Reducing the blog

Since I’ve written about my stake about the superabundance of web content I’ve been thinking how to reduce the duplication and wheel re-invention on my blog.

The first chance have been the refined mod_security rules which is now a bit tighter, and actually allowed me to disable the comments pre-moderation. This is not only one less thing that the blog has to take care of, but especially one less thing I have to do, which frees up my time to do more important things. Like writing posts.

The second chance have been my thinking about feeds which now brought me to the point the blog does not provide RSS feed any longer, and only provides Atom feeds all over the place, for tags, categories, articles and comments, just Atom feeds. If your reader is not broken, it should automatically switch them since the old RSS urls are redirected to Atom; this way the amount of cache Typo has to take care of is considerably reduced in both entries and size.

This is good and dandy to reduce the amount of work done behind the scene, but does not reduce much what the blog exports to outside. Sure there is less to crawl for search engines, since now there are half the feeds there were before, but that’s barely user visible. I’ve removed the links to the RSS version, so that the Syndication box in the right column is also shorter, but still does not limit what is exported to users.

For the “less is more” idea, I really would love if my blog was quite minimal in what it recreates, and the one thing that right now is making me think is the search box. I’ve already removed months ago the in-typo search method, since it wasn’t working that well for multi-page results, which is not that rare on my blog with over one thousand posts, when you press enter, you’re going to use Google for the search page, and that is quite nice actually. I do have to find a way to avoid it showing all the tag, category and archive pages though. Today, I’m thinking whether the live search box is still useful.

Beside being buggy and sometimes searching for a short substring rather than what I went on typing, it’s using JavaScript client-side, and makes a bit of request server-side too. And it does not search in the comments, but just on the articles’ bodies. On the other hand the Google custom search is set already to search on both the blog (comments included), the site and the gitweb archive, which usually makes much more sense. While it requires one full page load out of the side, is probably much more likely to find what you’re looking for, if you’re searching my blog.

As for much more visible changes, I’m probably going to convert the site to use the same “Beautiful Day” theme as the blog so that they mix in better. Although I would love if a friend of mine were to prepare a design for me since I love his; maybe not so minimal, but I don’t see why I have so much graphics on mine (and yes I know I don’t have any on the site).

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