SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by compass » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:12 pm

The mere fact there's alternatives says the inbuilt isn't good enough, if nothing else.
You are missing my point entirely.

The SEF (which itself is a misnomer) in 1.5 is adequate for SEO'ing your site. If one is convinced that you will need to apply a 3rd party solution such as OpenSEF to be sucessful in SEO then one has missed a fundamental point about SEO.

The fact there are alternatives owes more to the inertia of projects that were developed for 1.0.X (which did have some inadequacies).
The mere fact there's alternatives says the inbuilt isn't good enough, if nothing else.
I fundamentally disagree with that statement.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by absalom » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:45 pm

compass wrote: The SEF (which itself is a misnomer) in 1.5 is adequate for SEO'ing your site. If one is convinced that you will need to apply a 3rd party solution such as OpenSEF to be sucessful in SEO then one has missed a fundamental point about SEO.
Well, considering Alledia is doing a live showdown between J!, Drupal and Wordpress on this topic, what point really have I missed when Alledia has confirmed what I've known for a while ? After all, you can't beat the evidence of a live, ongoing test, can you ?
compass wrote:
The mere fact there's alternatives says the inbuilt isn't good enough, if nothing else.
I fundamentally disagree with that statement.
Why ? Surely by the nature of good design is that it meets the widest needs of the market with the best outcome for all. Thus far all that was added was some human readability (which was a small hack for 1.0, no less, assimilated in 1.5 through the router plugin), not the applicable functionality that comes out of the box with something like Wordpress (i.e type in your permalink structure how you want, publish and go). OpenSEF would not be being built by a core developer for 1.5 (the same notion applies to SEF Advance for 1.5) if the inbuilt wasn't in some way.. lacking.

If it was such a small hack in the first place, why did it take 2 years and the blacklisting of Ken McDonald from this community to make it happen ?

If Wordpress can do that sort of user friendly URI management out of the box, why can't we ?
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by compass » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:58 am

Well, considering Alledia is doing a live showdown between J!, Drupal and Wordpress on this topic, what point really have I missed when Alledia has confirmed what I've known for a while ? After all, you can't beat the evidence of a live, ongoing test, can you ?
Credit to Alledia to the idea, but the test lacks any kind of validity. Each site deals with different content, its not even remotely an apples to apples comparison....

That test is not very useful I am afraid...
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by absalom » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:15 am

compass wrote: Credit to Alledia to the idea, but the test lacks any kind of validity. Each site deals with different content, its not even remotely an apples to apples comparison....

That test is not very useful I am afraid...
It's not the only instance. You should find some posts of mine within the (private?) D&A area documenting the ongoing evidence (this was back in 2005/2006) regarding the structures of permalinking, and how Drupal and various other CMS systems still did a better job than whatever was spat out of the core.

And then there is the numerous posts by Wordpress users elsewhere that demonstrate it buries the competition into the dirt in terms of relevance to search engines, due in part to its user friendly permalink structures and due in part to the well formed semantic structure it has. J! doesn't have user friendliness on the level of WP in terms of permalinks and it's semantic model is up the creek, so how much more evidence do you need, Barrie ? (Not to mention the black hat SEO/SEF adoption of WP and other major blog systems by sploggers)

It's no use doing white hat SEO if you can't even guarantee the semantic model or URI is right... since without these things, all you're relying on is multi-submission bots to search engines/forums or word of mouth.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by compass » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:14 am

OK, so now you are getting more to something more accurate wrt SEO. You are quite right that issues of permalink put J 1.0.X at a disadvantage to WP. However, as I have implied earlier, the URL's provided in 1.5 will solve this outstanding issue.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by absalom » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:27 am

Are you absolutely sure ?

The discussions I've overheard regarding ItemID being a 'best guess' solution at finding the content it's looking for, and the fact itemID is still factored into the new URI structures in 1.5 does suggest possible content duplication and/or 301/404 issues... which means permalinks are still not all the way there..
Jinx wrote: As an exmample 1.5 does something like :
http://localhost/joomla15/index.php/con ... content/41
Looks to me like it's still prepending ID's of various sorts, don't you think?
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by lisavollrath » Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:05 am

I have to add my two cents, since I've migrated three of my four sites from Wordpress to Joomla in recent months. I'm incredibly disappointed at Joomla's lack of flexibility in terms of URLs when compared to Wordpress. In WP, I could tell the system how I wanted my URLs to be arranged. In Joomal, I'm stuck with long, ugly URLs that break when dropped into email messages, or with a bunch of add-ons that may or may not work with the components I'm using.

I migrated to Joomla because I needed security that Wordpress didn't offer---but if this URL issue continues, I'll migrate right back just as soon as a decent security plugin is created for Wordpress. Poorly designed links are killing me.

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Re: Isn't it kind of late to be adding new features?

