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Topic: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed (Read 13337 times) previous topic - next topic
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SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

But rather than awaken an old thread ( https://www.elkarte.net/community/index.php?topic=2565.0 )

I'm surprised the topic is three years old and it's not been implemented honestly, it's pretty common to have that as an option out of the box with most web applications in this day and age. 

I realize it doesn't matter so much for search engines but it matters to people.  I work for a company ( not naming it since I'm not here to promote them ) but we deal with this kind of stuff on a professional level, we build websites, we do marketing and we also do print work.  Our clients want this, they ask about it and they are leery when told it's unimportant.

There's data to back it too, in what we've looked at, traffic tends to be higher when using SEF urls, not necessarily due to search engines but link sharing and the like.  This is because the URL itself can be descriptive in what is behind the link.  This matters when sharing links in e-mail, in print, online.. etc..  It's far more important than nice but throw away features like emoticons

Ultimately I think there's a lot more benefit in human readable urls than people might realize.

I do apologize if there's other more updated threads  but the one I linked seemed to be the most active and it showed up in my search firsts.   I have implemented human readable urls in many of my own pieces of software I've written for clients, but I do always consider it as part of my original design from the start and have been since the late 90s and early 2000s .. it's such a mainstream feature that it always surprises me to not see it.

Aside from that missing feature I think the software is pretty solid, I didn't realize that wasn't there until I adopted the software for my own forum I've been looking to start for several years.

It's my opinion at least that it should be a higher priority, I'd love to start suggesting this software to clients but that being missing would be a no for most of them I know.

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #1

Hi oneduality and welcome. :)

The feature is indeed long overdue and didn't get much love over the years because despite a lot of requests, not many have been willing to jump in and code it.
I ported an addon over from SMF (https://github.com/emanuele45/SimpleSEF ) but as you can see, after the initial porting I didn't spend much time working on it (actually I ported it just not to hear people asking for the feature LOL).
A while ago I set up a project for semantic URLs at github:
https://github.com/elkarte/Elkarte/projects/2
it's pretty much empty both because I set it up as a way to see how projects work and because I did it when still working on closing up 1.1. It may be something to consider for 2.0.
I think it will require quite a bit of changes and probably some even "drastic" (think about the fact that now the subject is the subject of the *message*, not of the topic, and that means each and every message in a topic can have a different subject, so in planning this feature we have to decide what to do to have it "done right"), so... it's a bit of work indeed.

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #2

I think most of SEF or similar mods requires only apache rewrite so it is not universal enough for those who use nginx to test or help to develop.[1] It'll be useful if the basis work for both, so it can be tested and developed in both webservers.

However, I am not interested in SEF development since from what I understand, it is not needed by modern SEs.

And since the basic can be found, cloned and developed from the above given github, let those who are interested do that.
Even Split Forum mod that I attempted to port and test with EA requires apache.  :'(

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #3

Even though it's not a need for proper SEO it still brings a very clean look to a forum, that many people want. 

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #4

I have rewritten the code (Original Code is Matt Zuba) completely for our Forum Version.
This now run clean and very fast and Google find that very good  ;)

All links for actions, member, board, topics and other are rewitten as example ..

url/index.php?action=search;  ==> url/search/
url/index.php?board=3;  ==> url/board-name/
url/index.php?topic=95.3;#msg27  ==> url/board-name/first-topic-subject/60/#msg27 (20 topics on a page)
url/index.php?action=profile;u=27; ==> url/profile/user-name/
... and mutch more ..

Duplicated names are detected automatically .. so if you have a Topic, User, what else with the same name as any other, the second one becomes a additional dupe number (1..n)
so .. if you have a board with the name "Search", the board is called as /search-1/

Our SEF works very stable over years and is also implemeted in our new forum version..

Fel
Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 02:39:17 am by Feline
Many are stubborn in relation to the path, a few in relation to the target.
Visit our new Forum Project on https://www.portamx.com

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #5

Quote from: emanuele  -  Hi oneduality and welcome. :)

The feature is indeed long overdue and didn't get much love over the years because despite a lot of requests, not many have been willing to jump in and code it.
I ported an addon over from SMF (https://github.com/emanuele45/SimpleSEF ) but as you can see, after the initial porting I didn't spend much time working on it (actually I ported it just not to hear people asking for the feature LOL).
A while ago I set up a project for semantic URLs at github:
https://github.com/elkarte/Elkarte/projects/2
it's pretty much empty both because I set it up as a way to see how projects work and because I did it when still working on closing up 1.1. It may be something to consider for 2.0.
I think it will require quite a bit of changes and probably some even "drastic" (think about the fact that now the subject is the subject of the *message*, not of the topic, and that means each and every message in a topic can have a different subject, so in planning this feature we have to decide what to do to have it "done right"), so... it's a bit of work indeed.

