Re: [blogite] Pingback makes a page invalid?

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From: Ian Hickson (
Date: Sat Sep 07 2002 - 10:17:39 BST

On Sat, 7 Sep 2002, Stuart Langridge wrote:
> Should I mention in the spec that you need to format the tag
> appropriately for your choice of document language? (Didn't think I'd
> need to do this *sigh*)

Apparently, you should.

More importantly, you should point out that clients need to be able to
handle both HTML and XHTML versions. My own implementation will ignore a
<link> element with a trailing /... *goes to fix it*

Seriously though, how naiive are current implementations? Do they get
confused by commented out <link> elements? Is that ok? Would people notice
links like:

   <link title="pingback server" href="relative/url/to/server"
   rel="talkback pingback" rev="subject" hreflang="en"/>

...? Because that's a completely valid link to a pingback server in an
XHTML document, right.

My own implementation would get confused by comments and would ignore the
link above. It only looks for links almost exactly matching the form used
in the spec. We could demand that pingback sites validate, so that clients
could use real parsers to do the work, but of the three implementations of
pingback that I am aware of, only one validates...

Either way, we should clearly define how the autodiscovery works,
otherwise it won't work reliably.

Similarly, the spec should either define what the return value of a
pingback should be, or it should explicitly say that the return value is

At the moment, my implementation returns a string with useful information
in it (the title of the source and target, the URI of the source, and the
stamp ID of the target). If it fails, it returns a fault with the perl
stack trace and error string as the message, and 0 as the code.

As a client, I don't really care if there is an error, because I'm not
going to be doing anything with the information (least of which tell the
user, as I do pingback asynchronously). So if it fails, I just dump the
error to my error log and go on merrily with the other sites mentioned in
the blog entry.

Would you like me to write up an update of the spec with clarified notes
on the syntax to use and the response expected?

Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
"meow"                                          /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.                         `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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