webfork wrote:Can anyone think of a benefit?
In the case of a PF entry, not really. Bit.ly for example allows creators to track analytics but that's only really of benefit to the creator.
I suppose with the appropriate service one could create a download link that is always a single URL and simply update what it links to, as a sort of middle man for download URLs that change depending on version, but the problem with that is browsers cache all redirects that these services use (there is a non-caching redirect available but no service I've found use it). It also shares the vulnerability of the service going down, or potential abuse.
Archive Team have a wiki entry
of the hundreds of dead and alive link shortening sites they try/are trying to archive. The problem with shorteners is they obscure the original link, so if anything happens to the service it's not always clear where one would find an archived copy (which happens a fair bit on PF when program sites 404).