Saturday, 19 January, 2002

Indexing Web Diaries

My good friend Jeff Duntemann, former editor of PC Techniques and Visual Developer Magazine, has created a web page on which he is re-publishing his editorials and articles from the magazines, and also his VDM Diary entries from 1998 and 1999.  So far he has posted all of the Diary entries, and a handful of editorials.

Jeff has also begun an index of his personal web diary, something I've considered doing as well, but haven't wanted badly enough to actually go through the work of creating the darned thing.  But perhaps it's time.  As Jeff points out, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember what you've written about and when.  He uses Google to search his online diary.  I drop into a command prompt and run grep on the source HTML pages.  Both methods are silly.  Time to create an index.

Jeff also points out that making the index entries actually link to the diary pages is problematic because a diary entry's link changes a few months after it's written.  Having to update an index entry after it's created is unacceptable—too much opportunity for error.  I find it difficult enough moving a month's worth of entries onto a new page every month.  There's no way I'd try to update an index.  Time for some experimenting...