PerlHoo, Part II | 3 | WebReference

PerlHoo, Part II | 3

PerlHoo, Part II

Why a Web Directory is Useful


You Have Better Things To Do

Building a competitive Web site today costs a a lot of time and money. It often becomes a organization-wide effort that involves the expertise of many domain experts that gather and contribute information from their departments. This may mean that hundreds, maybe thousands of documents will be placed on a Web server. Because Web sites are ever-changing, creating static HTML navigation menus that list the documents would be expensive and time consuming. Because documents are regularly added and moved, linking them to a Web directory would make them easier to manage.

The Web Directory is Born

A Web directory can help you organize this content in a logical manner that's easy for people to understand. It's also flexible; it can be used for any type of hierarchical information like a Web site index, product catalog, document repository, or a network file server. It is similar in application to a filing cabinet. It may contain several drawers. Each drawer may contain many hanging folders, which in turn, contain multiple folders. Unlike a filing cabinet, an online directory allows us to create infinite levels of information categories. In short, a Web directory is one of the many tools you can use to make your Web site more valuable to the user and easier to maintain for you. Besides, everyone's doing it. Haven't you heard?

Putting the Web to Work

If computers were meant to make things easier, how come people spend so much time working in front of them? Certainly they have better things to do, like playing video games. One of my mottos is, "If you have to do it more than twice, automate it." Since the first virtue of a Perl programmer is laziness, shifting work to the computer or others is a natural.

Since we're all virtuous Perl hackers, it wouldn't make sense to design a Web directory unless we allowed other people to maintain it for us. When Yahoo© first hit the Internet, anyone could add a new site to the directory. Those were the glory days of the Web. Then the secret got out and the rest of the world discovered the Internet too. Today, site recommendations go through an editorial review to limit the number of links and increase the quality of the content. The same is true at the Open Directory Project. The same will be true with PerlHoo.

Produced by Jonathan Eisenzopf and
Created: April 19, 1999
Revised: April 21, 1999