Guardian.co.uk

An ABC of R2: K is for keyword component

…which was the first visible feature we released as part of the R2 project. That was way back in May 2006, and it appeared on articles in the Travel section.

The keyword component was simply a box listing keywords associated with the article, but to get even to that modest point was a long journey. Here are some of the things we needed to build to get there.

  • A continuous integration pipeline, which automatically took the software at any time from source code to deployable bundle via automated testing and reporting;
  • A tool to create and manage keywords — some keywords would need to take the user to specific landing pages, others to a page of search results;
  • A tool to add keywords to articles — the tool running in our new system, the article editor running in our old system, and the two integrating seamlessly;
  • A manageable abstration layer at the web server level that allowed pages from the legacy content management system to include components from the new R2 system.

Naturally this component didn’t change the world, but it did provide validation for our entire development pipeline. And the component survives today, in a more sophisticated form, on all our content, where you can use it to navigate to related subjects.

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