Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    1,913
    In WebMerge 2.2 file names are generated by replacing space characters with underscores ("_"). In all v2.3 betas through beta 3, this was changed to hyphens ("-") by popular request.

    However, some of the good folks here have raised a valid concern about the change: pages generated with earlier versions would now have different names, which would throw off search engines. Clearly this needs to be made optional, giving you the choice of using either a hyphen or an underscore.

    However, after much consideration it turns out that making this optional for each settings file would delay the release of v2.3 even more than it is now. So I have a proposed solution:

    I could make a plug-in tool for v2.3 (see the beta's Tools menu) which would let you choose between hyphens or underscores, with its setting affecting all settings files until the next time you change it, similar to the way preferences affect documents in other applications.

    While this is less convenient than saving this option in your settings file, it provides a workable interim solution that gets this puppy out the door so I can move on to v2.4 (in which file naming options will be the focus).

    Questions for y'all:

    1. Is this proposed solution acceptable for v2.3?
    2. Should the default be hyphen or underscore?

    And on a different topic: I've had little feedback on the TagBuilder tool in v2.3. Have any of you used it? Is it helpful for you? Can you think of ways it could be more useful for writing WebMerge tags easily?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback -

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles area
    Posts
    843
    Hi, Richard:

    1) Yes, this certainly seems to be an acceptable thing to do for 2.3. We'll all just set it once and never fiddle with it again, I expect.

    2) I vote for the hyphen being the default.

    I'd sure like to see 2.3 released as soon as possible!

    -- Mike

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,234
    Briefly,

    Yes, I like the proposal for the plug-in.

    I prefer Underscores and not hyphens. Reason being, pages already built (and navigation set) with underscores.

    Fred

    You might just be a Spammer if - Your welcome mat says, "You'd better have a search warrant."

  4. #4
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    256
    I think the hyphen is preferable.

    http://ihelpyouservices.com/forums/s...?threadid=8271

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,234
    I have not used the Tag-Builder, simply because I have most of the tags and templates already built, or copy them from existing files, as I know their behavior.

    Having said that, it would be particularly neat if the builder had a brief description of each tag when it is selected. Yes, I know it's one more thing to add, but that's a problem when you're picking out a new tag o use - What does it do? Just a couple of sentences.

    Fred

    You might just be a Spammer if - Your welcome mat says, "You'd better have a search warrant."

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    162
    I also prefer underscores.

    huhu

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    1,913
    Two votes for hyphens and two for underscores. Not seeing a trend here.

    Any others want to chime in?

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  8. #8
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    256
    There is a very good discussion about hyphens and underscores at http://ihelpyouservices.com/forums/s...?threadid=8271

    One statement is : "The easiest way I have found to understand the question of which is better _ or- is to simply do a google search for both
    _ (underscore) gives 64,400,000 returns and - gives 0

    therefore the - (hyphen) is clearly the best, as it is not there.. it is seen as a space. Simple really"

    The underscore is a character. An url with ..../books_computer.htm doesn't help for a search for "books computers"

    For Google books_computers isn't books + computers, but books_computers (one new word). If you use books_computers in the url and all over the page, you'll never be found in Google when one is searching for "books computers".

    I'll never use underscores again. I switched from underscore to hyphen because Webmerge was updated. And now I know was is best. I am not going back ever.

    I never deleted my underscores pages. Theys are still there. Several pages now have double listing in search engines. I only changed the main index, so the old underscore pages aren't spiderable anymore and will fade away in the future. Nobody gets 404's. If they browse through my old underscore site they will come to the main index and browse the new sites. Use redirect for the underscore pages if you want. The old underscore pages can still be updated with Webmerge 2.2 to keep them actual.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    145
    Uphill is correct

    As far as optomizing for google is concerned - you MUST use hyphens if you want the benefit of key words in filenames (it's only a small benefit, but every little counts!)

    So I vote HYPHENS!! - I am happy if we have a choice, but please stop forcing underscores on us as the only option :-)

    Richard - While we're on the subject of filenames - can you tell webmerge to ignore apostrophes?

    For example if the field is men's clothing - webmerge will create a file name ...

    men_s_clothing.html

    still works, obviously - but it just looks silly - Can you get this into V2.4 ?

    Another idea if you are interested - how about giving us the option of making filenames all lowercase?

    So even if the names in the field are capitalized - the file name created will be lower case - I think most people prefer to name directories and files in lower case.

    Again, it's only a small issue - but nice little touches like that make the software more user friendly

    Is there a list somewhere of the changes planned for V2.4?

