The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

10 March 2005

Come on down to my bloat, baby

Certified Web wizard Kevin Aylward weighs in on why monthly archives — especially Powerline's — are a bad idea:

With time based archives (like monthly and weekly), each entry is not stored on a separate page, but as part of the whole archive page. In the case of Powerline you now have to load the whole monthly archive page to get to any single article. That's not so bad early in the month, but as content and pictures are added eventually it doesn't load very fast — even for high speed internet users. Dial-up users will get hourglasses instead of content.

The advantage of being one person with nothing to say: my largest single monthly archive, instead of being a Powerlinesque 4 MB, is a mere 240 KB. (This would be January 2005, if you're keeping score.) And I have E-Z-Linq individual archives so you don't have to read through them; the main reason I keep monthly archives at all is for my convenience in looking up stuff, in case I know about when I posted something but not necessarily where.

On the other hand, the categories around here are getting out of hand. Political Science Fiction is up around 1 MB at this writing, and Dyssynergy isn't far behind.

Disk-space limits? Perish the thought. I've used up about 105 MB of the 4800 (yes, Virginia, that's four point eight gig) I'm allotted.

(Update: Kevin Aylward adds: "I'm not picking on Powerline — which happens to be one of my favorite blogs — they just made for a fresh example.")

Posted at 8:19 PM to Blogorrhea


Would you consider flipping your bird, just for a couple of days to see if people liked it better?

Have really enjoyed your latest things!

Posted by: mary,queen of scots at 8:30 PM on 10 March 2005

I flipped someone the bird on the Belle Isle Bridge this afternoon, in fact.

Something about there being only three lanes and he wasn't entitled to two of them.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:23 PM on 10 March 2005

Of course, if he flipped the bird, it would appear as if prepared to take a poop on the blog's title at any moment. I don't know about Charles, but I'd find such imagery a bit dispiriting as an author.

Anyway, I've been doing individual archives since the dark ages, but I keep monthly archives around for...well, I'm not sure what reason. Are there people out there who truly care to see what I wrote on, say, June 17, 2001?

In the case of my Anime Blog, the individual and (especially) category archives comprise the true backbone of the database. The monthly archives, on the other hand, are fairly useless - a curiosity more than anything else. Yet, they add a lot of extra overhead to the site and database. I've given serious thought to doing away with the monthly archives, but I guess I'm so much of an old school blogger that I have hard time picturing a weblog without them.

Posted by: Jeff Lawson at 12:29 AM on 11 March 2005

I decided to keep monthly archives and scrap the individual entries after one month. Although I was thinking about saving memory, that wasn't the only concern. My entries are meant to be current, and after 60 days, they can no longer be considered current. So they become part of the historical record, and I believe that the monthly archives are easily enough spidered and searched so that inquiring minds can find what I said about a topic in the past.

Posted by: Michael Meckler at 9:58 AM on 11 March 2005

For MT users, there MT Paginate, a plug-in that breaks down oversized archives into manageable size for display.

Posted by: Alan Sullivan at 10:28 AM on 11 March 2005