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Content Migration and Overhaul

Illustration: Wrenches

As I explain on my Author and Objectives page, this journal began life as Performance Matters on Google's Blogger platform. Now I've got my own domain. My first choice, performancematters.com, was already taken, so adding web to the name was the best option. I'm going to discontinue publishing on the Blogger site, so to form the foundation of the new platform, I'm copying across all the old posts.

In the process, I'm making a few changes ...

  • Categories: The new Squarespace platform supports classifying journal posts into categories, and allows a post to be tagged with multiple categories if appropriate. So I've created a new and expanded classification system, and I'll be reclassifying every post.
  • Titles: Having categories simplifies grouping of posts and searching. Since I won't need to use a post's title to indicate its grouping, I will change some titles to be more descriptive.
  • Summaries: On journal pages that list multiple posts -- the front page and posts by category or date -- this platform lets me display summaries. So I am composing short introductions by taking key sentences from the introductory paragraphs of each post.
  • Content: I am reviewing all the content. Where appropriate, I will make minor edits to clarify points or to keep terminology consistent, but not to change the meaning or conclusions.
  • Search: I've added a Google site search field in the sidebar, but it won't work until Google has crawled the site and indexed the content.
  • Links: I will fix any broken external links, and update all internal references (to other posts in Performance Matters) to point to the new blog. For this to work best, I'm going to be starting with the oldest posts and working my way forward. Even so, because the posts are heavily cross-referenced, and I'm updating all their 'permalink' URLs while the new site is live, it's inevitable that some links will be broken during the process. I'll try to find them and update them as I go.
  • Link icons: This platform is implemented entirely using XHTML and CSS markup. So I'm using CSS to decorate my links with icons (tiny background images, actually) that indicate an offsite or a within-site links. Examples of these appear above. Unfortunately, the CSS spec doesn't define how such images should be attached to inline elements that wrap across lines. Firefox handles this situation OK, but in IE the icons vanish. To minimize the problem I try to keep the linked text short, but if one of those little icons disappears, for example when you resize your browser text, don't report it as a bug.
  • Layouts: I'll be revising the layouts of posts that contain graphics, replacing a few graphics with newer versions, and adding images to many posts that were previously 100% text. My goal is to make the layouts more interesting, as well as more consistent.
  • Print layouts: The platform comes with a standard CSS template that generates printer-friendly layouts -- you'll find print and email buttons at the foot of each post (see below). I may make a few minor tweaks to those templates once I complete the post migration, but the defaults seem to work OK.
  • Dates: The platform lets me specify the date of each post, so I'm retaining their original publication dates. This seems more accurate than claiming I wrote them all in February 2007, when what I really did was review, update, and migrate them.
  • Origins: I'm adding a footnote to each migrated post, noting where it was was first published. The footnotes link to the old blog, but not to the individual blogger posts, because eventually I will probably replace the posts on blogger with links to the new versions here.
  • Bugs: The first law of debugging is: There's always another bug. So I'm sure someone will find one that I missed. If you do, please post the details as a comment below, and I'll do my best to fix it. Thanks in advance!

Working on this overhaul has highlighted some gaps, and given me plenty of ideas for new topics to write about. Now all I have to do is make time to write, and avoid the dreaded writers block. It's all very well to have great ideas, and even a good plan, but ultimately actual performance matters most.

Posted on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 06:30PM by Registered CommenterChris Loosley in | CommentsPost a Comment

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