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles area
    Posts
    843
    I'll second the request for an option to force filenames to be all lowercase, in version 2.4.

    I do that now, by manually changing the datafeed, but that's a step I'd like to avoid having to do.

    -- Mike

    "Men travel faster now,
    but I do not know if they go to better things."
    -- Willa Cather

  11. #11
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    270
    Hypens! But please have a option for underscores for the 1,000's of pages that are already indexed....

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12,817
    I vote HYPHENS for the reason Uphill said. I've got some underscore pages but will probably switch them over later on.

    But the plug-in to allow a choice sounds cool, since I have managed to get some underscored pages to rank well and don't want to mess with them. (I know they can be switched over, but while that's seamless from a technical standpoint, I've tried it before, and in practice I don't always get the same rank with the replacements.)

    Also I would love to be able to force lowercase for the file names. Some of my feeds have the names in ALL CAPS!

    Speaking of that--a way to force lowercase on the page would be great for those bozos. A huge product name written in all caps doesn't look good on the page either. All small isn't always good but it beats all caps!

    On the page, how about a thing to put in the tag like this

    [WM-Field name lc]

    with the "lc" making it lowercase. (I know you had some name for those add-on instructions like "raw" and "rows=" but I forgot it...)

    The filename would just come out all lowercased automatically.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    145
    Good point Leader


    I have a feed with a field in all caps too - absolutely crazy! - it would be great if webmerge could give us the options of lower case - or initial letter capitalized only.

    That would cut out a lot of pointless irritating work, manipulating feeds.

  14. #14
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4
    I vote for hyphens for search engine reasons.

    Thanks!

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    1,913
    Okay, hyphens it is. A plug-in tool will be provided to allow underscores for those who need them.

    As for apostophes: I just fixed that, but I can't recommend strongly enough sending such requests in an email. I might miss a post here, and I'd hate to miss one like that.

    There is a caveat with the apostrophe fix: it will work for the low-ASCII apostrophe ('), but not the "smart quote" apostrophe (’). The former seems to be acceptable as part of a file name on my Unix server, but the latter would have to be escaped. I bring this up just for clarification: what we commonly call an apostrophe is really just a minute mark, with a true typographer's apostrophe being unsupportable on many systems.

    As for the proposed "force lower case" option: sounds reasonable and should be easy enough to include in v2.4 along with the other naming conveniences.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    145
    Great work Richard - Thanks

    Just to clarify ....

    If webmerge is creating a filename, giving us an option to make it all lower case is going to be great - with the apostrophe fix and the hyphens fix, it solves all my personal filename problems

    But if we are talking about how webmerge can modify a field that is used on the page - is it possible to have 2 options ?

    1 All lower case

    2 Initial letter Of Each Word Capitalized - This would be great if you are using the field to create a page title or heading.

    [This message was edited by Tiebreaker on October 07, 2003 at 04:40 AM.]

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    1,913
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tiebreaker:
    ... is it possible to have 2 options ?

    1 All lower case

    2 Initial letter Of Each Word Capitalized - This would be great if you are using the field to create a page title or heading.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Good suggestions - Both have been added to the list for v2.4.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    145
    Excellent!

    This is going to make life a whole lot easier

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    1,913
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tiebreaker:
    Good point Leader


    I have a feed with a field in all caps too - absolutely crazy! - it would be great if webmerge could give us the options of lower case - or initial letter capitalized only.

    That would cut out a lot of pointless irritating work, manipulating feeds.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Just curious: What does a vendor expect you to do with a field in all caps?

    There seems little point in providing a feed if they expect you to re-type values.

    I can correct for this in a future version of WebMerge as I mentioned, but I wonder if the vendor would consider this a bug in the feed and correct it. The value of their feed diminishes greatly it if it requires retyping. They may not even be aware of the problem, and may welcome your bug report.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  20. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. File Structure and File Names...
    By tfmurphhk in forum WebMerge (Fourthworld.com)
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: March 2nd, 2005, 12:51 PM
  2. Dealing With File Names
    By tarev in forum Programming / Datafeeds / Tools
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: February 22nd, 2004, 10:45 AM
  3. File names in v2.4
    By FourthWorld in forum WebMerge (Fourthworld.com)
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: December 27th, 2003, 02:10 PM
  4. File Names
    By John Kruger in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: August 29th, 2003, 09:57 AM
  5. Changing File Names
    By cazzie in forum Search Engine Optimization
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: October 24th, 2002, 01:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •