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
- I can easily add new entries and have them show up immediately.
- I can update/edit/revise or even delete entries and have it immediately show up.
- It’s a database. A real database. All sorts of possibilities there.
- Relational database (Categories to Posts, i.e., Authors to Quotes). Nice.
- Search by text is much easier.
- I can get comments. (And trackbacks, though that’s unlikely.)
Not-so-good things about this arrangement:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 🙂