Ever wonder how your blog, with an address like http://www.yerblog/2010/10/26/Yer-Post-Title actually got that content? There isn’t an actual directory there – how does it work?
mod_rewrite rewrites a URL at the server level to load content different from what the URL is telling you. For example – a page could display the URL http://www.bloomfoundry.com/bands/accadacca – BUT IN REALITY the page is really loading from http://www.bloomfoundry.com/bands.php?asskickingrockers=accadacca. Pretty clever.
There are some things you need to do at the server level to enable it for your site. If you’re running a LAMP stack, you need the mod_rewrite module installed on your Apache server. If you’re using a hosting company, check with them (it was on for my rented space by default).
The actual code goes into the .htaccess file that’s at the root of your directory. A simple example would be something like:
RewriteRule ^red.html$ green.html
With this, any time you load the URL red.html, you’d be loading CONTENT from green.html. Nobody would be any the wiser. If you wanted to let your users know that something was changing, you can insert a flag after the command to let them know chicanery’s happening under the surface. That would look like:
RewriteRule ^red.html$ green.html [R]
With this, any time you load the URL red.html, you get redirected to green.html at the server level. It’s darn cool stuff, and you can do some really complex, interesting things with it. Here are some resources:
Can be taken with bits and with bytes
’til their bands who played tunes
that echoed and bloomed
can slowly turn into websites
EVERYTHING ABOVE IS TRUE – occasionally, when in the pursuit of art and commerce, things can get murky. Case in point: I started Echo Bloom as a website about a music project. But as the work on the site started to spiral off in different directions (graphic design, multimedia, and writing), Echo Bloom seemed to become less about the music and more about this hazily defined multimedia synthesis <waves hands spookily in air>. It doesn’t do any of my work any good (at. all.) to have such a poorly defined brand.
Now is the fork.
I’M PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE the creation of a new family of websites – The Bloom Coalition. The Bloom Coalition is a grouping of websites arranged to different specific realms of my work. The first site in this coalition is BLOOM FOUNDRY, the multimedia and design arm of my creative enterprises. Echo Bloom is still Echo Bloom – but now it’s just focused on music (and any personal music/art related insight I have that’s relevant). There will be more sites, conceived and implemented as they are needed.
The Bloom Foundry site contains a portfolio of my interactive and design work, a blog – containing writeups of projects, interesting code snippets, and other relevant thoughts on multimedia work – and an about section. It’s designed to be BOTH LEAN AND MEAN, but mostly as a method of effectively bifurcating my work.
Q: Love Echo Bloom and ALSO like design?
A: Check out Bloom Foundry.
Q: Know somebody that needs to get something done on the web?
A: Drop me a line.
And 2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the Bloom Coalition – I’ll be relocating to New York City to pursue my creative work, have an album and a half of new material for the next Echo Bloom album, and am looking forward to the next adventure.