I've decided that it's usually correct to organize information (Web information, anyhow) by date. For example, when I wrote the first few entries in ongoing, I was organizing them by category; see the layout under What? to your left. That turns out to be a bad idea for a bunch of reasons.

  • You might change your mind what something's about.
  • Things can be in lots of categories.
  • Some of the categories get big and awkward, with lots of entries in them.
  • You have to think up new names for each entry, for example I regularly drop entries in here about gardening, and it would be irritating if I had to dream up new names for each of them.

The past has the virtue that it doesn't change. So if on Feb. 22nd I write a Gardening note, I can just drop it in the 2003/02/22/ directory and name it Garden.

As TimBL has been saying for years, it's a lousy idea to change the URI of a web resource once you've published it. Organizing everything by date helps with that.

This doesn't mean categories are bad; ongoing has the What index as well as the When index, and always will. And these days I'm in the business of making topic hierarchies more usable by ordinary people. They're just a lousy way to organize your authoring.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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February 25, 2003
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