Site Front Page

The front page of is like an advert for the Perl community. It reflects the diversity of interests that Perl programmers have. We should try to make it as attractive as possible.

If the first three posts on the front page are huge essays or massive code listings then the front page doesn't look very attractive. It looks far better if we post teaser extracts of posts to the front page and make them enticing enough to encourage people to click through to the full story.

Movable Type has a facility to make this easy. When you're writing a new post, just put the first couple of paragraphs in the "body" box and put the rest of it in the "extended" box.

Please use this facility so the the front page of the site looks as attractive as possible. your extract should be a paragraph or two that summarises your post and makes it sounds interesting.

In the future, if the site editors see a post without an extract that detracts from the look of the front page, then we reserve the right to edit your post to correct that.


Couldn't we simply tell MT to not publish posts that have a body longer than X lines?

A good blog engine does this for you. If we're looking for attractive, however, there are much better options. We're using MT because it's written in Perl, I think. However, because we love Perl doesn't mean we have to like everything people make with it. And, there are better ways to make posts shorter than moving text around in MT's database.

As a writer, I'm more concerned about people reading through an RSS feed. I want them to see the entire post in the feed. I don't want to make people come back to a site to see the rest of the post.

Hear, hear! Auto-chopping is the only true solution, since some of the people posting giant wads of text don't care about guidelines. Until that exists, I'm grateful to the mods for splitting (or, frankly, nuking) such posts.

I don't agree with the premise (that "long posts on the front page are bad"), but since you're committed to doing something, I have a couple of suggestions. In addition to "autochopping" I think you should make the fact that there is more to read more obvious. Currently, if there's more to read, the only difference is that the word "Permalink" changes to "Continue Reading..." Perhaps move the "N Comments" link to the right, and have the Permalink/Continue Reading... link on the left (since the site is left-to-right reading, less people will miss the link). Also, instead of just "Continue Reading..." have it say something like "Continue Reading (3 paragraphs more...)" or something.

Is there a widget that disappeared? I thought the sidebar had a list of the latest posts.

I believe MT already does auto-chopping for user pages, e.g.

This just needs to be enabled for the front page.


I have another suggestion. Pre-fill the 'body' with a short(!) reminder to authors to limit the content there, and to put the bulk in 'extended'.

Yes, why is this not enabled for the main page? It would have saved a lot of discussions.

I think it has to be automatic, as some of the people doing it seem to be using cross-posting solutions that will clearly ignore any text suggestions. This has also come up often enough that others who are doing walls of text are either not reading other entries or just don't care.

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