Burningbird Web


This site, like most others built using a content management system rewrites the dynamic URLs into a static format, primarily to make them more readable. More portable, too, as we move our writings from CMS to CMS.

Google has come out with an odd post about static versus dynamic URLs, and it’s better for the Google bot to leave your URLs dynamic, because people screw up the rewrite rules. If you leave the URL dynamic, then the Google bot can figure out what it needs from the URL. However, if you rewrite it as a static URL, but leave dynamic pieces in, such as page number or the like, the Google bot may interpret the URL incorrectly.

At least, this is my interpretation of the post, and from the comments, other people’s interpretation.

The focus of Google’s suggestion is search engine optimization, and so probably only of interest to the SEO types. However, when Google writes posts like this, they ripple out like waves on a pond after a big stone is dropped in. Within a week or two I’m sure we’ll be hearing about how “best practice” for URLs now, is to use dynamic, not static URLs, regardless of the reason for the best practice.

No more permalinks to you WordPress folks. Or smart URLs for the Drupal users. Be brave, and show your parameters.

Or not.


More simplifications and Atom feed issues

The recent small Drupal upgrade convinced me to simplifying my site structure. It only took me about ten minutes, all total, but having to do the same thing with five sites becomes a bit of a bore. I’m creating shell scripts that will manage updates for Drupal minor releases and Drupal modules, but you still have to run updates. So, one more site bites the dust: Painting the Web.

I originally split Painting the Web off because I wanted to use the site to hopefully market the book. I also wanted to separate the site from my more opinionated writings, so I don’t lose sales. However, book sites rarely help sales, and if people aren’t going to buy a book because of my opinions, they probably wouldn’t like the book, anyway.

This won’t impact on any of you because I don’t think anyone has subscribed to the site directly. However, I may be moving some of the writings over to this weblog, so forgive the duplications in your feeds.

Speaking of feeds, since the Drupal upgrade, my Atom feed seems to be marking old posts as newly updated, and it looks like my feeds are being refreshed so they show up as active in readers again. When I have the time after the first of August, I’ll look through the code and see if I can figure out what’s happening. In the meantime, I’ll try to minimize the feed pinging as much as possible.


More feed changes

Thanks to Laura and Michelle in comments, I’ve downloaded and installed the Durpal comments RSS module. I don’t have header links yet, but you can access the comments feed at I also created a global comments syndication feed. I really prefer Atom, but there is no Atom comments feed for Drupal. In addition, the existing Atom feed needs tweaking, so I figured I’d take a crack at both when I finish Learning JavaScript 2.

A point was made in the comments to my last post about what did the post have to do with Drupal, and why was it on Planet Drupal. I thought the timing on the comment was good, because it helped me decide to get rid of the Planet Drupal feed, as well as the Planet RDF feed.

I decided not to actively send material to these two planets because I don’t typically write on a single topic with my posts. I might cover Drupal comments in a writing, but I might also include a reference to fireflies, or my favorite frozen fruit bar. I’ll mention RDF, but I’ll also throw in some stuff on content management systems. My writings don’t easily fit within the rigorous categories Planet Drupal and Planet RDF require. I’ll miss the people I’ve met through these two planets, but hopefully they’ll be by directly.

Another change—oh, stop groaning, it’s not that bad—is that Just Shelley will not be part of my global feed. If you’re interested in my writings at that site, you’ll have to subscribe to that feed directly. My main feed is included in some public aggregators, primarily because of my tech writing, and I just wasn’t comfortable having the writings at Just Shelley smooshed in with a rant about Adobe 9, and the latest news about Google. I don’t want anyone feeling burdened about having to go through my writing, when they were expecting to read the latest on Firefox or Steve Jobs.

Hopefully this weekend I’ll have my first post at Secret of Signals. SoS is focused on my interest in online video, video hardware, electronics, gadgets, and even an occasional movie or TV show review.

I was explaining to my Mom about the upcoming change from analog to digital signal, when I realized that what I was telling her could make a good book, or at least a fun web site. Who knows, maybe I’ll turn the site’s entries into a Kindle book, make enough to buy more frozen fruit bars.

The SoS feed is automatically a part of both the global feed and the tech feed, so you don’t have to lose your frash to get the entries.

That’s it, site is organized, pages branded, feeds corralled, and the ornery varmint that has been sniffing around now has a butt full of buckshot.