Post by a1tsal » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:47 am

As a matter of development process, I'm a bit surprised to hear about adding a fairly major user-visible feature this late.  I would have thought that the goal for beta2 would be stability, not features.  Would it not be better for things like this to go in a 1.6?  Delaying 1.5 to add and debug features now seems odd.

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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by eyezberg » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:52 am

@ a1tsal: have you read Jinx' post? This was added in October 2006...
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by Head-e » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:58 am

I have enabled Build with Real Names in the plugin, and set modrewrite to on

however my urls are not following that structure. I am using the latest build, has this been changed?
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by a1tsal » Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:49 pm

eyezberg wrote: @ a1tsal: have you read Jinx' post? This was added in October 2006...
Oh.  Thanks...  I missed that!

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Curiouser and curiouser

Post by DocMartin » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:18 pm

This ongoing resistance to including strong capabilities for URL creation in Joomla core beggars belief. (Strong for SEF, human friendly, and Cool - so don't have to change URLs. [how many URLs will need changing simply migrating J 1.0 to J.5 ?])

Been such a longstanding issue, and apparently not a biggie for the hotshot coders Joomla has on board. Yet, impossible to actually achieve.

Odd to see assertions on SEF URLs here from a guy who has written "There is no such thing as Search Engine Optimization any more"
Plenty of info elsewhere on strong URLs, including for Joomla! sites.

ItemIDs were a bane of J 1.0 - woeful if indeed a feature of 1.5.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by compass » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:24 pm

There is no such thing as Search Engine Optimization any more
Absolutely! SEO is dead, there is only SEM. SEO is a tiny part of that SEM strategy.

Rest assured that I work very hard on SEM, and when 1.5 comes along, I WONT be using a 3rd party pacakge. Why? I have to spend about 1-2 hours a week managing my OpenSEF links. I have 3-4 times as many SEF links as I do pages. The built in functionality that will be in 1.5 will be ALL THAT I NEED to maintain and improve my ranking.

I'll be spending that 1-2 hours writing more high quality content to get some more meaningful and sustainble links....

If people want to spend their time arguing about SEF and tinkering with their 3rd party SEF system, I say go for it! I'll see you on the SERP :)
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by a1tsal » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:54 pm

Itemids are a mess, and a problem for several things other than just URLs.  However, they are so deeply woven into Joomla that I really doubt it would be possible to remove them before the total data model overhaul projected for 2.0.

I use OpenSEF and have no problems with it.  I recommend it -- although obviously YMMV.

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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by absalom » Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:31 am

a1tsal wrote: Itemids are a mess, and a problem for several things other than just URLs.  However, they are so deeply woven into Joomla that I really doubt it would be possible to remove them before the total data model overhaul projected for 2.0.
It is possible. I've been studying the Wordpress permalink URI coding structures for a while now, and it is forseeable to write a new SEF structure which remains a parallel of WP as an integrated solution (including having the ability to do variants on style and form, as per WP).

Without SEF enabled, you'd still get the ItemID issue, but with SEF, it wouldn't be reliant on IDs as such to find content or components.

As an aside, Barrie, why don't you acknowledge that 1.5 still has id issues in light of Johan's example "human readable" URI ?
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by DocMartin » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:20 am

SEO is dead.
:laugh:
- branching into comedy here, I see.
Cointent undoubtedly king, but SEO important, including good links.
- maybe can say SEO as "buzzword" is outmoded, techniques themselves not dead: and, yes, start with content.
I'll be spending that 1-2 hours writing more high quality content to get some more meaningful and sustainble links...
- and how much time writing 301 redirects, as URLs change so these links are indeed "sustainable"?
And to redress problem of creating multiple links to same content (coz of ItemIDs). Or do you strive to avoid ItemIDs hassle? Doable, with one link to a content item, then cut and paste the URL. But this is a faff; far easier if a built in solution.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by compass » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:02 am

SEO is Dead
Is Textbook Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Really Dead?
SEO is dead - It's about creating compelling content constantly on a Web 2.0 site

Actually, the realization that traditional SEO methods are but one very small part of a bigger strategy to get sustainable traffic has been accepted for quite some time now.....
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by DocMartin » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:18 am

SEO remains important.

Using Google as a Top 10 List - The Power of SEO

Saying SEO is dead doesn't square with also touting "How to earn $1,000’s a day with Search Engine Optimization and Joomla."
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by compass » Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:05 am

rofl, you need to read that more carefully, the whole thing says:
Taken from: http://www.google-search-engine-optimization.com/

Used without permission as an example of how web marketing consultants get a bad name!

