Matt Gemmell

My new book CHANGER is out now!

An action-thriller novel — book 1 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Getting the most from this blog

general 2 min read

This post outlines some advanced tips for getting the most relevant information from this blog, 
either via linking/bookmarking or RSS subscriptions. The information here also applies to all blogs 
powered by <a href="http://www.scotlandsoftware.com/blog/?cat=/dev/thistle">Thistle</a>.
&nbsp;



This blog, in common with all Thistle blogs, makes extensive use of <em>URL parameters</em>. For example, when 
you click the name of a category in the category-list on the right, you'll see that the URL you're taken 
to has a <code>cat</code> parameter, such as <code>cat=/dev/mac</code>. Similarly, permalink URLs have a <code>post</code> parameter, 
search results have a <code>search</code> parameter, and so on. The key to accessing this blog's content intelligently 
lies in the use of combinations of these parameters.



&nbsp;



First, two quick pieces of Thistle terminology:
  • Categories - A category, as you might expect, is a group of posts on a certain topic, and in Thistle blogs, categories are in fact directories on the server. A category also contains all sub-directories within it; hence my Development category also shows posts from my AppleScript and Cocoa sub-categories, and so on. Categories use the cat (or category) parameter in URLs.
     
    It's worth noting that the display name for a category ("Cocoa") is different from the value required for a category URL parameter ("/dev/mac"). You can always find the appropriate parameter by simply visiting a category and looking at the URL of the page.
     
  • Types - A "type" can be thought of as a way of viewing information; a formatting style. The "printable" view for a post is a type, as is the "quote me" view. RSS feeds and archives are also types. Types use the type parameter in URLs.
&nbsp;



When you think about it, this concept of types and categories actually gives you, the reader, considerably flexibility 
in determining what content you want to see via your links/bookmarks to this blog, or your subscriptions. The combination 
of appropriate parameters lets you filter-out information which isn't of interest to you. Below are some examples, which 
will open in a new window. For reasons of brevity, I've left out the unchanging part of each URL.
&nbsp;



You can also add <code>type</code> parameters to control how the information is displayed, as the following examples show.
&nbsp;



The use of <code>type</code> parameters becomes particularly useful when you remember that the RSS feeds are just another type:
And so on.



&nbsp;



Hopefully this brief tutorial will help you tailor your Irate Scotsman links/bookmarks to suit your needs, and more 
importantly to keep your feeds free of material which doesn't interest you. As I said previously, also remember that 
this information applies to any other <a href="http://www.scotlandsoftware.com/blog/?cat=/dev/thistle">Thistle</a>-powered 
blogs you might encounter.