[2008-01-27] Web-site Slightly Reorganised

I have once again slightly reorganised this web-site in order to make it a bit faster to load, a bit easier to use and a lot easier to maintain. Among the major user-visible changes are a web-site feed, per-post pages, lighter aggregating pages and a web-site-specific Google search.

With the addition of a web-site feed, you can now automatically get notified of new posts to this web-site instead of having to manually check for such updates. The feed conforms to the Atom 1.0 standard. I have also verified that it works in at least Thunderbird and Google Reader.

Each “News” post now has its own dedicated page. This makes it easier to link to it, especially in the web-site feed. Instead of using expandable and collapsible sections to summarise posts on aggregating pages (the main page and the “News Archive” pages), I now put only the first paragraph of a post on an aggregating page. For longer posts, I insert a “Read More...” text linking to the dedicated page for the post. This considerably reduces the size of the aggregating pages.

The biggest changes however have been to the way I maintain this web-site. I have now expanded my use of the m4 macro processor and Unix shell scripts to automate as many tasks related to web-site maintenance as I could. This includes automatically creating aggregating pages with post-summaries in the right order, automatically creating the web-site feed, automatically creating a table of contents, automatically determining the dependencies between the various files with HTML fragments and using it in a “Makefile”, etc. Maintaining this web-site is now less of a chore.

The time and effort I spend maintaining this web-site might seem to be quite disproportionate to the amount of useful content in it. That is because it is easier to keep tweaking this web-site than to produce genuinely useful content for it.

Other Posts from 2008