14 Jun 2011

Lord of the Rings project to become a web site

As I have written previously, I created an annotated list of excerpts from The Lord of the Rings to encapsulate the differences in the plot (and theme) from the Peter Jackson films. I was unhappy with the tabular format of a Google spreadsheet though, and so I cast around for other ways to present this information. My requirements were

  1. Each excerpt should have its own page so I could write expanded versions of my thoughts.
  2. There should be a feature to assign structured metadata to each post so I could assign fields like “page number in edition X”, “novel name”, “chapter” and so on.
  3. Each page should support user comments.
  4. There should be a one-page view that is condensed and tabular like the spreadsheet.
  5. There should be a robust category feature so I could group things in various ways.

I contemplated using a CMS and even installed a few. But at the end of the day I decided to use WordPress, even though it required some research to solve items 2 and 4. Also, WordPress has a numeric paradigm for linking to posts (each post has a unique number starting from 1), and I didn’t like that because it makes the excerpts look sequential. Although they are sequential in a sense (inside the novels) if I ever were to insert a new excerpt between two existing ones, it would have a nonsequential post ID.

I found solutions to all of this, but haven’t fully implemented everything yet. The results will go up at http://lotr.langmead.info.