Search engines make webmasters lazy. Why take the time to index all the groups, organizations, and programs at the university, when you can just throw them all up there. I think the liberal use of subdomains makes it a lot harder to find stuff. In a folder hierarchy you can see what’s below. With subdomains it’s all over your head – literally. Just how many are up there?
As Christine is in Graduate School here at UCI, we often need to look up a service, site, number, notice or document pertaining to the: shuttle, class, administrator, help desk, parking. I’ll spend hours trying to figure out if I need to call Housing, ResNet, NACS, or ICS when the cable goes out. Tons of silly acronyms and even more websites on silly subdomains.
The UCI network group [at one time] published sixty or so of them – turns out there are more then 400 uci.edu subdomains. This was one of those side projects that started out like “hmm – I wonder…” and rapidly evolved into several hours of throttling my connection just enough so that every web server on campus wouldn’t report my IP. “shit… That’s a lot more then 60…“
They apparently hand them out like candy. There are no rules for wildcards or leading with www. Sometimes they have both, sometimes only one. How frustrating is it that you have to remember the www on some and not others? Some sites are updated daily, some sites have seen more work in the late 90’s. I’ll bet that a lot of this is unavailable to those outside of the uci.edu domain. A lot of services and hidden extras to be found I’m sure. Enjoy this fascinating list of hidden uci.edu.subdomain goodness. Just finding out that we had a passport office on campus was worth the time.
UPDATE: There was at one time no approval process, but one is in place. It is up to the approved group to setup the DNS to respond to www or not.