[development] node type without a title?

Walt Daniels wdlists at optonline.net
Thu Sep 7 15:51:00 UTC 2006

One of my concerns for title is what gets put in the <title>my title</title>
html on a page as that heavily influences how search engines index the page.
People who care about their search engine ranking need control over what
gets put there. 

-----Original Message-----
From: development-bounces at drupal.org [mailto:development-bounces at drupal.org]
On Behalf Of Bèr Kessels
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 11:14 AM
To: development at drupal.org
Subject: Re: [development] node type without a title?

Op donderdag 7 september 2006 14:10, schreef Jeremy Epstein:
> However, I doubt that a node type without a title field would work 
> very well in practice, because of the 'title' field being used in so 
> many places, such as in the node listing links (as you pointed out).

The problem lies deeper. We abuse titles for several things:
1 Unique, or semi-unique identifiers in the admin areas (node overviews,
2 Unique, or semi-unique identifiers on the site (title listings in forum,
blocks etc)
3 A subject: To show a boldfaced/strong "title" above an article.
4 A subject: To show a boldfaced/strong link above an article, leading to
the full article (node).

2-4 could, but should not be required to, come from the same metadata.
1 has absolutely nothing to do with the metadata "title", allthough in a lot
of cases/sites it may be a good idea to use the title for this.

Again, this comes down to some fundamental "designs" of Drupal. I feel it is
wrong to enforce a title, because we want a unique identifier! Obviously a
list with "nothings" (a list of nodes w/o that identifier) is horrible.
But unfortunately too many people then automatically conclude "then titles
are required"!

I have made nodes where I hid the title and autogenerated it from other
metadata: "feedback on $foo by $bar", or "microcontent: site mission", or
"%username's personal profile". etceteras.
All are unique identifiers, but none are form fields. Most make no sense at
all to store in the database either, because all of these can be build on
_view or on _load perfectly fine.

Titles should be optional at all costs. Titles do not need to be stored in
the database as single entity. Unique identifier (wich may be represented in
$node->title, if that makes backwards compatibility simpler) is required.


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