Tim Hatch

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Worldwide Panorama Day Participation 30 Sep, 2004

I finally got my act together in time to participate in the WWP event this year. The theme? Bridges.

I thought for a while about any kind of 'bridge' around here that might be worth photographing. We were encouraged to think of offbeat meanings of 'bridge,' and I first thought of a cultural bridge.

There was a Japanese festival on Sunday, which I went to with the camera, but sadly none of those panoramas ended up great, in my opinion. I wasn't about to get in the way of other spectators :)

Next, I remembered a flying staircase that is in UNT's Wooten Hall - another likely candidate. Then I remembered that I have clasS and can't be lugging around the cam/tripod when there are students around, because I'll be busy too.

Then I remembered a brochure put out by Denton county - Historic Bridges of Denton County, which mentioned a number of old bridges in the area - and among them is the Old Alton Bridge, which remains standing to this day. It's on Copper Canyon Rd., which roughly parallels US 377 from Denton, down to FM 407 in the Flower Mound area. The bridge itself appears to be built in the late 1800's and was in use up to ~2001 by modern vehicles. People would have to drive up to one side, and honk to see if anyone is approaching from the other side - because it's on a double blind curve!

I don't know why they picked this spot in the stream, because there are any number of other spots available, most of which aren't at right angles to the road, and most of which aren't directly east-west (which got annoying because I took the pano at sunset).

Consolidating 404 Pages using mod_rewrite 28 Sep, 2004

While working on a recent project, I found that a generic template that uses xml files for the backend (static pages) was beneficial to use. I set up mod_rewrite so that /book/page1 would redirect to /loader.php?dir=book&page=1.

This was all well and good, and greatly simplified my programming logic while at the same time, making some non-crufty urls. The only problem, then, was that I have two different types of "page not found" messages: one for the subdirectory, when I specify an invalid page number, and the other for when an invalid page is accessed outside that directory (i.e. the RewriteRule never goes into effect).

My conundrum then, is thus: Does loader.php?dir=book&page=somebadpage then send a Location: /404.shtml?

My solution was to code all the 404 logic within loader.php itself, making it nice for anything that gets to loader.php, whether it's a bad dir or a bad page... but how to handle the other case...

ErrorDocument /loader.php?dir=errors&page=404

Yes, that's right, just make the 404 page another content page, but in a separate directory. Not only does this simplify the required steps to make the error page consistent, but you can also put some custom referer logging in place within loader.php.