Monday, May 15, 2006

Europa website domain name change

Via the EU law blog I learned that the Europa website is migrating to the .eu domain name, from the domain name. Details (with apparent reassurance about the longer term availability of links to the domain) are in a press release here. After reading the post, I obviously went over and roadtested the europa website, and the various bits and various subsites, on the Commission and the Parliament sites in particular which I had saved in favourites for research use. There appears to be no consistency - but then who ever expected that on europa. In some cases, there is automatic redirection to a .eu url. Sometimes the old url still appears to work (for how long?). And sometimes the subsite is just dead. As a parrot. Disappeared. Unavailable. Extincto.

For someone who is just in the process of finishing a textbook on EU economic and social law, this is infuriating beyond belief, because each chapter contains key websites substantiating the material in the chapter. It's fine if the new domain url is available or even if the old one is dead and we can search out the new one. But what if the old url still appears to work, and there is no equivalent in .eu. It's all very well going to print in the next couple of months with this textbook. Maybe the urls are working now. But it will be mighty embarassing if they disappear within months of the book being published. So...that's perhaps where the back up website that many publishers provide, not to mention the blog might come in useful. Now...there is some food for thought on the interaction between pedagogy and blogging.


Anonymous Jon Worth said...

Sadly it's no surprise - there has never been much consistency about Europa! A friend that works in the EP remarked to me that a number of MEPs had written to the Commission to request clarifications to the changeover plan and were unsatisfied with the replies.

I think the book will need a large disclaimer at the beginning, detailing the problems of the changeover to .eu!

10:41 pm  
Blogger BondWoman said...

That won't be the only disclaimer! There will also be a big one relating to the Constitutional Treaty, although I think we will take a punt on it not being brought into force at least during the lifespan of this book...

9:49 am  
Blogger MatGB said...

When I was studying EU law enough to need to get references for Europa, a group of us got together and shared work out. I did "all other website sources" (with my mighty Google Fu), and we got the least web savvy person to trawl Europa. Those of us that knew what we were doing refused to ouch the thing unless we had to.

Rules of webdesign part 6: never destroy old urls. Stoopid. Stoopid stoopid stoopid.

On the treay, ratification is up to 15, right? It's chugging along nicely, but Britain could never pass it in the (misguided) media climate: "Look, the Europeans have cave in, they've given us something that decentralises, democratises, opens things up and generally sorts things out, let's condemn it as federalist"...

Gah! Good luck with the book tho.

6:24 pm  
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1:32 pm  

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