Note: this issue has been completely resolved to my and my teams satisfaction. Thank you so much Kiln team!
Note: I did a major rewrite since it was getting long and fragmented
Here is a quote from one of the devs on my team:
Stupid fricking numbers. Prolly had something to do with checking into /8/ and publishing from /1/. Can we drop them or change them to something more meaningful? They seem hazardous.
In the 5 days sense we started using kiln among 5 developers, we have already have a bunch of problems with the way repo urls are formed. The key problem is that urls use the repository id instead of the name of the repository, even though both show up in the UI. Here is another quote from one of my team members:
I guess that's the thing, the use case they are optimizing for (moving things around in a UI I don't actually use) breaks a use case that I do care about (manually entering URLs into my tortoise client).
This gets at the root of the problem. All the talk about making sure that moving repos around doesn't break urls is not really a big deal for the users. If I move a file or a directory in windows, windows is smart enough to know that I meant to move it, if I didn't mean to, I can always move it back. Windows also know that I actually spend very little time moving stuff around.
Since the beginning of time (time didn't exist before source control), users have been doing 3 things: pulling changes, making new changes, and pushing changes. Kiln doesn't change that (and shouldn't try). I just want to do the job I love, and most of my user interaction with kiln is and will be from the command line or from tortoisehg. If I am going to be typing urls into either of those places, then the url should be easy to remember having something to do with the thing it points to, I should certainly not have to open my web browser to get a magic number.
I understand that since you make kiln, using kiln is a big part of your job, so you are going to move repos around a lot more than I am, but you also have to remember that 90% of the time users are going to use a program called mercurial to talk to kiln, and mercurial expects a url to get the conversation started. Kiln is first of all a mercurial hosting service and second a code review/management tool. I don't say this to denigrate it, because in order to be a good code review tool it has to get hosting right, because if we cannot have good urls, then no matter how good the review tool is 90% of our interaction with the product will still suck.
github, launchpad, bitbucket, hgweb, code.google.com, codeplex, sourceforge, and even just using ssh tunnelling all give me sane and usable urls, and I can't find any other hosting service that tries to magically be smarter than me with its urls.