Weblog Links: Part 3—Architectural Changes for Friendly Permalinking

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I commend the effort on the part of the Pie/Echo/Atom people to come up with interoperable syndication formats, export/import formats, and a common weblogging API, but one other thing I wish they would address: a common permalink structure.

The one single cause of hesitation about moving from one tool to another is unless both tools have a compatible archive structure, you must use extraordinary means in order to maintain archives and archive connectivity.

However, I realize that a common permalink structure isn’t supportable, especially when you consider that several weblogging tools use dynamic page generation, through PHP or CGI or JSP, rather than static pages, such as those supported in Movable Type and Blogger.

At a minimum, though, weblogging tools should support the following:

  1. The ability for the weblogger to export their entries for personal backup on their own computers
  2. A way of exporting and importing data using templates so that the format can be modified by the weblogger.
  3. Easily accessible detailed documentation for all template tags.
  4. Finite control over file name within templates. By this I mean that one can access the file name of an archive separately from the URL for the file, and the tag is usable in any location in the weblogging template.
  5. Tools should support, at a minimum, individual posting archives, and at least one other dated archive structure. Optimally, they would support multiple dated archives, as well as categories.
  6. User controlled naming. I know this is a kicker, but all weblogging tools that generate static pages should give the weblogger contol over how the archived entries are named, and the structure of the archives. At a minimun, give the users control over the file names for individual entries. Hosted or not.
  7. Hosted solutions should provide .htaccess for weblogs that have moved. Ultimately, this is a benefit — it takes less space for one .htaccess file then for a whole weblog’s full of archives pages
  8. Hosted solutions should support domain pointers to hosted weblogs for those people who want to use their own domain names.
  9. Dynamic web page tools should provide a feature that allows static page generation, for one time exports at a minimum.
  10. Permalinks should work.


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