I absolutely get it, I've not looked through the code base but been a developer for a long long time, but it seems you should be workable..  I'll take a look at it just to get an idea of what's going on, but I won't make any promise I could personally do anything.  I'm already wearing 4-5 hats in my day job that I've not been able to work on my passion projects :) I just think this software is one of the cleanest I've looked at, I like the interface on the back-end and it's feature rich.. so I think the one thing missing is this.

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #6

Quote from: Allan  -  Even though it's not a need for proper SEO it still brings a very clean look to a forum, that many people want.
Quote from: ahrasis  -  I think most of SEF or similar mods requires only apache rewrite so it is not universal enough for those who use nginx to test or help to develop.[1] It'll be useful if the basis work for both, so it can be tested and developed in both webservers.

However, I am not interested in SEF development since from what I understand, it is not needed by modern SEs.

And since the basic can be found, cloned and developed from the above given github, let those who are interested do that.

It may not be necessary for search engines, it probably never was to be quite honest. But it's good for human friendly urls .. This actually is shown in our analytics for clients we work with and it's been a make or break feature for a lot of them in projects we deploy.  A lot of our clients link things in e-mail, social media, even print material .. People are far less likely to visit a url that looks odd ( index.php?whatever ) .. than a url that makes sense and is self descriptive.

This is becoming more and more true, and it's already a standard feature for most web applications as as a result, so I think it's more important than you'd think.  Not so much for casual things, but for those serious about it, it matters.
Even Split Forum mod that I attempted to port and test with EA requires apache.  :'(

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #7

Quote from: Feline  -  I have rewritten the code (Original Code is Matt Zuba) completely for our Forum Version.
This now run clean and very fast and Google find that very good  ;)

All links for actions, member, board, topics and other are rewitten as example ..

url/index.php?action=search;  ==> url/search/
url/index.php?board=3;  ==> url/board-name/
url/index.php?topic=95.3;#msg27  ==> url/board-name/first-topic-subject/60/#msg27 (20 topics on a page)
url/index.php?profile=27; ==> url/profile/user-name/
... and mutch more ..

Duplicated names are detected automatically .. so if you have a Topic, User, what else with the same name as any other, the second one becomes a additional dupe number (1..n)
so .. if you have a board with the name "Search", the board is called as /search-1/

Our SEF works very stable over years and is also implemeted in our new forum version..

Fel


Is this a core code mod? that would be the only issue I'd have.  I am very against modifying core code because it makes upgrading extremely difficult. Otherwise, that looks promising :)

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #8

Quote from: oneduality  -  Is this a core code mod? that would be the only issue I'd have.  I am very against modifying core code because it makes upgrading extremely difficult. Otherwise, that looks promising :)
No .. this is a custom implementation for our Forum version .. But this can be adapted for similar forums (like ElKarte)


Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #9

Ohh, I didn't realize you were mentioning your forum software on ElkArte's forums .. usually that's frowned upon :) so I assumed it was a customization to ElkArte


Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #10

Quote from: oneduality  -  Ohh, I didn't realize you were mentioning your forum software on ElkArte's forums .. usually that's frowned upon :) so I assumed it was a customization to ElkArte
@emanuele known the code .. she is the right person to implement that for elkarte (I think)  ;)

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #11

Quote from: Feline  - 
Quote from: oneduality  -  Ohh, I didn't realize you were mentioning your forum software on ElkArte's forums .. usually that's frowned upon :) so I assumed it was a customization to ElkArte
@emanuele known the code .. she is the right person to implement that for elkarte (I think)  ;)


Good point.. I would jump on this myself if I were familiar enough with the code base and had the time, but I'm swamped at work and when I get home I don't think about coding, I think about trying to get back to work on music lol ..

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #12

Quote from: oneduality  -  Good point.. I would jump on this myself if I were familiar enough with the code base and had the time, but I'm swamped at work and when I get home I don't think about coding, I think about trying to get back to work on music lol ..
Well .. it's my greates hobby to write good, clean, fast code  ;) 

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #13

Quote from: Feline  - 
Quote from: oneduality  -  Good point.. I would jump on this myself if I were familiar enough with the code base and had the time, but I'm swamped at work and when I get home I don't think about coding, I think about trying to get back to work on music lol ..
Well .. it's my greates hobby to write good, clean, fast code  ;) 


I agree, when I started out I worked on all sorts of pet projects, my biggest was work on an AI Chat bot that connected to ICQ/AIM and Yahoo .. I got in legal trouble for that one.. but I had MANY projects.  My job evolved and now I do programming, consulting, systems administration which has me on call 24/7 and also my music which has suffered.. so it's hard to find time to write in my spare time... or rather, hard to find the motivation. And if you're not motivated, you won't write quality code.

Re: SEF URLs .. Yes I know it's been discussed

Reply #14

Quote from: Feline  -  this can be adapted for similar forums (like ElKarte)
Sure. If your are willing to share yours @Feline, I think many of those who are interested can easily port it here.