Site Changes: Modifications made to the underlying site framework.

posted 1999-Dec-15
— updated 2012-Feb-28

Shut up, Old Content!: I have some pages with stupid old information (but not quite wrong). I don't want to delete them, but I don't want to stand behind them anymore. I have now added the ability to archive pages. They don't go away, but they have ugly colors and notices highlighting their age and lack of supportedness.


RSS: All section nodes (including the home page) now have RSS feeds available by appending /rss to the URL. For example:


Moar Rewrite: The new hotness is Sinatra and Haml, not Ramaze and Erb, so everything gets freshened up again. As a side bonus, I've now added Markdown formatting for easier post editing, using kramdown, and (like Stack Overflow) I have my own live while-you-type preview updating next to my markup.

New posts are now far easier to make.


Full Rewrite: I formatted the (Win2ks/IIS/MSSQL) server and moved to Ubuntu + PostgreSQL + Sequel + Ramaze + Thin + NginX. A few bugs in the site still exist, but it's largely working again.

Sub-applications (such as ObjJob) will now be hosted on instead of


Minor Navigation Change: I decided to tweak the navigation, to make more room on the left nav. The breadcrumb at the top of each page shows you your history (and allows you to back out to higher sections), yielding more vertical space for the sibling/child navigation on the left.


Site changes a-plenty! Well, really only one, with back-end changes to support it. The change? A revised home page! The site now tracks which pages are popular (most-visited) and puts the recent changes (probably the most useful feature of the site) on the home page.

The new home page is 100% strictly according to web standards...but it looks terrible in Netscape. Such is life with the devil. I will be looking into fixing some of the functional errors (like links that simply don't work in NS or IE4Win) but I don't think I'll be hacking too hard to make it look pretty on Netscape. If you wanna see the site as it was meant to be seen, get a standards-compliant browser like MS IE5+.


Comments are now displayed closer to the way the original poster intended them; specifically, single returns are turned into a line break via
, and double (or more) returns are used to determine paragraph breaks. (If you do happen to type


in your comment, that still gets accounted for, and extra returns near those tags are dismissed as superfuous.) The upshot--just type your comments like you would an email, and all will be well.


I tightened up the sidenav, so that more items could fit on a page before the terrible scroll bars appear. I also made it so that the full path to a node is shown, rather than just the parent node or so.


Minor update--the site now allows me, when editing a page, to specify whether or not the modification date should be updated. So now I can tweak the wording, spelling, highlighting, on pages but decide not to have that page jump to the top of the 'recent changes' page, since the changes have been minor.


Previously the site considered a change to any sub-node as a change to all its parent nodes as well. This meant that whenever I updated a page (or when a comment was added to it) looking in the 'recent changes' section you'd see all its ancestor nodes (the section it's in and the site home) moved to the top, even though they really hadn't changed.

Now the site knows the difference between creation date, content modification date, comment modification date, and descendant modification date. The only real change you may notice (other than the new information at the bottom of each page) is that the 'recent changes' section now makes more sense. Thanks to Thayer York for pointing out the problem quite a while ago.


The site no longer uses query strings for the content pages or the sidenav, so that search engines will be able to index the site. Visitors using the old display.asp?nodeid=xxxx method (in case someone happened to bookmark some pages during its initial week) will get a clean redirection message.


Added the "recent changes" section of the site.
Added modification dates to show up everywhere.

Dain Kistner
04:29PM ET
Ooh - nice new front page...maybe I'll have to change my favorites pointer to that instead of the "Recent Changes" page... :P
11:00PM ET
I am doing a report for my art class, and I have a ? Are you a girl or a boy? because I look through and I cannot tell! WRITE BACK PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!
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