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Message started by hk on Oct 6th, 2008 at 3:56pm

Title: ForceASPI URL changes
Post by hk on Oct 6th, 2008 at 3:56pm

Some pages within and outside of your site link to the ForceASPI pages.  Recently however some of the links have broken, probably because Apache isn't rewriting/autocorrecting links.

Former URL: http://radified.com/ASPI/forceaspi.htm
The current URL: http://radified.com/aspi/forceaspi.htm

The problem is caused by the change in case (upper to lower).  Maybe Apache's mod_speling should be enabled?


Title: Re: ForceASPI URL changes
Post by Rad on Oct 6th, 2008 at 10:05pm

Thanks for note. Looks like you registered just for that.

Yesterday I was reading about how Google crawls and indexes a site, and how it ranks pages, and I noticed where they said how they don't like DUPLICATE pages.


Back in Feb 2006, when we moved the site from Interland to Lunarpages, Lunarpages (which used cPanel) would NOT use SUBDOMAINS (such as aspi.radified ... unless the subdomain used the SAME format as the folder.

Since Linux servers ARE caSe-sEnsiTive, that meant I couldn't use the /ASPI folder with the aspi.radified subdomain. (Had to use /aspi, etc.)

All these subdomains (and their corresponding folders) were originally created at a web host where no such restrictions applied.

So I had to create all new (duplicate) folders which contained all lower-case letters, since all my subdomains were lower case. I left BOTH folders up (until yesterday), so ppl searching via engines would not get a 404.

Anyway, long story short, I figured, after 2 1/2 years, it would be okay to delete the no-longer used old-style upper-case /Folders. Since Google is probably penalizing me for having so many duplicates. (/Ghost, /Partition, /FDISK, etc.)

Guess I was wrong.

I recreated the /ASPI folder .. just for the forceaspi page.

Hopefully, I won't need the others.

Thanks again for the note.

Have you noticed any other problems? In time I'm guessing everything will figure itself out.

Normally I can get away with just the first pages, cuz that's what is normally linked to.

If you know Apache mojo, you're smarter than me.

you're at u of minnesota?

Title: Re: ForceASPI URL changes
Post by hk on Oct 6th, 2008 at 11:40pm
Yes, I registered and then publicly posted because I didn't see another way to get the issue to you or another site admin.  (I suppose I could have checked 'whois' though.)

The neat thing about enabling the mod_speling Apache module is that it can automatically correct spelling and/or case issues between the requested URL and the actual correct URL.  It also makes your URLs case insensitive.  You don't need to make other special changes to make it work...no duplicated folders or files or fancy configurations.

The description for mod_speling from http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mod/mod_speling.html is:

Requests to documents sometimes cannot be served by the core apache server because the request was misspelled or miscapitalized. This module addresses this problem by trying to find a matching document, even after all other modules gave up. It does its work by comparing each document name in the requested directory against the requested document name without regard to case, and allowing up to one misspelling (character insertion / omission / transposition or wrong character). A list is built with all document names which were matched using this strategy.

If, after scanning the directory,

   * no matching document was found, Apache will proceed as usual and return a "document not found" error.
   * only one document is found that "almost" matches the request, then it is returned in the form of a redirection response.
   * more than one document with a close match was found, then the list of the matches is returned to the client, and the client can select the correct candidate.

Syntax:      CheckSpelling on|off
Default:      CheckSpelling Off
Context:      server config, virtual host, directory, .htaccess

This setting goes into the http.conf file or possibly alternatively a particular folder's .htaccess file.

If you enable this setting, it'll eat a few more CPU cycles in case a URL is mis-entered (or needs redirecting to the correct location).

Finally, you need not be worried much about this creating duplicates in the search engine indexes, because mod_speling creates redirects using HTTP status code 301 (permanent redirect).

There is more here:

P.S. Thanks for running a great, useful site!

Title: Re: ForceASPI URL changes
Post by Rad on Oct 7th, 2008 at 11:55am
Thanks again.

I reviewed an hour or two's worth of raw server log-files and saw lots of 404's due to the /ASPI/forceaspi.htm problem. Also noticed numerous other problems that I corrected.

/Ghost/ghost_1.htm was another biggie. So it was worth the effort.

I actually make use of caSe seNsitivIty .. now having folders such as /Photos + /photos, and /Files + /files. If I were to make all case insensitive, that would create more problems than it corrects .. unless I could apply that mod to ONLY specific folders.

javanut is another fellow Minnesotan (board-certified, with a good sense of humor):


Did you watch the game last night?

Title: Re: ForceASPI URL changes
Post by hk on Oct 7th, 2008 at 2:11pm
No, I missed the game.  Javanut's posts are pretty good.  I had to smile when I read about this drives keeping his office a bit warmer.  My Mythbuntu HTPC does much the same for my living room :)

Enabling mod_speling won't stop you from using folders with mixed case.  The only time it comes into play is when the browser would otherwise see a 404 error, and then all it does is try to find the best match between the submitted URL and the actual possible URLs.

Mod_speling won't preclude you from having mixed case folders, or even accessing them in URLs.  It's goal is to create transparent automatic redirects for minor typos and letter case issues.  Using mod_speling and/or the mod_alias redirect permanent directives are the cleanest ways to get search engines and other sites to recognize a new site structure without breaking any URLs or creating duplicate pages in the index.

Title: Re: ForceASPI URL changes
Post by Rad on Oct 7th, 2008 at 2:54pm

hk wrote on Oct 7th, 2008 at 2:11pm:
Enabling mod_speling won't stop you from using folders with mixed case.

Oh, that *is* cool.

What is your major? CS?

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