Red Sweater Links

March 4th, 2006

Those of you who have been reading for a while have probably noticed that I don’t spew dozens of short one-liner entries with a link to something cool and a quick typo-laden comment including my opinions about it. I hope you appreciate this. Sure, it would be quicker to get through than some of my lengthier articles, but I like to think of this as a place where you come to learn something or think about things in a new way, not simply as a bouncing pad to the rest of the universe.

Still, I have the urge to share and comment. Who doesn’t? I’ve been planning for some time to implement a split-personality style solution, similar to Daring Fireball‘s, where the short links live separately from the longer articles. If you’re the kind of person who just wants to read the lengthier, more thoughtful (if I’m having a good day) articles, then do nothing. You’re the one being protected here – nothing will change in the main blog. If however, you wish your NetNewsWire subscription list was just a bit harder to navigate, consider adding Red Sweater Links to your bookmarks list, or subscribe to the RSS Feed.

The implementation of this feature includes some lessons for software developers. See – I’ve been putting this feature off for months for “no good reason.” Specifically, because implementing this properly requires features of WordPress that don’t exist and skills or experience that I don’t have. Ideally, I’d like to have WordPress manage the list of links similarly to how it manages articles in a particular category, but as I said, I don’t want to “taint” the mainline blog. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I might do this. Implement my own custom link management software. Modify WordPress to allow exclusion of a category from aggregate view. Expand the “Links” functionality of WordPress to support more metadata. Look into the version of WordPress that supports multiple blog installations. Blah! It’s too much for my little head to take!

Red Sweater Links is implemented the way many new features are implemented: as a nasty hack that works. I don’t have time to figure out how to do this right. So I made a copy of my blog and embedded the copy within itself. Sick, huh? Good enough for 1.0.

Note: You’re not hallucinating. This feed previously described the new links feature as “Dinky Links.” I thought this was cute for about 5 minutes.

8 Responses to “Red Sweater Links”

  1. Tim Gaden Says:

    As a compulsive spewer-forth of one line posts that link to something cool, I just want to say that I think this is a terrific development :)

  2. Michal Migurski Says:

    Dude, Reblog: http://mike.teczno.com/notes/delicious.html

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Mike! Thanks for the link – I need to check that out. I admit that I hoped blogging about this would pull some obvious solutions out of the woodwork. I had looked around casually but hadn’t found anything well suited to the task. I think part of the problem is describing what it is I want. I’m very intrigued by Reblog and especially its alleged bookmarklet style input. Looking forward to playing with it.

    Hopefully a 1.1 update of my setup will benefit from it. And I’m already tired of the name “Dinky Links.”

  4. Eric Albert Says:

    I actually liked the name. Not that I have anything against the new name, but Dinky Links is cute.

  5. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Thanks, Eric. I think it’s cute, too. But it just started to feel wrong for the site. And it rhymes with stinky :)

  6. Michal Migurski Says:

    I like the name. “Shrinky Dinks”, was it? =)

  7. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hehe … sort of a play on that. Well, now that I’ve got everything migrated over to a nice sensible “links” URL path, I can decide whether I warm back up to Dinky Links or another name with more character than “Red Sweater Links.” But boy was that stupid to place the word “dinky” in the original URL.

    The problem with deciding, implementing, and undeciding in the course of 12 hours is everything feels very uncertain!

  8. Olifante Says:

    I switched to del.icio.us for quick link posting. My linkroll is published as http://del.icio.us/olifante, subscribable as http://del.icio.us/rss/olifante. Publishing your linkroll to your blog is easy as pie: just add a javascript snippet (http://del.icio.us/help/linkrolls) to your blog and you’ve got instant integration of quick links with more verbose blogging, regardless of your blogging platform.

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