There are millions (literally) of these sites on the web. The real truth about search engine optimization is that there is no “silver bullet” any more. It used to be true that you could stuff a few keywords into some metatags and you get lots of traffic. Now, search engines are much smarter. Google recently released its patent #20050071741 on its "Information Retrieval Based on Historical Data" (that's that little search page to you and me). In the document were over 118 factors that effected a web site's position in the search engine's rankings!
The whole project only took about 3-4 weeks to bring to fruition.
Just think how much quality content he could have written instead. That would be much more sustainable than trying to game google.....
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by absalom » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:29 am

compass wrote: Just think how much quality content he could have written instead. That would be much more sustainable than trying to game google.....
Mindless junk, imho. I really don't know why you promote this stuff, Barrie.

You don't need to game Google. It shouldn't even be your intent. URI formation and the ability to have well formed semantic content are the prime focus in any web search and always be - your silence on the WP issue is noted. Content may be king, but there isn't much use having content if it can't be leveraged correctly.

Black hat SEO (metadata stuffing / hidden text / backlist tracks / spam / splog) may well be dead, but code, URI and document well formedness haven't changed since the Internet first went live.

For someone in the D&A team, I would have expected you to demonstrate the well-formed, semantic benefits of 1.5, especially in terms of how a blind or deaf user interacts with 1.5 as the Google bot is functionally equivalent to such iteractions. Perhaps this would be a better course of action in order to demonstrate the value and potential buy-in for users of Joomla!.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by Jinx » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:13 am

Mod note : please keep the thread on topic
absalom wrote: For someone in the D&A team, I would have expected you to demonstrate the well-formed, semantic benefits of 1.5, especially in terms of how a blind or deaf user interacts with 1.5 as the Google bot is functionally equivalent to such iteractions. Perhaps this would be a better course of action in order to demonstrate the value and potential buy-in for users of Joomla!.
That's is not SEO, that is accessibility. While the same techniques are used in both SEO and accessibility the end goal of both is very different. This thread is about humanly readable URL's and what we know in Jooma! as SEF, not about accessbility.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by compass » Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:36 pm

^ What he said...  :P
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by absalom » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:27 am

Jinx wrote: That's is not SEO, that is accessibility. While the same techniques are used in both SEO and accessibility the end goal of both is very different. This thread is about humanly readable URL's and what we know in Jooma! as SEF, not about accessbility.
The end result of both remains the same, Johan. The Google bot has similar limitations to a blind or deaf user, so it's always been an appropriate parallel. They are known as search robots for a reason, as they do less than whatever a human mind is capable of.

To code and design for SEO is to code and design a well-formed, semantic document with a stable URI. And since 1.5 is still prepending random ids across the "humanly readable" URLs, it is appropriate to discuss why this erstwhile claim of "humanly readable" for 1.5 provides a stable URI.

Are you prepared to go on public record as a Core dev leader and state that the techniques used in web accessibility do not provide the correct and relevant SEO/SEF benefits as well ?
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The story so far...

Post by DocMartin » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:43 am

Aiming to get back on topic.
As we do so, note: URLs (URIs) are fundamental to websites. Though over time some posts have indicated SEF URLs are just cosmetic issue, this is not true. You want to create software for building great websites, you should enable users to readily create great URLs.

This thread started with a post from UndoIT, which included:
if readable SEF URLs were a core component, I think a lot more Joomla developers would focus on creating components and modules that are compatible with the SEF function.

The way it is now, you have to choose the SEF component based on the extensions you plan to use, and then hunt down hacked thirdparty sef_ext.php files etc. to make everything work.  And even still, there might be a few links lurking somewhere that are broken.
- instead of acknowledgement of this being an issue, had obfuscation that's been typical of Mambo/Joomla discussions re "SEF" URLs.

We've learned Joomla 1.5 can produce more human friendly URLs, but still some ways from being ideal:

- Still no standardisation, so liable to remain problems with third-party components, especially.
- Maybe the ItemIDs problem remains - so can get multiple URLs for same content.
- Seems no acknowledgement of it being important to ensure URLs won't need changing with upgrades etc, so URLs can be "sustainable".
Cool URIs don't change

Yes, of course like others I don't have to use Joomla.
As I recall, Robert Castley of Mambo posted something like this - you don't have to use Mambo - in response to criticism, even though Mambo homepage was puffing the benefits of using Mambo. I thought him petulant in that post. Joomla notes it's "one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems on the planet", but without note re how weak it is when it comes to URLs, for reasons that are hard to fathom.
I started with Mambo/Joomla almost three years ago; switching cms would be quite a faff.

Tried Drupal demo, and was readily able to create URL of sort http://www.mysite/folder/story[.html]. Not ideal - as an alias - but a cinch.
Came across guff on ModX, which maybe not ready for non-developers, but already bills itself as a true SEO CMS, including as can generate a selection of URL types.
This seems "cutting edge"; not so Joomla 1.5 and its URLs.
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by louis.landry » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:56 am

Ok .... One last comment on this and then I truly am done with it because yet again we have you, Lawrence, twisting ideas and basically picking a fight .... which is yet another reason why some of us* don't respond to you.

