December 6, 2006
This article reprinted from the the TypePad Hacks Weblog. The original article can be found online:
© 2008, John T Unger
One of the requested features on the Agenda Page reads:
- The "Your TypeLists" page should display the file name used by the system to identify the TypeList in advanced templates.
Just as TypePad automatically creates permalink URLs for each post
on your blog, it also creates filenames for items such as TypeLists.
These filenames are used to link to the content in your list and
it on the page. If your blog runs on Basic Templates, you can add a new
TypeList easily from within the Design Wizard and edit the order of
lists on your blog with a handy drag + drop interface. But if you're
using Advanced Templates, it can be difficult to
discover the filename needed to include a new TypeList on your blog.
There are a number of ways that you can go wrong when trying to guess
the filename for aTypeList, whether it's new or old:
- When you first create a TypeList, the filename is based on the
name you provide (which becomes the title of the TypeList). If you
later change or edit the title, the filename remains unchanged.
A year or two goes by, and you forget that the original TypeList name
was something else altogether.
- If you create a TypeList with the same name as an existing TypeList, the system will name the new one filename_1. This can get really thorny if you have a lot of TypeLists with the same name (for instance, four blogs that all have a TypeList titled "Info").
- Names with spaces will be dirified (an underscore is substituted for spaces between words).
- TypeList filenames are case sensitive (they are always lowercase, regardless of whether you capitalize the list name).
In the past, the way I've dealt with this is to create a new blog, add the TypeList to it, convert to Advanced Templates, copy the include code for the new TypeList from the sidebar template of the new blog and paste it into the one I'm working on. Then I go back and delete the new blog and it's templates. It's a pain, and it's kind of labor intensive.
I figured, there's gotta be a better way. In fact, there are several better ways.
How To Find Filenames For Existing TypeLists
If you're trying to find the filename for an existing TypeList, this tip from Marjolein Hoekstra may help. The directory of filenames TypePad has created for your TypeLists is hosted here: http://www.typepad.com/t/app/control/files?path=lists
directory is invisible from your home folder in the Files tab (although
the breadcrumb trail above the directory shows that it is hosted
there). So you pretty much have to manually load the URL to view this.
I suggest bookmarking the page if you think you'll need it again.
Unfortunately, this will not always solve your problem if you've changed the title of a list radically enough that you no longer recognize the old filename.
The better methodology is to plan ahead as described in the next section.
How To Include TypeList Filenames on The Your TypeLists Page
TypeLists have an optional field for descriptive notes which you can
access from the Configure tab when you are creating or editing the
TypeList. I never really paid attention to it until one of the TypePad Help Crew suggested using it to distinguish TypeLists
that have the same title. This week, while focusing on TypeList issues,
I had an even better idea— the Description Field is the perfect place
to save info such as the filename for the TypeList, other blogs which
share the list, etc. Here's a screen capture of my new TypeList
Eventually, I'll go through and add this info to all my TypeLists, but from here on out I'll be sure to include the following info immediately upon creating a new list:
- All lists will be named blogname_function (i.e.
typepadhacks_subscribe). Before I add it to the blog, I can edit the
title to read as desired (i.e. Subscribe).
- When I convert the template, I'll copy the TypeList filename into the Description Field right away, before I forget what it is or change the title.
- If at any time I add an existing TypeList to an additional blog, I'll note that in the Description Field. That way if I remove it from the original blog, I won't accidentally delete the TypeList while it's still in use elsewhere.
Of course, once you know the filename of your TypeList, it's easy to include it into an Advanced Template blog: Just open the Sidebar Template, copy the code that brings in an existing typelist and replace the old filename with the new one. Easy!