Sitemaps priority is confusing

When looking at the sitemaps protocol which is now endorsed by Google, Yahoo and MSN, I can't help but crying about how obscure the documentation is, especially for the <priority> element.

Please note that the priority you assign to a page is not likely to influence the position of your URLs in a search engine's result pages.

Okay, so what's the point?

Granted that setting all priorities to 1.0 will not make the urls rank higher than urls from other sites. But we're talking about position of URLs here, not sites.

Sometimes, the same site appears multiple times in search results, with different pages/urls. In that case, if priority doesn't influence which URL comes first, compared to which other comes second, then what's the use?

For example, on a blog, the same info can be found on a post's permanent url, on the homepage, on the category page, on the archives pages, the RSS feed, etc.

Sometimes the search will return several of these locations. If the priority can't be used to tell that the permanent url would be the best choice to put first, then... I don't get it! |-|

Does it mean that priorities are only used to determine what gets crawled first? If it does, then it means that maybe the 100 top priorities will be indexed and the others won't! So the top 100 may appear in search results and the other may not!

Present vs. not present! That's what they call "not influencing the position'?

Again, if it doesn't do that, then what does it do?

All I can think of at that point is the priority being an alternative to <changefreq> : a site gets a certain number of reindexes a day, and high priorities pages will be refreshed more often that low priority pages.

That would comply with the definition of that <priority> does NOT do...

But then... it doesn't make sense with what it is *supposed* to do:

it only lets the search engines know which pages you deem most important for the crawlers.

Or by "most important", are we supposed to understand "most frequently updated"?

I really wonder who it helps to have that spec being so obscure... :>>

Apollo: the Flash Virtual Machine is getting better

Apollo: the Flash Virtual Machine is getting better

It was bound to happen. Macromedia's (well, Adobe's) Flash player finally evolved into a very complete Virtual Machine. They call it Apollo.

It basically solves the same problem Java has tried to solve for years: write once, run anywhere.

Though it's certainly less mature than Java today, I see several factors that could let Apollo succeed where Java has failed. Among these:

  • It leverages existing developers skills (HTML, Javascript, Flash...) which makes it look much more accessible than Java which only leveraged C++ skills.
  • It's gonna look nice out of the box. Java still looks relatively ugly...
  • With today's computers it's probably going to feel less painful and slow than Java back in 1996...

On the other hand, Sun has recently released Java as Open Source and that's certainly not a coincidence. I'm not sure what Adobe's pricing/distribution plans are with Apollo, but it certainly ain't gonna be as free as open source! :roll:

Leveraging work time

I guess many people spend about one third of their time at work.

Remove sleep time and people spend half of their awake time at work!

Yet they tend to focus more on the other half. The half that they feel is their "free time". The half they spend in transportation; the half where they shop for food, where they pay the bills, clean up their home... well "free time" you know :roll:

Wouldn't it make an lot of sense to devote substantial energy on taking advantage of the work time? Make the work time fun?

Some people do, but so many don't even try. They just take work as a necessary burden and they wait for it to be over. |-|

I don't get it.

PNG not suited for webdesign!

I've been banging my head on my Mac & PC monitors with this! :'(

I had gone a long way already with color matching my Mac & PC displays, but this is far worse!

Suppose you have a logo on a plain color background that has a specific color code, let's say #A1B2C3.

  • If you save the logo as a GIF, you can just put it on a css background of #A1B2C3 and the background colors will match.
  • If you save the logo as a JPEG, it's a tiny little bit more complex but it still can be done. Just make sure that:

    1. You save the JPEG withOUT incorporating an ICC color profile
    2. You do not compress the JPEG so strong that it cannot encode a proper background color
  • If you save the logo as PNG-8... good luck! First there is no option (in Photoshop CS2 at least) to choose whether or not to include a color profile. But worse: it will include the gamma of you current display. So if you save the image on a Mac then try to display it in a PC browser, the displayed background of the image will no longer be #A1B2C3! IE7 and FireFox2 both try to compensate for the gamma being different on PC and Mac.

    If you now try to match the displayed color on your PC and put that into your CSS, then it will probably display incorrectly on the Mac. Crap! :(

That's a shame, because in many situations, PNG-8 will compress much nicer than JPEG and much better than GIF. But if you can't color match it with your CSS on all browsers, it's almost useless... :no:

Redirecting old posts

One of the cool things you can do with b2evolution 2.0 is redirect older posts to a new URL.

I've put this to use by redirecting some of my first English posts on fplanque.net to fplanque.com.

Here's an example: http://fplanque.net/Blog/devblog/2003/01/21/quote_of_the_day_computers_and_programme

If you click on that link you go straight to France and bounce back immediately to:
http://fplanque.com/dev/dev/computers-programmers-dangerous-match

All that automagically with a nice 301 Permanent redirect! ;)

I have already observed in the past that Page Rank would follow 301 redirects when moving pages on the same site. I'm quite curious to see how moving posts to a different server, heck a different country, will affect the PageRank.

If all goes well, PR should follow... someday ;)