RFC-0125: Shortlinks on Fuchsia.dev

RFC-0125: Shortlinks on Fuchsia.dev
  • Developer

Allow redirecting fuchsia.dev/go/ to specific Fuchsia artifacts.

Gerrit change
Date submitted (year-month-day)2021-07-09
Date reviewed (year-month-day)2021-09-01


Allow the use of shorter, meaningful, and durable links to specific Fuchsia artifacts. These shortlinks ensure links won't degrade over time.

The proposed format is fuchsia.dev/go/ and would map to any fuchsia.dev document or a specific file in the Fuchsia source tree.

For example, fuchsia.dev/go/components could redirect to a page such as fuchsia.dev/fuchsia-src/concepts/components/v2.

In most cases, these links should not be changed; however, there may be exceptions, such as when the Component framework version change. The go/link allows for a seamless transition between these version changes.


Shorter links are useful for things such as rubrics, specifications, documentation, FAQs, supported hardware, and more. They are also helpful with version updated, for example, Components v2.

This can also help with versioning of certain core parts of Fuchsia such as Components.


Facilitator: hjfreyer.

Reviewers: mkearney, curtisgalloway.

Consulted: Members of FEC.

Socialization: RFC draft was shared with the technical writing team.


The design involves creating a directory in the source tree in docs/go/ to place a _redirects.yaml file.

This directory will include a README.md file to explain how to use the redirects. It will also have an OWNERS file to review and approve the new shortlinks. The OWNERS would also need to approve any possible changes to existing go links. These changes should only be approved in very particular cases, such as a replacement of a core concept, such as a new version of the component framemwork.

The format of redirects would be in the following format:

- from: /docs/go/<keyword>
  to: <path in source tree>


- from: /docs/go/drivers
  to: /docs/reference/hardware/drivers.md

This redirect results in and points to .


Create three changes:

  • A gerrit change that includes the new docs/go directory along with _redirects.yaml, README.md, and OWNERS files.
  • A gerrit change that updates doc_checker for testing. See Testing.
  • An overall redirect for fuchsia.dev to redirect fuchsia.dev/fuchsia-src/go/ to fuchsia.dev/go. fuchsia/src/go/ would be the path for docs/go on fuchsia.dev.


This would result in a minor latency increase due to the redirect.


This enables contributors to make easy to remember keywords for Fuchsia documentation.

Backwards Compatibility


Security considerations

Technically, a _redirects.yaml file can be added in any of the sub-directories of the /docs/ directory to make redirects. However, the scope of a _redirects.yaml file is limited to the directory in which the file lives; there should not be an issue where other parts of fuchsia.dev get redirected.

This proposal creates a /docs/go/_redirects.yaml file which limits the redirect scope to only fuchsia.dev/go/. In the background, a higher-level redirect takes care of redirecting fuchsia.dev/fuchsia-src/go to fuchsia.dev/go. Keep in mind that once the git repo is moved into fuchsia.dev, the fuchsia-src/ directory is mapped to the docs/ directory.

Privacy considerations



doc_checker can be expanded to verify that:

  • The - from: fields only have /docs/go paths to avoid issues.
  • The to: links exist.
  • The other .md files in /docs/ are not referencing broken /docs/go/ links.
  • Problematic words or phrases are not used in the names of links.
  • No duplicate go keywords exist.


Create a README.md that explains the syntax for the file along with the following items:

  • Rubric for making a shortlink. See rubric For example, things that should have a permanent reference in case of a reorganization. Any reviewer could consult this rubric to determine the validity of proposed links.


Short links (fuchsia.dev/go) are intended to be durable, have a meaningful name, and be of general interest. The links are durable and use a flat namespace, so it is desirable to carefully consider each proposal to limit the number of created short links.

Reviewers should consider the following factors to approve pending short link requests:

  • Will the proposed link be relevant for a long time? Links are intended to be durable, so you should be reasonably confident that a link will continue to be of general interest for a long time.

    • Positive example: A general Fuchsia FAQ page or the current list of supported hardware. Even though they will change over time, the topics will be relevant indefinitely.

    • Negative example: An RFC proposal that is under consideration. While the proposal is currently relevant, it will be either accepted or rejected. If accepted, it may be a suitable short link topic for reference.

  • Does the link cover a general topic or concept? Is it relevant for a wide audience?

    • Positive example:

      • An overview of FIDL. This is a fundamental technology used by Fuchsia.
      • The Fuchsia security model. This is of interest to both users and developers.
    • Negative example:

      • Documentation for a single system call. A link to the list of system calls would be more relevant.
      • Instructions for booting a specific model of NUC over Ethernet. A link to a more general page on booting Fuchsia on categories of devices would be of interest to a wider audience.
  • Does the link duplicate an existing easy-to-use link that is unlikely to change?

    • Positive example: is unlikely to change, so is probably redundant.
  • Is the link name meaningful, and does it comply with the Respectful Code policy? Short links should be, of course, short, but not at the expense of being understood.

    • Positive example: Both of these examples are short and descriptive:

      • /docs/go/faq (renders as fuchsia.dev/go/faq).
      • /docs/go/hardware-specs (renders as fuchsia.dev/go/hardware-specs).
  • Does the to link point to a document inside of the /docs/ directory?

    • Positive example:

      • to: /docs/concepts/software_model.md.
    • Negative example:

      • to: http://google.com/.

Drawbacks, alternatives, and unknowns


Prior art and references

Examples from link shortners such as: