Web aesthetics: don't use DLLs in your URLs
One of the things that's bugged me for years is when sites include DLLs in their generated page URLs. It's non-intuitive, damages the potential marketability (a URL's sexiness) of the site, reeks of 1998 web practices, debatably a security risk, and basically tells the entire world and developer community what's used to generate the page content. Although the same can surely be said for people who look at a site's source and determine that Visual Studio, FrontPage, or other suite built the pages by simply checking out a <META> tag.
But consider the visual appeal of the following, particularly the impact on a consumer:
Publicus, a content management solution hugely popular with the newspaper industry, does just this (the above links are from sites running that software). It's a good, solid product with a great reputation and many swear by it. And for several years, NASDAQ employed a similiar tactic in what was previously a freely-available XML feed for stock quotes (if I'm not mistaken, membership is now required to access quotes):
In fact, Google the part of the Publicus-generated URL with the DLL in it and see how many results you get - I nailed more than 1.9 million documents. Not bad, and certainly SAXoTECH, who produces Publicus, by way of the visiable advertisement the URLs create markets the hell out of itself and can demonstrate its breadth this way. But seeing a DLL in this day and age of advanced path rewriting, ability to easily roll custom HTTP handlers, numerous ISAPI filters, and various forms of URL munging still makes me cringe:
Since I work in an integrated media company, simple URLs are critical since we live and die by our ability to cross-promote. And sure, you can advertise a short, succinct web site address and then have the CMS take over and rework the URL once the user is actually on the site, but it's not the same. We're a bit past this now.
This is the kind of thing that tends to irk me much in the same vein as the hypocrisy of the use of a ROBOTS.TXT file within a web site.