There are not "random" IDs prepended to URIs ... there are article IDs in uri's pointing to articles and there is an Itemid in URIs which is tied directly to a menu item and describes configuration options for that particular request:  assigned template, modules, and component configuration options (params).  When that Itemid varies... so do these configuration options.  It is absolutely NOT random.  Also prepend means to put before... Itemid is almost always at the end of the URI anyway which would be appended.

Johan is very correct in stating that this thread is about humanly readable URLs and what we know in Joomla! as SEF -- which in that context is referring to the URLs ... nothing more ... nothing less.  Your attempt to make it an argument about other things is very similar to how you seem to bring this argument/discussion into a very large number of threads you enter.  If you have an axe to grind.. grind it in a thread with appropriate context.  If people respond.. maintain the discussion in that thread... if they don't  it means that they aren't interested in discussing it.  Spreading it out over every thread that comes up which might have some relation to the message you are trying to get across just makes those you are attacking not want to respond to the questions posed by the person asking for help or information.

Trying to box Johan into a corner the way you just did is childish and ridiculous.  He said what he meant and meant what he said.  If he feels he needs to correct it he will.  Don't put words in people's mouths.

The Itemid "problem" is something we are all painfully aware of.  We have stated on numerous occasions the architectural issue(s) and this has been gone over ad nauseum.  If you aren't happy with it use something you are happy with.  If something out there solves the problem for you .. use it.  You may feel that is petulant but I look at it as just realistic -- use what works for you.  The good news is that the system is pluggable and that it is open source ... so you can modify it to act however you want it to within your means.  We are addressing it as best we feel we can for 1.5 and have discussions/ideas on it all the time just as we do with several other issues.

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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by absalom » Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:48 am

louis.landry wrote: There are not "random" IDs prepended to URIs ... there are article IDs in uri's pointing to articles and there is an Itemid in URIs which is tied directly to a menu item and describes configuration options for that particular request:  assigned template, modules, and component configuration options (params).  When that Itemid varies... so do these configuration options.  It is absolutely NOT random. 
If it's "absolutely NOT random", that should mean the dupe content/URI/ID issue is completely resolved in 1.5. It isn't. So.. it has some manner of randomness, otherwise the dupe issue wouldn't occur.
louis.landry wrote: Also prepend means to put before... Itemid is almost always at the end of the URI anyway which would be appended.
I based my statements regarding prepending on this:
Jinx wrote: As an exmample 1.5 does something like :
http://localhost/joomla15/index.php/con ... content/41
That "33" is unrelated to the title "What is uncategorised content", yet remains part of it, semantically and contextually. In which case it is prepending, whilst remaining poorly formed. Do you understand this ?
louis.landry wrote: Johan is very correct in stating that this thread is about humanly readable URLs and what we know in Joomla! as SEF -- which in that context is referring to the URLs ... nothing more ... nothing less. 
And if there's more than 1 URI to a single piece of data inside the DB, that stops effective URI management. Instead of having well formed URIs, you have the the ability for URIs to be generated on a randomised basis as to how they will turn out. Linking between documents in the internal system becomes a hassle as much as stable permalinkages for external providers.
louis.landry wrote: Trying to box Johan into a corner the way you just did is childish and ridiculous.  He said what he meant and meant what he said.  If he feels he needs to correct it he will.  Don't put words in people's mouths.
Stay on topic, Louis, please. 90% of your post thus far I've had to cut as it has remained attacking me personally instead of dealing with the design and structural ideas regarding URI management that I've presented. I asked Johan a question in order to demonstrate if the Core has any understanding of the independence and symbotic relationship between web accessibility techniques and SEF/SEO.
louis.landry wrote: The Itemid "problem" is something we are all painfully aware of.  We have stated on numerous occasions the architectural issue(s) and this has been gone over ad nauseum.
And if you're painfully aware of it, why is the D&A team marketroiding that SEF in 1.5 is better than sliced bread within this very thread, and not worth fixing correctly ? Or even looking elsewhere  (WP, ModX, Drupal) to gain some insight on how to fix it correctly in J! ?
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Jinx
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Re: SEF URLs as a core component for Joomla 1.5

Post by Jinx » Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:36 pm

Mod note closing thread down - thread off topic :  The original poster his question has been answered.

@Absalom, Theodore Roosevelt once said :

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”


Joomla! is indeed what it is, however everybody who want's to contribute to Joomla's success is welcome to do so. That is the power of opensource, you can use and if you don't agree how things are done you can help improve it !

I would stronly advice you (again) to read the community code of conduct before u continue posting. Hopefully one day we will be able to conduct this discussion in a civil and respectfull manner.
Last edited by Jinx on Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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