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Bonkers Blog November 2012

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5 November (Part 1) - Navigational aids

There should be some news about the next development in the Peter Craske saga later today but meanwhile I’d like to remind some people about ways of getting around this website.

Bonkers is quite often given a link from other websites which is good but often the quoted link is not ideal. Over the weekend I noted that someone had taken a whole chunk of Bonkers to place on another site. There’s nothing that can be done about that nor would I want to; if you put something on the web, expect it to be nicked, everyone does it and few care but what I didn’t like seeing was the accompanying comment. “BiB is a bit of a pain to navigate.”

Note: The following description was outdated by the rearrangements made on 23rd November 2012.

The problem arises when people quote or use the original domain name, www.bexley-is-bonkers.co.uk, which routes to the Home page when more often than not they should go to a particular blog entry. The Home page has a link at both the top and the bottom which routes directly to the latest blog page but it may be bypassed completely by going to www.bexley-is-bonkers.info. A minor variant is www.bexley-is-bonkers.com which goes to the most recent blog on the same page instead of the top of the page. (†)

Once there, a mouse click over any blog date (note the green upwards pointing arrow) will take you to the top of the page and a mouse click over any blog title (note the black anchor symbol) will put that blog entry at the top of the page. At the same time it places the unique ‘anchor’ reference in the URL (address) area. Copying that as a link will ensure that the wanted blog is found now and in the future. It’s much the same with any fast moving blog and both the wordpress and blogspot solutions suffer the same problem. If you don’t take steps to link to the particular blog, the link will soon get out of date.

Possibly useful but not suitable for using as a link from elsewhere is the RSS feed at www.bexley-is-bonkers.co.uk/rss/feed.xml. It lists the most recent blogs and clicking on an entry should take you to it. Different RSS readers can do slightly different things.

The top of each blog page carries a brief reminder of the foregoing but clearly no one reads it. I’m not sure what else can be done to make Bonkers ‘less of a pain to navigate’ but simply referring to www.bonkers.co.uk as a link is not usually very helpful. All constructive ideas welcome.

Web browsers are not always helpful. Internet Explorer often needs two attempts to find an anchor (bookmark) accurately. You click, it goes to the wrong place. You use the back button and try again and it then goes to the right place. It’s another Microsoft bug. Then at the end of each month when both www.bexley-is-bonkers.info and www.bexley-is-bonkers.com switch to a new page the browser cache thinks it knows better. Clearing the History fixes that. Maybe I should have a month called ‘current’ and do some renaming at the month end, that way the month would in effect never switch, but it’s another thing that could go wrong.

† This only works if you set your browser to delete the History on exit, a solution which fixes the month change problem too.

 

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