During the nigh 12 hour break I had between regular work over Thanksgiving, I spent about four hours writing a little utility that I wanted to use instead of TinyURL, and found a fantastic domain name for it too: Urlenco.de. I also wanted to use the opportunity to explore using Npgsql, the .NET connector for PostgreSQL, which was a very pleasant experience after using the MySQL .NET connector (part of the pleasant experience was using PostgreSQL itself, of course). Another new thing to explore was the FastCGI support for Mono/ASP.NET, I'll be sure to jot down my experiences with Mono's FastCGI support in a later post since my brain is too fried to talk about it coherently in detail.
The most important part of the entire project was further refining my rapid-development process for Mono and ASP.NET so I can do quick little projects like this and push them to a live webserver in a matter of hours instead of days (of time I don't have). This mostly consists of boiler-plate project templates for some basic database code, page templates, and a NAnt build script that facilitates the building and testing of the site using xsp2 on localhost. Nothing spectacular, just having a toolkit of necessities to take from one project to the next, especially when time is at such a premium, is a minor but important difference from how I work now as opposed to how I used to work (when I had expendable time).
One of my favorite parts of the entire Urlenco.de project was setting up a Urlenco.de API for both encoding (tiny'ing) and decoding (untiny'ing) URLs to and from Urlenco.de, all in under 10 minutes after a suggestion from my friend Dennis at Palantir. After another suggestion, I also wrote a Urlenco.de stats page using the comments powered by Disqus