A week after going public with guff here on szubNet, and I’ve already overhauled the back-end.
No serious maintenance mind you, but noticeable (if you notice such things). Using a publishing system like WordPress for my blogging needs means I have a number of options in how to organize, display and maintain guff. As an example, the default URI to a post, category or whatnot is what WP gurus refer to (so I’ve learned) as ‘crufty’, a bare-bones hyperlink denoting little more than a query to the database where WordPress stores site content. The cruft version of a link to this post is:
It does the job, but not in any reader-friendly way (not that I’m against that!). However, I can alter this by changing WordPress’ Permalink Options, creating a custom URI format for my site. So after a little path parameter magic—and a re-education in the Apache mod_rewrite module—this entry is now at:
Now that makes more sense. Everything is where it was before (in the database, that is), but now I have a more understandable lede into an entry by providing a breakdown of post date and title in the URI. Same goes for categories, so that szub-Limn is at /category/szub-Limn/, rather than the cryptic index.php?cat=1. Cruft URIs still work, so I’ve not broken any past linkages.
So far so good. And to an experienced WordPress user, it’s old hat. But wait, there’s more!
Using Apache’s rewrite rules, I can define more than one “on-the-fly” hyperlink to an element. Note how the following link differs from the one above:
Short and sweet, and still without the cruft. Now you may wonder why I need more than one link to the same resource. To understand that, it would help to know how my brain works (be happy you don’t!). Here’s an example of what’s possible using this abbreviated form of my custom permalink:
If you follow the link, you’ll find more than one blog entry there. That’s because they use the same title, or more accurately the same element of a WordPress article called the post “slug” or name, which is the title in URI-addressable form. Composing each using the same slug creates one more manner to categorize entries. Not only can my Quotables be discovered under the category About Moi (as well as under their respective archive dates), I can now collectively gather them under my own virtual classification, thereby avoiding the need to set up yet another category to organize them separately.
More options, less categories filling up the sidebar. I like that. A lot.