August 18, 2006 spout

Fixing the Internet

About 18 months ago, I asked for an intern and boy did I get one. He doesn’t want to be mentioned, but he’s done some pretty cool stuff with the site in his spare time (he’s also a very busy web development consultant):

  1. Dug into what it would take to rebuild from scratch in ASP.NET 2.0 (although we differ on the moral implications of the license on Community Server 2.0)
  2. Updated 404 page that tracks usage on dead/non-existent links, even missing URL #frags
  3. Server-side link and client-side #frag forwarding
  4. implementation (e.g. and administration console (i.e. book co-authors)

#4 was very cool, because it enables me to put links into my writing that are easy for the reader to type and that are easy for me to update when the real URL changes (none of the other URL redirection sites allow administration post-facto as far as I can tell).

#3 is also cool, because of the primitive site authoring tools I use (FrontPage), so when I move spout/index.htm (the content of spout/default.aspx) to spout/archive.htm (the content of spout/archive.aspx), all of the links that folks have put into their own content are broken. Now, we’ve got a means for tracking when those links are broken and for forwarding them, even using my silly client-side name #frags. That even means that when folks form their URLs incorrectly (this one was never right and should always have been this) can be caught and corrected on my side.

Anyway, I wish I could tell you about this guy cuz he does great work and he deserves move business. Hopefully this post will shame him into it. : )