I've recently done a bit of site-administration hacking — more details are below, but the bottom line is that URLs like http://languagelog.org now do the right thing. Despite this progress, a few problems remain. There's one problem in particular where suggestions from readers with expertise in website administration would be appreciated.
On April 6, 2008, the old Language Log server failed, and had to be replaced by a new machine, in a new location with a new IP address. I restored the old archives in comparable places on the new machine, and arranged for the old domain itre.cis.upenn.edu to be resolved to the new IP address, so that old links like http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003572.html continue to work. Rather than try to get the old 2003-era Movable Type installation working on the new machine, I decided to switch to WordPress 2.5, which I set up in /var/www/nll (that's "nll" for "new language log"), so the the basic URL for the new site became http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll.
Yesterday, I succeeded in persuading the domain registration company to direct languagelog.com, languagelog.net, and languagelog.org to the IP address of the new site. (Actually, I think it's the company that bought the company that bought the company that I registered those domains with back in 2003, which is probably why it took me a while to make the right connections, but anyhow, it's done.)
After a few flourishes of RedirectMatch in the appropriate apache configuration files, nice simple URLs like http://languagelog.org will now take you to the LL home page, and individual posts can be accessed via URLs like http://languagelog.org/?p=172.
One remaining problem is the old RSS feed at URL http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/index.rdf. I understand that some people — maybe quite a few people — still have their RSS readers linked there. So I'd like to reconnect that feed to the new one at http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?feed=rss2. I tried adding
RedirectMatch ^/~myl/languagelog/index.rdf$ /nll/?feed=rss2
in the appropriate place in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default, but that doesn't seem to work.
There's probably a way to get WordPress to put the right xml in the right place, but a quick search of the docs didn't turn it up. I could hack up a program to get the xml from the new URL and put it in the old file, but that seems inelegant at best.
So if you know how to fix this, please let me know.