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From Rodney Waldhoff <rwaldh...@apache.org>
Subject RE: [VOTE] Re: request for incubation: axion database project
Date Tue, 23 Dec 2003 15:18:04 GMT
On a related note, consider the impact this has on search engines and
other robots.

The suggestion to use http://db.apache.org/axion as the normative URL, and
use an .htaccess based redirect to point those URLs to
http://incubator.apache.org/ creates a fairly subtle difference to the
human reader, but the difference to search engines is significant, in at
least two ways:

1) Search engines will consider the two URLs to be different sites, even
if they serve the same content.  This will penalize the project on engines
that rely upon link-based rankings.  Moreover, many engines penalize
redirects, especially "homepage" redirects, creating ongoing issues for
the project's search rankings.

2) When a user creates a link to Axion, they are virtually guaranteed
to grab a (temporary) incubator.apache.org url, whether by copying the url
from the "location" bar, or by meta-clicking on an internal link.   This
further diminishes the project's pagerank.

If the goal is to make it clear that a project is currently incubating,
it's not clear to me why we believe that something relatively subtle to a
human reader, like the change from "db" to "incubator" in the location
bar, to be a sufficient indication of the project's incubation status,
while something glaring, like a notice on top of every page, to be an
insufficient one.  The current approach seems fairly subtle to human eyes,
and introduces a number of undesirable emergent effects.


On Tue, 23 Dec 2003, Rodney Waldhoff wrote:

> Allow me to expound upon one of the issues this raises just a little
> bit, to help you see where this concern is coming from.
>
> The Apache DB project has a single, unified site build: a single
> (Maven/Reactor) process builds both the top level web site and the sites
> of the three existing subprojects.  Many of the top level pages pull in
> data from the sub-project pages to present a comprehensive view of the
> project.
>
> As a DB subproject, Axion should be integrated with this process.  While
> this isn't an enormously difficult task, there is a bit of configuration
> and integration to make it all happen.  Hosting the Axion site under
> incubator.apache.org means that Axion will need to set up a different
> site generation and publication process than the one it will use once it
> is part of the DB project. These processes will need to be
> replaced/reworked once Axion is promoted.  This creates a significant
> amount of unnecessary work for the development team.  Similarly,
> navigation of the Axion site will be different when integrated with the
> rest of the Apache DB site.
>
> If one of the functions of incubation is to help a project "settle in"
> to its new home, hosting Axion's web site at
> http://incubator.apache.org/ is contrary to this goal--it creates work
> that will have to be undone once the project has graduated.
>
> On Mon, 22 Dec 2003, Rodney Waldhoff wrote:
>
> > On Mon, 22 Dec 2003, Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> >
> > > Ceki Gülcü wrote:
> > > > Rodney Waldhoff wrote:
> > > > > My concern isn't the difficulty of copying files from one directory
to
> > > > > another.  It is pointing an exisiting user, developer and google-bot
> > > > > community from http://axion.tigris.org, then to
> > > > > http://incubator.apache.org/axion, then to http://db.apache.org/axion,
> > > > > all in a matter of weeks.  What does all this disruption buy for
us?
> > >
> > > > I am also worried about the point raised by Rodney.
> > >
> > > There should be no need to "point" people at anything.  Asking around, I am
> > > told that the problem with tigris is simply that their system does not
> > > support adding redirects.  That is not the case here.  So, unfortunately in
> > > the case of axion, you do have to tell them to come to Apache, but we can
> > > handle it transparently once here.
> >
> > I understand the way .htaccess works.  I would still suggest this isn't
> > quite "transparent".  As evidence of this, I'll note that despite how
> > technically easy it is to "automatically" make this move, it has not been
> > done for the 5 or more projects currently hosted at their "destination"
> > URL.
> >
> > >
> > > Personally, I do not have a problem if you chose to publish
> > > db.apache.org/axion. as the normative URL for people.  Then in
> > > /www/db.apache.org/.htaccess, added:
> > >
> > >   Redirect Permanent /axion http://incubator.apache.org/axion
> > >
> > > People visiting the normal location would be automatically relocated to the
> > > URL within the Incubator (thus satisfying the request that we make the
> > > projects's status clear) for the duration of Incubation, however long or
> > > short a period.
> > >
> > > When the project promoted, you would remove it, and we'd add:
> > >
> > >   Redirect Permanent /axion http://db.apache.org/axion
> > >
> > > for anyone who had bookmarked the incubation site.  Thus we would continue
> > > to provide transparency and automation.
> > >
> > > 	--- Noel
> > >
> >
> > - Rod <http://radio.weblogs.com/0122027/>
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> >
> >
>
>

-- 
- Rod <http://radio.weblogs.com/0122027/>

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