From my diary: the Tertullian Project cleanup

I’ve continued to work on cleaning up the old Tertullian Project website.  I’ve just counted how many Html pages it includes – the answer is 8,147.  I have been a busy boy, it seems, over the last 24 years.  By chance I came across a page announcing the “tertullian.org” domain – that appeared in 1999, it seems.

Something that I have removed reluctantly is the “counter” that showed the number of hits on each page.  But it had long ceased to work, and the numbers were all wrong anyway.  I gather that such things are often a security threat these days, which I can understand.

I’ve added to every page a long and annoying “meta” tag specifying the “viewport”. The only reason for this is that you get marked down by search engines if it is not there, so everyone is adding it to their pages.  I imagine sooner or later someone will realise the waste involved and get rid of it again.

I’ve started to look at the broken links, of which there are many.  Internal links I can fix.  These must always have been wrong.  External links to now vanished websites are another matter.  One possible solution would be to link to the version of that site archived at Archive.org, but this would be a hugely time-consuming business.  Another would be to remove the link; but this also removes the opportunity for the user to go and find the content at Archive.org.  I suspect that I will have to ignore external breakages.

It’s been a week and a half since I began.  The labour is immense, even with scripting tools.  I’ve always preferred to add content rather than worry about technical underpinnings.  I suppose a couple of weeks once in 25 years is not unreasonable.  Maybe I will revisit it again in 25 years.

I’ll continue working on internal links for a day or two, I think, and that will be that.  Whether it will produce better search results is another question.

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4 thoughts on “From my diary: the Tertullian Project cleanup

  1. 8,147 – something wrong with this number? Why would you want to delete your own work? I today came to Mithra pages – and they don’t exist.

  2. I’ve used the Tertullian Project site many times over the years. Thanks for all the time and effort you’ve put into it. It’s done a lot of good.

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