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Do articles keep the same filename

I notice that all the articles on a site use a generated name, such as fog00000000000000000000000000000001.hml (additional zeros added for comical effect).

Does a given article always map to the same html filename? If not, this could cause problems for people that want to link to articles on my web site.

Rik Heywood
Friday, November 30, 2001

In a message that has scrolled off the forum: Yes, CityDesk retains the URLs.  Links to your pages are safe.

Terry Kearns
Friday, November 30, 2001

Yes, they do keep the same url, but with one caveat...

If you *MOVE* the article to another folder then it will still have the same *name* but its url will be different...

for example...

- Folder Foo
---- fog0000000001.html
- Folder Bar
---- empty

If I have an article in folder "Foo" and its name is fog0000000000000000000000001.html :-P
its url would be href="Foo/fog00000000000001.html"

if I then move it into folder Bar its url would be

I'm not sure if this is obvious or not, so I just thought I'd make it clear.

(Also note that even if you move the article, your internal links in the site will be updated correctly automatically).

Michael Pryor
Friday, November 30, 2001

Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a way to *name* the links. 

Instead of something like /Articles/TechFiles/fog0000000006.html

I'd really prefer to have /Articles/TechFiles/Meaningfullname.html

Bill Carter
Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Regretably, no, you can't change the exact URL for articles. Our original design idea was that since you are creating articles rapidly, you don't want to be slowed down by coming up with an interesting name for every one of them. We're definitely rethinking that for version 2.

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Phew. When I showed CityDesk to my fiance, she was delighted by how easy it was to use but turned right off when she saw the URL. If she's representative, maybe pulling this feature closer than 2.0 is an idea.

Garth Kidd
Wednesday, December 5, 2001

The long URL's bothered me at first but I realized that I could never remember anything but the simplest URL anyway and not many of them.

You don't have to deal with the long URL's (with rare exceptions) while are working on your site.  I find that's a big advantage for me.

For the must-have memorable URL's on my site, I kept them in HTML files and used CityDesk scripts to deal with their content.

Terry Kearns
Wednesday, December 5, 2001

I've got a website I've been running for the last couple of years; I currently maintain it using a bunch of scripts I've written.  Most of my traffic comes from search engines which know the exact URLs of my pages. 

I've not played with CityDesk enough to be sure that I absolutely would want to use it for my site, but I do know that unless I can specify the exact URLs there's no way I can use it; I'd lose my standing in the search engines, and quite a bit of my traffic.

So, when do you expect to release Version 2?

Will Duquette
Friday, December 7, 2001

I had the same problem when I moved my sites over to CityDesk -- wanting to maintain the old URLs to prevent linkrot.

The approach I used was creating small .html files in the citydesk site with redirects in them. For example in the Fog Creek site I have a little "contact.html" file that contains this HTML:

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0;URL=PTMFOG0000000249">
<a href="PTMFOG0000000249">Document Moved</a>

This is a bit of a nuisance but if it's only for a few well-known URLs, it's not so bad.

When I tried to import Joel on Software, Manila was using URLs of the form .../stores/storyReader$283 for my stories. Notice no .html.

Although I could create a file named storyReader$283 I couldn't convince the web server that this was an HTML file so it was unable to serve it correctly.

I solved this by creating a bunch of directories on the web server named storyReader$283, etc. In each directory is a default.asp file that redirects to the new URL.

Neither of these are the most elegant solutions in the world, but I thought I'd mention them anyway.

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, December 8, 2001

Yeah, I thought about the redirection idea;
but using redirection tends to screw up people's back buttons.  I hate that.

Will Duquette
Monday, December 10, 2001

Actually, using a server-based redirect instead of a client-based one is better all around. It doesn't cause the "bogus back" button problem, and it's compatible with all web browsers (it doesn't rely on JavaScript to be enabled). So instead of using .html, use whatever your web server's version of server side code is (ASP, JSP, etc.) to do it.

Brad Wilson
Monday, December 10, 2001

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