Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Prettier Permalinks

Permalink stands for ‘permanent link’. When you create a blog post, it gets added to the top of your blog, pushing older entries down. Eventually, posts get pushed off the front page, so it’s important that you have a way to refer to old blog posts. A permalink is the link that will always point to a specific post.

OpenACS (lars-blogger) permalinks look like this:

This works and it’s really easy to code, but it doesn’t give much information about the content or date of the post.

A lot of other blog packages use permalinks which look like this:

It’s easy to tell how old the post is, and what it might be about. More importantly, it seems that search engines give URLs like this more weight. So, I’ve gone ahead and made the changes on my blog. Enjoy!

For the OpenACS geeks, here’s the changes that I made. It won’t necessarily apply cleanly against OpenACS, but it will give you an idea of what to change. It includes an automated test to assure you that both the old and new permalinks work.

Comments from old site

Just don’t use the same title twice in one day

You’ll end up with ambiguous urls. The util_text_to_url proc can disambiguate a list of urls for you, and then you’d need to store the new url in the db.

That would also avoid the whole list/loop shenanegins. It would also be easy to write a little script to go through your existing db and create the urls for existing blog entries.

But that might be considered hard work ;)

Mark Aufflick 2006-05-05 07:11:24

Excellent point

I thought about that briefly while I wrote this, but figured, “What are the chances that I’d write 2 posts in the same day with the same title?” In other words, I took the easy way out.

But adding the permalink to the DB does sound like the right thing to do, so I’ll work on it or head over to your blog and beg for your code :-)

Vinod Kurup 2006-05-05 16:35:41