Hacking away...

(elkement. Created: 2015-10-18. Tags: Web, Internet, Programming, Software Development, Websites, Blogs)

In the past weeks since the last update I've added the following features:

Web Application

  • XML sitemap including English and German posts - URLs and last changed date.
  • Make yearly archive URLs 'hackable', thus using just /[lang]/[yyyy] as archive URL.
  • Population of meta tags, using also open graph tags.
  • Adding 'breadcrumb' / 'where am I' information by highlighting the item just clicked in the menu and side bars: Current category, current post, current tag.
  • Assign an optional image to a post via related attributes: Image source, image size or full image tage (for embedding Wikimedia images plus copyright information). If an image should be displayed, but no source is given, add a standard image.
  • Display the image automatically on the bottom of the post and use it in the open graph image tag, to be used as a preview image. Calculate height and size from the image's physical size and intended width.
  • Create thumbnails of these images, to be shown in the list of posts in the category pages.
  • Store all global configuration settings such as tagline in a config file that uses the same [name:] [value] parsing logic as content files.
  • Migrate all existing posts on the sites e-stangl.at, radices.net, and subversiv.at, and keep track of where the content came from. (One former .asp page contained one or more 'posts').
  • Use one default.aspx for all applications, differences depend on the app name. Example: Don't show post archive for the business page, but show latest posts from Wordpress blog feed instead.
  • Clean old content: Replace relative references (../) by absolute ones, replace CSS classes in tags. Move meta infos from content to new file attributes.

Web Server Settings and DNS

  • Tested the IIS URL rewrite module with a key map, to be created from Excel documentation. In case of issues with rewriting: Fall back to redirecting in a main ASP file.
  • Configure new host names and subdomains in DNS as primary URLs of the new applications. Add new host names for testing to reflect the already existing redirects plus the migration redirects plus the future standard redirects.
  • Modify the existing main default.asp, global.asa, and main asp script creating all pages to work with the new redirects (some duplicate code in asp and .net could not be avoided)

Redirect Logic

  • Host name determines application name: One main host name for each  (of the 3-4) application. I will use a subdomain of subversiv.at as my new primary host.
  • Check if the application has been migrated, as per config parameters. If not the existing redirect logic and existing asp code kicks in - which sends the user to a subfolder depending on host name. This is for historical reasons as I had only one virtual web host in the old times, so e.g. e-stangl.at/ redirected to e-stangl.at/e/
  • If the app was migrated, redirect all attempts to use a 'secondary' host to the new one. So e.g. accessing e-stangl.at will be recognized as calling the elkement app and redirect to my new primary name.
  • Configuring the application as 'migrated' does not yet redirect any attempt to access one of the old articles. I will have to turn on my rewrite map or code for that.

To Do

  • Complete all features for all applications before taking 'elkement' live. mainly:
    - Feed parser for punktwissen,
    - 'image database' for z-village (using small posts with images effectively as entries in a table of images), add an option to show the large version of the image inline.
  • Maybe: Ordering of posts in category by changed date, not by created date.
  • Limit number of posts on main page and on tag's pages, number = global parameter.
  • Replace internal relative URLs to pages in the same virtual directory by absolute ones.
  • Maybe: Replace parent path (../) URLs in old code, to turn Parent Path in the ASP config off as soon as possible.
  • Migrate all content from side panes, header, and footer. Add images used before to new posts, re-use descriptions from old image database (TXT).
  • Take elkement live and test redirects and preview images (social networks).
  • If OK: Take the other apps live.
  • Fix bugs
  • Turn on redirects for old ASP pages.
  • Watch results in web master tools.
  • Inform Google about new URLs (Web Master Tools)

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at.