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Re: [Chicken-users] Re: Could we keep old URLs in the wiki working?
Re: [Chicken-users] Re: Could we keep old URLs in the wiki working?
Wed, 6 May 2009 12:29:52 +0200
On Wed, May 06, 2009 at 11:06:35AM +0200, Alejandro Forero Cuervo wrote:
> > > When I moved all users in the wiki from /foo to /users/foo, I took the
> > > time to create symlinks from the old locations to the new, so that
> > > people using the old URLs would be automatically redirected to the
> > > right (new) location. People would gradually update their bookmarks
> > > and search engines would gradually notice that things have moved and
> > > everything would be fine and dandy.
> > "Gradually" would imply that eventually everything would indeed be moved.
> > A look at the Trac timeline tells me that these symlinks have been there
> > for over 5 months. How much longer do you intend to keep them around?
> Perhaps forever. :-)
That's exactly what I was afraid you were really trying to say! ;)
I would prefer if we could move the wiki forward and keep it clean
instead of keeping all this old cruft around.
> I'm sorry that I did not reply immediately to your proposals.
> I have many things that I need to keep up with in my life that are
> significantly more important to me than the layout of the Chicken
> wiki. For instance, in the last 3 weeks I had extremely limited
> internet access. That said, I don't think this should prevent me from
> pointing out things that I consider broken in a way that affects me in
> the layout of the Chicken wiki.
I don't understand how having limited internet access in the last 3
weeks is relevant to your being able to read a message on this list
two months ago. Also, you sent an email to this very list a short while
after all these changes stating you were going to move away from
Chicken's repository & wiki, so you must have seen _something_ that
prompted you to make this decision.
In the end, if a decision is made and work is done, I'm sure you
understand it's not very pleasant to hear someone complaining about this
fact months later and asking to revert it partly.
> > Also, the
> > wiki provides no way to see and manage these symlinks as far as I know,
> > which means that everytime someone creates or deletes a user page
> > through the wiki interface, someone needs to go in and fix the symlinks.
> I am *not* proposing keeping these in touch (ie. "everytime someone
> creates or deletes a user page, go in and fix the symlinks"). I'm
> simply proposing that if something used to be accessible at /foo and
> is now accessible at /bar/foo, we create a link at /foo to /bar/foo
> *unless there is a reason to use /foo for something else*. I'm *not*
> proposing that if we create a new page at /bar/foo, we create the /foo
That's even more confusing to newcomers. What's the canonical URL of a
userpage? What happens when a userpage is deleted? Why do we have two
URLs pointing to the same thing? What happens if someone decides to
rename his userpage (for whatever reason)?
Remember, you cannot see the symlinks from the wiki interface, you have
to make a checkout for that. This means newcomers will only see the
confusing behaviour of having some userpages available under two URLs,
and some not.
> I agree that cleanning this up is good. However, I would also claim
> that just keeping the symlinks around doesn't really hurt anyone. One
> can simply ask for a view with symlinks removed to get exactly the
> same uncluttered view we have now. However, having the symlinks to
> old pages keeps old URLs/links working. So I see very little gain in
> just removing the symlinks.
From a pure filesystem perspective, perhaps. But from a wiki
perspective, see above.
> > > For example, searching for "mario domenech goulart" on Google
> > > lists http://chicken.wiki.br/mario%20domenech%20goulart as the
> > > second result. This result used to work, redirecting to the
> > > correct page. Now it takes you to a stupid edit form.
> > Yes, and keeping it around will ensure Google never updates its links.
> > We just have to wait a little longer and it will come around and
> > update its links.
> I do not think this process, that everything will be automatically
> fixed, will be as effective and take as little time as I think you
> think it will. :-(
Well, I'm not sure about that but I have seen that Google generally tends
to pick things up reasonably quickly.
> > > This same comments applies to URLs for eggs and for manual pages and
> > > everything else. For example, all the URLs for all my eggs in the
> > > Chicken wiki were just broken when someone decided to move /egg-foo to
> > > /eggref/N/egg-foo without providing symlinks. Now most links to the
> > > documentation for my eggs are broken. Perhaps link /egg to
> > > /eggref/N/egg, where N is the latest version for which it is
> > > available?
