Improved URLs

by john on January 13, 2003

Long on my todo list for this site has been moving to an improved URL model. http://www.johnsjottings.com/archives/000066.html just isn’t good for anyone, especially someone like me trying to read my logs! http://www.johnsjottings.com/archives/geek_central.html is just so much better.

I was up way too late last night making the switch. Originally I had thought I was going to have to maintain a permanent mapping file with mod_rewrite but was pleased to learn from Zen Haiku that you can leverage an existing MT feature to make it happen.

The move went very slick, the only coding effort I had to undertake was in modifying a recent feature I enabled, Recent Comments, which I found at Burningbird.

Here is the anchor from Shelley’s original code which works with default MT URLs:

<a href=”<$MTBlogArchiveURL$><$MTCommentEntryID pad=”1″$>.html#comment<$MTCommentID$>”>

And here is the change I made to enable it to refer to the “nice” URL:

<a href=”<$MTBlogArchiveURL$><MTCommentEntry><$MTEntryTitle dirify=”1″ $></MTCommentEntry>.html#comment<$MTCommentID$>”>

Where mod_rewrite comes in to play is in maintaining mappings to old URLs that may still be referenced somewhere out there in Google land. The first rule of a good URL is to make it never go away. Unfortunately I have not been able to get mod_rewrite to work. It’s working on my test box but not on production. No biggie because until I get it working I can maintain the old html files, but I hate when I can’t get things working.

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