This post is mostly trivial and useless, you can skip it. Seriously.
I was musing something the other day: Typo allows to consult the whole history of my blog over time, by using a complete archive, for both the whole content, tags, and categories. These are numbered as “pages ”in the archives. But they are not permanent.
Indeed, the homepage you see is counted as “page 1” — so while the pages grow further and further, the content always moves. A post that is in page 12 today will not be in a couple of months. Sure it’s still possible to find it in monthly archives (as long as the month completed) but it’s far from obvious.
This page numbering is common on most systems where you want the most recent, or most relevant, content first, such as search engines and, indeed, most news sites or blogs. But while the bottom-up order of the posts in the single page makes sense to me, the numbering still doesn’t.
What I would like would be for pages to start from page 1 (the oldest posts) and continue further, 10-by-10, until reaching page 250 (which is pretty near at this point, for this blog), for post number 2501 — unfortunately this breaks badly, as your homepage would only have an article, if the homepage corresponded to page 250 indeed. So what is that I would like?
Well, first of all, I would say that the homepage (as well as the landing pages for tags and categories) is “page 0”, and page 0 is out of the order of the archives altogether. Page 0 is bottom-up, just like we have now, and has a fixed amount of entries. Page 1 is the oldest ten (or less) posts, top-down (in ascending date order), and so forth.
What does this achieve? Well, first of all a given post will always be at a given page. There is no more sliding around of old posts, making pages actually useful links; this includes the ability for search engines to actually have meaningful search results to those pages, instead of an ever-moving target — even though I would say that they should probably check the semantic data when reading the archive pages.
At first I thought this would have reduced the cache use as well, as stopping the sliding means that the content of a given page is not changing at every single post… unfortunately at most it can help cache fragments, as adding more pages means that there will be a different “last page number” (or link), at the bottom of the page. Of course it would be possible to use a
/page/last link and only count the pages immediately before and after the current one.
Oh well, I guess this adds up to the list of changes i’d like to make to Typo (but I can’t, due to time, right now).
How about ditching pages in favor of navigating in monthly archives? The navigation then would be start page → rest of this month → month – 1 → month – 2 → and so on.