My old default style was starting to tire me out.  I’ve changed the default font and tweaked some of the general style for the site to spruce it up a bit.

If I feel brave enough, I might just whip up an entirely new set of style and create another dynamic style link at the bottom of the page.

Oh yeah - I’ve also got three more Gmail invites to give away.  If you’re interested and happen to notice this, leave me a comment with your full name, email address and website/blog (if applicable).

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I wanted to move all of my old articles into yearly subdirectories, but I didn’t want to break any of the incoming links to my site.  Thankfully, mod_rewrite allows me to redirect incoming requests as necessary!

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond         %{REQUEST_FILENAME} ^(.*/news)/
RewriteCond         %1/2004/$1          -f
RewriteRule         ^news/([^/]+)$       /news/2004/$1 [R,L] 

RewriteCond         %{REQUEST_FILENAME} ^(.*/news)/
RewriteCond         %1/2003/$1          -f
RewriteRule         ^news/([^/]+)$       /news/2003/$1 [R,L]

RewriteRule   ^(.+)  -  [PT]

Basically, these rules check to see if the file exists in the /news/2004/ or /news/2003 subdirectories and, if so, redirects immediately to the yearly subdirectory.

It took me a while to figure out how to do this, but I think I’ve got a good idea of what’s going on.

The strange (but cool?) thing about mod_rewrite is that you can use the “back-references” captured in the RewriteRule in the RewriteCond lines! In the rules above, %1 represents the request filename captured in the first RewriteCond, while $1 represents the URI segment captured in the RewriteRule below. See figure 1 in the mod_rewrite manual page for more information on how this works.

If you want to figure this stuff out for your own nefarious purposes, here are some links to help:

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I’ve got gmail invites to give away to the first five to leave their name and email address in the comments.

First come, first serve!

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Lots of shakeup with Microsoft these days.  Of course, Scoble disappears on the verge of the big “Longhorn to be Stillborn” announcement from Microsoft.

I wonder if Microsoft might be moving towards a more open-source like approach, at least on the release side of things.  Perhaps the concept of a named and branded OS will disappear, replaced with a framework that is constantly upgraded via Windows Update (kernel and all!).  Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to keep home users, who generally purchase Windows once and only once with their new PC, as well as business clients that would prefer to seamlessly upgrade their client systems piecemeal (browser today, explorer shell tomorrow, kernel the day after) to keep them up-to-date.

In somewhat unrelated new, the quality of non-OS products coming out of MS recently has really dropped.  Case and point: Visual Studio 2002 and 2003.  These two are the poorest releases of the Visual Studio line so far (Visual Studio 6 being the best, IMHO).  Part of me wonders if they QA’d the product on anything but simple two or three “Hello World” project solutions.  If you don’t believe me, try any of the following tasks:

  • Reference DLLs larger than 64kB.  You can only build once before having to delete all DLLs from the solution!
  • Edit tables in the VS.NET HTML editor.  In fact, try pasting something over top of something else in the editor. 
  • Use the Windows Forms editor for a complex form with nested panels and the like.  Have fun when you can no longer load the form in the editor and/or Visual Studio trashes your form class!  I hope you’ve checked in - into something other than VSS itself.
  • Enjoy the random crashes of Visual Studio.  No pattern detected so far.

I don’t have much faith in MS to release a stable version of VS.NET 2004 (or whatever this one will be).  The fact that serious bugs that hinder your ability to write complex solutions have existed all the way from the beta up to the latest VS 2003 is almost unforgivable.


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