Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Knowledge Base
Terry's Tips
Darren's Tips

Bug: Naming your articles fogxxx

My old site structure had tons of fogxxxx articles. When SP1 came out I did a major site overhaul, including site structure. Some of my old articles got re-named and their fogxxx names changed. They're also in new folders..

Now I find out that an old fogxxx article is #1 in a popular Google Search term - I looked through my log files and saw this was being hit 2-3 times a day. I wanted that filename back, even as a redirect!

So I create an article and call it "fog0000000017" and on it is a little blurbage and a link to the original article -"PTMFOG0000000035"

Oddly enough, when I Publish this fogxxx article, the link goes to none other than "fog0000000017.html" (itself) even though it's magic name is "PTMFOG0000000100"

My workaround is to create an HTML file with the name "fog0000000017.html" and that seems to work.

But wait, the strangeness doesn't end there. The OLD article now publishes as "fog0000000017.html" with the body of the NEW article (the redirect)!

I ended up copying out the old article into a new one and linking to it... So far so good, except when I publish that article the magic name points to the same folder, not ../music/file UGH!

So my NEW workaround is to publish an html article with the old name with an absolute link to the new article. *sigh*. This is what I get for changing my site structure at all.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

* next to last paragraph should read "when I publish that html file"

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I had the same problem - I'd renamed some pages that had been well-indexed in search engines and were also linked from several other sites (see the "Darren's Tips" link at left).

Using "Darren's Tips" as an example, I created a file (not an article) in my CodeCraft/CityDesk folder called fog0000000006.html. Inside that file, I just have the HTML below:

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0;url=PTMFOG0000000028">
<A href="PTMFOG0000000028">Document Moved</A>

In most browsers, that will redirect the user to the intended page.

Hope this helps!

Darren Collins
Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Darren, thanks for the suggestion. The problem isn't that I had to redirect the page, the problem is that it wouldn't redirect to the old article with magic name - it would redirect to itself.

I'd copy the magic name of the old article, or just link to it using the link dialogue box, but it just linked back to itself!

I eventually had to create an absolute link to the actual filename rather than use magic name.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

If you have access you can clear the sPublishAs column in the table tblStructure for the file in question. That will make it go back to the fogXXX name for that particular article.

Hopefully all this fog stuff will eventually be a distant memory :) But I am sympathetic because I will probably keep the Joel on Software links fogXXX working forever, because there are so many sites that point to them. Heck, I keep the old manila URLs working which involved a monumental amount of work to create redirects from URLs that don't have .html extensions!

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I was silly to change my site structure so dramatically, but my first design had things clumped together that had no reason to be clumped together and v.v. (I.e. I was more amitious than I should've been.

But then, it was brand new and I had no idea that Google had indexed it. Now how do I get Google to re-index it and forget the old one? I know it eventually does some other pages on another site of mine fell off... Oh well. I'm not too concerned with hits right now, I want to get more content up first, and put some finishing touches on the design.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Google usually figures things out pretty quickly; my site generally gets reindexed every day or so because it is updated so frequently.

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, April 24, 2002

and because so many other sites link to yours... my site will probably be indexed much less frequently... I wonder what my robots.txt and meta tags say...

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Next time you have a monumental task like that, Joel, you should write an ISAPI filter (since you control your web server). It would be quite trivial to write one that watched for the specific type of "editthispage" URL, and then use a database lookup to redirect to the right page. :)

Brad Wilson
Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Except Joel doesn't have control of the server.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home