PushState support progressively? 22 hours ago via Twitter for Mac ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@timhaines although I’m not sure why everyone is so adverse to page refreshes these days. You can make them fast too. 22 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Twitter Hashbang URLs Will Soon Be A Thing Of The Past
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