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Friday, 25 June 2004

Wishes for EED v2 [lurks]

It's time for our blog system to get a major overhaul. The uber fuxor technology exploiting the quantum assmaster principal has done good service and it's pretty safe to say that very few other people have done quite the same thing - the email gating, IRC driven blogging/editing etc. It was all pretty wicked stuff but there are some drawbacks which need addressing and sadly we're at about the limit of the current system and we probably need to use something which more than one person can code/modify - so it actually gets done.
We've got some technology in mind, this time some off-the-shelf stuff which we'll bend to our own insidious ends. However picking tech first is the wrong way of going about it. What we should do is work out what people would like to see and then make a choice of technology based upon that.
One of the key things we need, in my view, is to have blogs visible by real URL paths and not with some php crap on the end. The primary reason for that, so Google can spider the blogs permanently and not just throw our front page up if it happens to spider across the content when it is on the front page.
Think carefully about what you'd like to see and post here please.


  1. Well, mod_rewrite will take care of the URI issue you've raised; either that (in case Slim can't implement that module on the server) or we build in a static page publishing component and write out the pages (with appropriate zero cache headers) as single HTML files.
    My wish list is as follows:
    1) Search - I think with 500+ blogs and more coming along weekly, we need the ability to be able to search for a blog by keyword. So I guess we'll need to index them, and whack in a search box someplace.
    2) Public comments I reckon there are plenty of folk who read this site who'd love to comment, but can't - and don't know how to get the blogging passy (it's called 1 crate of Krug per member, via FedEX chaps)... and anyway, I reckon it'd be cool.

  2. Once the pages are real URLs, there's a nifty thing in Google labs which can do our search. You can restrict it to our site alone and customise the output to look like our web site. Why have any old search when you can have a Google-powered search?

  3. what about a member blog homepage, so if I wanted to read all mats blogs for example, I would click on his name, and get just a list of his blogs or I could give a link to people with just my own blogs..
    Along the lines of ya olde webdog or other blog proggys, like googles one.

  4. Actually Joe that's a fucking good idea; we can make it so you simply click on a member's photo either on the main blog page, the full blog content page, or the 'members' page. Click, bosh.

  5. That would kinda be cool you know. We could extend that and give things categories. If we make this attractive enough, more people will use it and it may overwealm the front page. But you could do personalish-like blogs in your own stuff and you'd see that if you clicked into that person or something like that. That's food for thought, no mistake.

  6. Something simpler would be an icon driven approach:

  7. Yeah. It needs to get more friendly and hands off. Editing is a bit arcane right now. Rebot actually does far too much work on this, should be done on site. So people can add comments, edit and do stuff like that without relying on Rebot.
    It might fuck the nice stuff up like our blog-by-mail but I think we'll gain more than we lose.

  8. Simple things like more EED need to be able to edit the system, like changing photos etc. Also some of my favourite bits of eed are the explain 'eedmember' in IRC. Would be cool if we could intergrate those comments with a members icon/page.
    Most of the stuff I had thought of has already been mentioned above.

  9. Ahh yes. I think we need to have something pick up our FAQs at random. That's actually seperate to a CMS, I just need to upload them from Rebot once in awhile. I can do that. I think dedicated commands to update little bits of a members page is a damn good idea.

  10. Categories would be good, if there were for example, only 5 of them.

  11. Public blogging is going to need some sort of monitoring. Not sure quite how we do this, but its going to need some thought. To start we could just get clannies to edit others comments if they are out of order.

  12. Well you wouldn't have public blogging on the main page / blog full page. You'd have a link like Eurogamer (in fact most) have - at the bottom, a link: comments (n) which would auto increment and link through to a separate public comments page (which could be dynamic, no need to go all out with GoogleProofing that one).

  13. Yep, web based editing of blogs for when I screw up the HTML :) Editing of public comments in order to cover our asses against lamers. Being able to enter a url of your own choice for your blog avatar.

  14. So your questions answered by, er, the webmaster.

    'One of the key things we need... is to have blogs visible by real URL paths... so Google can spider the blogs'

    The website is and always has been spidered, an example is to Google for sony tr1mp carrot-crunching. If you want keywords, that's easy to add to the XML, even possible as an automated process. As for URL ugliness, this could be done as Brit says using mod_alias (or mod_rewrite if you like), but my testing seems to indicate that these are not enabled for localised use... Slim?

    'I think with 500+ blogs and more coming along weekly, we need the ability to be able to search for a blog by keyword.'

    Searching was the first feature I wrote into Blog v2, an unfinished project, maybe a successor if you want it to be. Play with the existing search here.

    'what about a member blog homepage, so if I wanted to read all mats blogs for example, I would click on his name'

    This is a feature of the Blog v2 candidate, you can see it in action using the search page or by (wait for it) clicking on the nicks on the Blog v2 homepage. I've sent this feature to the ml a few weeks ago, I guess you missed it.

    'Something simpler would be an icon driven approach: Bread/Technology/Soup'


    'Categories would be good, if there were for example, only 5 of them.Gaming|Technology|News&Politics|Life|Misc'

    Yes, I thought about Genres too and it is already implemented here. Obviously the current blog format does not support this but the new xml candidate does.

    'web based editing of blogs for when I screw up the HTML :) Editing of public comments...'

    ....and all of you who asked for that. Well this exists but is unfinished due to a Pandora's Box of security issues. It concerns me because it would be irresponsible to have open pages able to write to Slim's unprotected 777 domain. There are a number of ways this could be implemented, maybe this is one way. If you want something much more professional than this then you probably do want to seek out an off-the-shelf solution, or Slim has to give me his bottom line (missus).
    On the subject of the Blog v2 Candidate, well there's other layout changes, better navigation, fixes for Mozilla, and a flexible open forward-looking blog format. With this being my own work (should I expect any support to continue?) it's just my pet project... and if you don't like it, well at least I've saved our blogs for future use by converting them to XML.

  15. All sounds good beejy, I just thought you'd wonder off really. As for Google spidering stuff. Hmm, it does actually. It just doesn't seem to favor it, I guess because they're not ranked high or something. I cannot recall having seen one of the .txt pages in Google before but farting about, I can see them easy enough. Weird.

  16. Beej, that fucking rocks my ickle combat baby! Hooya! It's really good, and the new layout is very cool too.
    We still need public commenting (sans requirement for passy) I think though; get the proles involved if you will.

  17. Is the text supposed to be that size? I feel like I'm reading a Peter and Jane book. Apart from that its wicked, nice one.

  18. I heard something a developer was doing in an interview on dotnetrocks. He was scanning his logs to find out what people had typed into google to hit his site. Some of the examples were hilarious. Could be something fun for

  19. I think you're unaware quite how much this site exploits the quantum assmaster principle:The link above to Google proving that we are spidered used to have one result... now it has two, because this blog also mentions the carrot-crunching TR1MP. Genius!If you follow the link to Google, then follow their link back to us, look at the EED tagline. Observe teh magik! I coded refer-checking a few months ago, so if you come to from Google you get a special Lurker tagline.