QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded

Sitemap Plugin

About a month ago I posted about finding a lot of Blosxom plugins on github. I've been looking at some them. There are a family of them, one original and a few modifications to the original, for enabling comments. I have not gotten those to work: best I've gotten is I can leave comments, but not see them on pages. I may end up writing my own, so that it follows my idea of what is needed for comments.

But also in that batch of plugins was one for Google Sitemap. The documentation is non-existant in the repo. Searching the web I did find blog posts from the author, in Japanese. From those I gather the version in the github repo is the old, memory intensive way to build a sitemap. I didn't find the new improved version.

I decided to make do. The gsitemap plugin is dead simple. It just sets a few variables to use in templates, and then when the sitemap flavor is desired, disables pagination. The rest of the magic happens in the flavour templates.

As part of making do, I'm not going to reference or link to the URL that generates the output (if you are reading and want to use this for your own site, the gsitemap plugin in the original configuration would generate it for https://example.com/blosxom/index.xml, assuming /blosxom/ is the root of your Blosxom blog).

Instead I've reconfigured the templates to generate a fragment of a sitemap XML file, changed the flavour to sitemap from xml, and have scripted up a sitemap builder for the whole qaz.wtf site that curls the proper URL and includes() the xml fragment. Blosxom then can remain the source of truth for blog permalinks while find and some per-directory configuration can build URLs for other parts of the site.

I decided I should run that script from SAVE-DATES.sh under the theory that any time I save post timestamps is a likely time I want to rebuild the sitemap. This works for qaz.wtf because the blog is the only thing updating more frequently than monthly, and I typically run SAVE-DATES.sh shortly after posting an entry.

This is all prompted by looking (again) at just how much bot traffic the site gets. I figure a sitemap will stop well-behaved bots from crawling as much or as frequently. And for non-well-behaved bots, I've belt and suspendered things by adding entries to robots.txt and more user-agents to my browser_block plugin.

Similarly in the name of improving search engine interaction, I've got a new (trivial) plugin called extrameta that gets used by other plugins, namely the newly modified tags plugin and pagination plugin to add a <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> header (in a naive way) to search result pages, to avoid duplicated content.