Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Command Performance: URL powerhouses

Get Contents of URL

URLs make the world go round. In their simplest form, of course, they load web pages. But there’s hidden complexity beneath the humble URL. As many people who build web pages already know, they can carry enormous amounts of data from place to place, all by tacking on extra stuff in the query portion at the end of the URL—that’s the stuff that follows the question mark symbol.

So, for example, https://my.example/?name=Jason contacts a web server and passes across the field name containing the name Jason. Of course, most URL queries are far more complicated—and they don’t always use web servers. URL, after all, stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and they can refer to apps, too. In fact, most inter-application communication on iOS takes place via the humble URL.

I’ve configured 1Writer, my primary text editor on iOS, to run a Shortcut via this URL: shortcuts://run-shortcut?name=Post%20to%20Six%20Colors%202020&input={[text]}. Shortcuts is registered as the handler for any URLs starting with shortcuts, and Shortcuts accepts requests to run a Shortcut at run-shortcut, with the name of the shortcut in the name field.…

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