November 15, 2006

Sitemaps now supported by Microsoft and Yahoo.

Google started it, but sitemaps has since been adopted by most of the large search organizations out there. If you own a website, and have a lot of static content, you probably should be investigating at creating and updating sitemap on regular basis.

Sitemap is basically an XML file which describes the contents and change frequency of the site. If you ever had pages hidden deep inside your website which were not getting indexed before, sitemaps is an excellent way of advertising those pages to the search engine.
Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site. Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from other sites. Sitemaps supplement this data to allow crawlers that support Sitemaps to pick up all URLs in the Sitemap and learn about those URLs using the associated metadata. Using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines, but provides hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your site.

Powershell/Monad Version 1.0 is finally out

More than two years ago I wrote about a neat little microsoft project called Monad which caught my eye. The project boasted of doing something which I've never seen anyone else do before. They created an object oriented shell interface.

One of the examples I use to explain is that unlike unix flavor of "ps" which allows listing of fields you like or not using optional command line parameters, in Monad, you can parse the output of "ps" (aka get-process) and manipulate the objects returned to print any format you want by inspecting the object. All unix admins know how to use "cut" "grep" and "awk" for different reasons, but in a true monad shell environments where every command you type is a monad commandlet, you won't have to use the traditional string based tools anymore.

Whats interesting is that unlike in Unix/other_shells, you can pipe the output of ps command in monad and throw it on to an XLS sheet with a pie chart attached. Neat !!

Microsoft has finally released the official 1.0 version of this product (just in time for the Vista release) and its now being called Powershell. Even though the version I installed was on my XP box, it supports other flavors of Windows as well. Watch out for this blog for more of Powershell as I'm for sure going to use it.