> It is very easy to do: whenever you move file foo to bar/foo, add a
> symlink in foo pointing to bar/foo to the svn repos. That's all that
> is needed: the current infrastructure will act accordingly. You don't
> even need access to the server or any additional insight about how all
> this stuff works to automate this.
This is inconsistent with what you said above, about how the egg stuff
should behave. There's bound to be someone who will go to /eggname,
expecting it to document the latest version of that egg. As you
suggested yourself, that *should* be the behaviour. So if that's to be
done, we'd end up with the maintenance task of updating egg symlinks to
the latest version. And what happens to new eggs? And what happens to
eggs that are not ported to the new version? I think this results in
a confusing mess with some /eggname URLs serving docs for an egg for an
old Chicken version and some /eggname URLs possibly not working.
If we can work out a good scheme to fix this with minimal hassle, I'd
love to see it happen.
> > I don't see why you're making such a fuss about a wiki you yourself said
> > you're not even using anymore
> > (http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/chicken-users/2009-03/msg00039.html)
> > and not even volunteering to fix it.
> What's your point here, though? That I shouldn't point out things
> that I feel diminish the usability of the wiki simply because I don't
> use it that much anymore?
The point is that this is still a free software project, and some effort
is expected from everyone. The people who have to do the work will
prioritize their tasks based on what will please the most users, and
what will be most beneficial to the project on the long term. Right now
you're the only one complaining, and the long-term goal to keep the wiki
directory structure clean and maintainable is more important to me than
the immediate concern that a few links are broken. Links go dead, that's
a fact of the web. If they're still in use, they can and will be fixed.
If they're not used anymore, who cares about them?
> > You were welcome to participate in said discussion, but you chose
> > not to. I don't see why we have to back out changes agreed upon by
> > a democratic process at the request of one person.
> I thought I was just participating in this discussion by sending this
> email to the list.
You are, but you're a little late to the party.
> But then you say that I shouldn't discuss this
> about a wiki I'm "not even using anymore"?
You are free to discuss what you want, but I'm sure you understand that
the opinions of people who use it intensively have a little more weight
than the opinion of people who do not, so you can't expect us to fix it
right away just because you say so.
> > Maintainability trumps ivory tower "best practices" IMHO. Also, if you
> > feel so strongly about this, why not implement my suggestion to redirect
> > egg pages automatically? This will give us the best of both worlds; it
> > keeps maintenance low and the URIs "unchanged".
> I haven't seen this suggestion.
It's in the original mail I referred to, near the end:
> I would like to ask for permission to do something with regards to the
> Chicken wiki: is it OK if, in URLs where I had old pages (that I've
> moved or that I'm moving out of the Chicken wiki, such as
> /stream-ext), I add pages with just a short text and a link to the new
> location (something along the lines of ???this information has been
> moved to $URL???)?
Again, I'd prefer an automated system to refer /eggname to
/eggref/N/eggname, maybe with a 3xx status code. Then you could post
the note about the changed URL in /eggref/4/stream-ext.
> I would like to keep the old URLs working at least a
> bit; when I gave these URLs multiple times in the past, I assumed I
> could trust the Chicken wiki not to be broken to the point were these
> URLs would suddenly return 404s. Will you grant me permission to
> ???pollute??? the Chicken wiki / namespace for the sake of the people I
> gave all these URLs to? I think I would use about 30 or so unused
> entries in the root of the wiki.
This could/should be fixed with a redirect. If you see absolutely no
possibility to work on that, I don't see a problem with having a
(temporary) symlink. I'm not the only one to ask though, I'm not the
sole maintainer of this wiki.
> Thanks, Peter! Even if I disagree with some particular changes, I
> think you've done an incredible job in improving the Chicken wiki in
Thanks Alejo. I hope we can work this out, because in the end, like you,
I only want what's best for the wiki (but what's best is subjective,
"The process of preparing programs for a digital computer
is especially attractive, not only because it can be economically
and scientifically rewarding, but also because it can be an aesthetic
experience much like composing poetry or music."
-- Donald Knuth
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