JAWW (beta)

The ward is a factory for the Combine

Feeling Lucky?

in the locked forums thread on “bloated global tags pages PR in action” Kissing Bandit suggested to prevent Global Tags pages from indexing by the search engines because ‘Google doesn’t like to index and display “search results” pages in their own search results (it’s redundant)’, further he also notes:

Many have speculated that it’s part of the reason why you can no longer find Technorati tag pages being returned in Google searches.

WordPress.com may be heading down a similar road if they step out of Google’s good graces, even by an inch.

and indeed that’s exactly how Google handles even local tags (aka ‘Labels’) on blogs hosted on their own service Blogger.com — they don’t index them!

albeit Google has direct vested interests to do just an opposite thing, because they’ve quite recently added to Blogger an inline AdSense integration, which now allows blogspot.com bloggers place ads inline with their blogs’ actual content.

this would benefit not only blogspot.com users to improve monetization of their blogs, but it’d also definitely benefit Google itself by increasing clickthroughs on their own AdSense.

but they don’t do it, just take look at the Blogger.com’s robots.txt:

User-agent: * Disallow: /search

by closing this forums thread, mentioned above, Matt, incidentally, ‘politely’ asked me to “save the paranoid conspiracy theories for my blog”. so, here we go.

[first of all a sidenote: lip service and obscurity are both an excellent soil for rising theories exactly of such kind.]

another forums thread suddenly reveals that Automattic currently does not allow WordPress.com users to change their category slug. so far the latest official response from a staff member is just following:

I’m talking with the other folks at Automattic to find out more of the history with category slugs being turned off.

apparently history of this mysterious forbiddance is so dark, that none from the staff still could not give just a single reasonable answer to any the questions posed in this thread more than once. as usually.

now, my dear readers, do you have any ideas (besides “paranoid conspiracy theories”, of course) why wordpress.com users are not allowed to change their (their, really?) category slugs?

and, finally, just a little fun promised by the title. are you feeling lucky today? then let’s go ahead:


tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

ETA: that was really quick: finally, after wank posted in that thread, it has immediately* been closed with the following remark:

barry Key Master October 19th, 2007 at 6:23 pm

Renaming the category should also change the slug. If it doesn’t, then its a bug and something that we will fix.

the only problem now is, how any wordpress.com user would know ‘its a bug and something that we will fix’, if that “Topic Closed. This topic has been closed to new replies.”, huh?

the matter is, due to infinite wisdom of the bbPress** developers, ‘Topic Closed’ actually means it’s also well hidden out of the public view, so that nobody could see it anymore. bbPress has also a couple of another wonderful features.


since over just a single day, after ticket has been submitted into WPMU trac (see my comment below), Donncha has fixed this issue: now renaming the category also changes its slug (URI).

along with the ticket I suggested a patch, which exposes ‘Slug name:’ input field for editing (and thus fixes that bug). unfortunately, this patch hasn’t been accepted.

apparently, WPMU (wordpress.com) developers consider users of the so called ‘multy-user’ version of their software as second-class citizens, relatively to the standalone, single-blog one.

MU users still are not (and, surely, never will be) allowed to change their category slug regardless of its name (to have a short, nice category URIs for example), nor they aren’t allowed to have readable multy-word blognames — hyphens are also banned due to totally unreasonable dev’s arbitrariness (for it could be nothing more).

*) Barry closed the thread just over 4 minutes since Wank’s post, while the thread has been started 8 days ago, was intermittently bumped, and obviously had been seen during a whole week by the staff members.

**) another PHP script used for wordpress support forums

7 responses to “Feeling Lucky?

  1. timethief October 19, 2007 at 18:20

    I’m struggling to try and grasp an understanding of why it is that I have not received answers to my questions. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=16747&page&replies=26#post-124762

  2. sunburntkamel October 19, 2007 at 18:47

    changing slugs for tags in 2.3 is a PITA, i’d imagine it’s the same here. christine (author of UTW), who has understood taggers’ needs better than anyone for a long time now, has an excellent plugin which lets you do it easily, although i don’t know how well it plays with WPMU.

  3. timethief October 22, 2007 at 20:56

    I want to thank you for all the work you do helping the non-geeky bloggers like myself understand what’s going on. I appreciate the information and explanations you provide and in most cases I understand it.

  4. options October 25, 2007 at 23:24

    hello there, timethief and sbk!

    first of all, I’m terribly sorry for being late with reply to your comments.

    TT, I’m really glad that some of my comments happened to be of use to understand what’s going on, but furthermore, I’m really excited by the fact some information and explanations I provide has appeared to be sometimes intelligible enough to perceive.

    alas, this is not all the time case (perhaps right in this very moment too) — too many obstacles are in between of any (and all the more online) communications. *sigh*

    to answer your first comment on why it is that you have not received answers from staff to any of your of questions in that forums thread: my understanding is, staff believes that things questioned are none of your (mine, any one’s other member of .com community) business.

    also, that thread, you linked in the second comment, is not exactly relevant — as you can make it sure yourself pretty easily, renamed cats still have old slugs.

    and, btw, I’ve happened to pinpoint this bug down to a line in the WPMU source code — that was pretty easy!

    as my latest Feedback request (not related to this issue) has been met with the suggestion to stroll into .org trac, I submitted a ticket with this bug desciption and proposed a patch, which fixes this bug, in particular, and which would also allow to all the .com (and MU, of course) users rename their cat slugs arbitrarily into whatever they need, regardless of cat name — i.e. just the same way you can do all this stuff with cats in your self-hosted WP blog.

    so far, none* has accepted that ticket yet, and even more so committed a patch suggested.

    oh, and SBK, this bug has** nothing to do with 2.3 fauxsonomy stuff — I’ve checked the oldest available svn branch — it’s there.

    *) or to be precise, there’s only Donncha, incidentally, the only one from all the MU community (if any) who has access to the source code repository with a commit right.

    **) well, actually since quite very recently it has to do with untested merge from 2.3 as well — currently trunk is just borked. things like “You do not have permission to do that” are pretty common — I’ve also run across this issue trying to provide a patch against the trunk.

    judging by the MU trunk and .com, it appears like
    1. they merge huge untested changesets from .org onto their internal .com trunk first;
    2. then they test it on .com users (so it’s not even an alpha or something — it’s the bleeding untested trunk!);
    3. and only thereafter poor Donncha has constantly (with each major WP.org upgrade) to do a huge work, backporting .com trunk into MU.org’s one, meanwhile waiting for bugfixes (“AJAX is teh b0rked.” ;-) from Alex, Ryan et al.

  5. timethief October 29, 2007 at 03:09

    Most of the time I do understand enough to follow what you are saying. Sometimes I don’t. That’s the learning curve for you. And, in some cases the more I learn the less I want to know, if you know what I mean. ;)

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