Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Blog Tidy Up & Future Proofing

Over the last week I've gone through all 470 odd pages on this blog to: 

  • Remove dead links to long defunct sites like dmbmm.org.uk & the DBMMList on Yahoo! Groups.
  • Check for malformed links (of which there were quite a few in the early days).
  • Correct various errors in the html code (my sloppy editing).
  • Remove a few early pages that only pointed to defunct sites.
  • Future proofed how internal links are coded (a major task).

So, as always, if you find any broken links please leave a comment and I will endeavour to fix them.

What's Future Proofing?
Since I started blogging I've been lazy and used full urls whenever I've aded links.  Full urls contain both the domain name and the page address on the web server like this https://domain.name/server_folder/page_title.html.

Recently it dawned on me that this will present a problem in the future and it is not really a clever thing to do.

It is the right thing to do for external links such as https://example.com/interesting_page.html.   However, there's a problem doing this with internal links, such as https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/p/articles.html, which point to pages on the same domain (blog.vexillia.me.uk in this case).

Links with full urls will only work as long as I own (and pay for) the blog.vexillia.me.uk domain.  This isn't a problem in the medium term but it will be a problem eventually: I am not immortal.

Were I to stop paying for the domain, the blog address would, I hope, revert to the free domain provided by Blogger, namely https://vexillia.blogspot.com, and the majority of the internal links would be broken seriously diminishing the value of the blog.

To prevent this I have edited all the internal links on every page so they will work whatever the domain name. For example links to my articles page now use the url /p/articles.html instead of the full, but domain specific, url https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/p/articles.html.  Techies call this as root relative addressing.

As you can imagine this took a while but the new Blogger html editor has some really useful tools that made it a bit easier.  I'm sure I missed one or two links but most should be done now.  Phew!

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