Administrivia: WIST v2 Notes

The new version of WIST makes full use of Movable Type as a database to make it a lot easier to search, comment, edit, and add to the quotation database.
Essentially, each quotation is an entry/post; the title is the citation, and the extended entry field is used for source material or other notes. Each author is a category (using the Category Description for the long author citation), with a couple of special categories for Administrivia, “other” authors, and sig lines.
Finding just the right combo of fields that I could search on, display when needed, etc., was a bit of a trick. I talk about it much greater length on my regular blog (especially here), and random vagueries of my schedule made it a much longer process than anticipated. But … I think things are just about ready to release to beta.
Good things about this arrangement

  1. I can easily add new entries and have them show up immediately.
  2. I can update/edit/revise or even delete entries and have it immediately show up.
  3. It’s a database. A real database. All sorts of possibilities there.
  4. Relational database (Categories to Posts, i.e., Authors to Quotes). Nice.
  5. Search by text is much easier.
  6. I can get comments. (And trackbacks, though that’s unlikely.)

Not-so-good things about this arrangement:

  1. Search by author isn’t organic; it requires going to the author page and doing a browser search there (or doing it via Google). That’s just kind of awkward.
  2. The huge number of categories (authors) is pushing the speed limits of MT, especially when I go in to edit them (e.g., add new authors, update biographical data). It also means I can use most MT external clients.
  3. Some difficulties in managing different types of archive displays (and links thereto). Admin posts are substantively different from quotation posts, and should display differently. I’ve finally bashed that into shape, I think, but there are likely ‘behind the scenes” bits that will be more difficult to maintain because of it.
  4. Weird visual oddities from the post “Titles” being the citations — the vast majority of which are “(Attributed),” but even where there is a cite, it doesn’t include the author name.
  5. Some of the hiccups between MT’s dynamic and static arrangements meant I had to make more pages static than I wanted, requiring more rebuilds.

Most of the “not-nice” bits are more inconvenience and extra work in setting it up than in what the visitor will see. I hope. 🙂


Added on 17-Jul-07 | Last updated 17-Jul-07
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3 Responses to WIST v2 Notes

  1. *** Dave says:

    I’ve resolved the Category page being a 5-10 minute kludgy load by creating “Edit” links on the All Authors and author Category archive pages. Since new authors can be added in via the actual posts, I may never need to load the Categories MT page again. Yay.

  2. You really need a random quote feature. 🙂

  3. *** Dave says:

    I definitely do.
    I actually ran across some MT code the other day to do a random post feature. It requires another, that allows SQL statements direct against the database, so it’s not something I can trivially do. But that’s definitely on my list.

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