The Tertullian Project (tertullian.org) and all the files underneath it will be temporarily offline. I’ve made a couple of small technical changes, globally, to the HTML files, and so I am uploading the directory again from my local disk. I’m not sure how long this will take; maybe an hour or two, probably less. My apologies for the outage. There should be no visible change to anything at the end of it all.
The purpose of these changes is to improve the visibility of material on the site in Google. The Tertullian Project files date back to 1997, but Google Search – which did not exist when those pages were written – gives preference to pages which are optimised to work with it.
A kind correspondent suggested this action, as long ago as 2019, and provided a bash script to implement them. Today I see some further problems reported in the Google Search Console. So I have updated his script, run it, and we will see whether the result is an improvement.
If not, I have retained the old directory. Let me know if there are breakages tomorrow.
Update: Well, that didn’t go particularly well – characters with umlauts and accents tended to break. I’ve just rolled back to the original version, and I will try again tomorrow.
Update: Well… that has probably been one of the most annoying and frustrating days in my life. Unicode support in Windows command line is complete rubbish. It doesn’t matter if you use WSL, or Bash Shell; you will find that tools simply do not display unicode, don’t find it. You can pipe a unicode ü character to grep and it will find it with a regex; you then cat a text file containing the same character and it will not. Everything is rubbish. Nothing works consistently for non-ASCII characters. What I thought to do was to compile a list of files that needed changes. Even that minor task can’t be done, because grep won’t work in any sensible way.
No doubt there is, in fact, a path way through this field full of bottomless rabbit-holes. For how else could programmers overseas work? But if so, it has been impossible to find it on Google. Enough!
5 thoughts on “Admin: Tertullian Project reload”
Roger, is the site all static HTML files? Have you considered importing it all into a WordPress site?
Yes, it is. I’d never thought of this, so thsnk you for suggesting it. I see there is a plugin to import a site of static html. But … WordPress is part of the tech monopoly. I’m not sure that I really want to go down that route.
Don’t try importing into WordPress. Static files are much more robust because they don’t need a back-end mySQL database. You’re better off writing your own custom code to process the individual files to add SEO optimization
I wouldn’t spend much time on SEO. Google isn’t worth it. In another five years, all the SEO stuff will change. If anything on the Internet survives for 100 years, your static HTML will. As to findability, leave that problem to others. You have done your part.
There is certainly the issue that static HTML is fairly future proof. It is also secure, since there is nothing to hack.