Interesting Site Notes: Introduction

Talking to Boris about this website last week, by way of a feature request he reminded me of both how overwhelming my site can look on first glance and how much stuff it hides from the front page. It also reminded me of an experiment I tried once with another website of mine: have a 'changelog'—that is, a list of changes made to something, usually software, with the most significant changes listed at the top, or prominently in some other way—in the sidebar of all modifications significant to warrant a mention. Both Boris and Darren calls making note of these changes "Boring Site Notes", but the geek in me likes these notices, as they alert me to things about the site that might have changed since the last time I actually visit them. So as homage, I will call my changelog "Interesting Site Notes", at least until I come up with a snootier phrase. I have an out-of-date colophon, but that's a static document. Boris suggested using 'diff' functionality to show the changes made to that what I consider a static document, something that accurately describes the current state of being, but which changes as the state of being changes.

(Via Kevin Marks' shared Google Reader items I read about an idea for a diff of all United States legislation. I want a version control system of the whole world, which is theoretically what the news media is supposed to provide.)

Changes to the site usually involve Drupal somehow, since most of the site is powered by the CMS. I'll post brief instructions, with PHP code where applicable, so that people can duplicate it if they feel like it. If any of the above or any of the following site notes confuse anybody, I'd love it if you asked me. I hate to think that I talk over people's heads—it happens, I know—and I love helping people discover new and interesting ways to discover new and interesting things!