Re: [blogite] Pingback misc

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From: Simon Willison (
Date: Sat Sep 07 2002 - 17:17:42 BST

At 17:03 07/09/2002 +0000, Jim Dabell wrote:
> > > It seems to me that this should be an optional part of the spec anyway
> > > - some implementations won't want the overhead.
> >
> > I don't agree here. Checking for a reference prevents pingbacks being
> > spammed or flooded. I've seen too many examples of protocols where
> > people think of this sort of thing later on and find that it's a real
> > pain to retrofit; if we make it part of the spec up front then we'll
> > never have to worry about it.
>Perhaps a recommendation, rather than actually part of the spec? For
>instance, in HTML, there is no defined error handling, but there is a
>"recommended" approach that virtually all implementations implement.

+1 from me on that :)

> > > Which (in a roundabout way) leads me to my next question:
> > >
> > > What are the semantics for changing pages? Suppose you get a pingback,
> > > and the referring page deletes the reference to you? Or the site goes
> > > offline, never to come back?
> >
> > Ah, but Cool URIs Don't Change, remember?
> >
>Ah, but this is the _real_ world, remember? ;)

I really don't think we should address this problem. PingBack at the moment
is a beautifully simple idea - the if we start adding stuff in to edit /
update pingbacks it will get a lot more complicated. If anyone can think of
a so-simple-it-would-be-mad-NOT-to-include-it way of handling this kind of
issue then we should go with it, but I don't see it as a show stopper or
even something we should be overly concerned with. PingBack is aimed mainly
at blogs, and permalinks are a key part of what makes a blog a blog.

>Also, what about xhtml (the proper stuff, not text/html)? Are we going to
>have <?xml-pingback ... ?> as well?

Oooooh... that's an interesting thought. We should give that serious
consideration - having the ability to add pingback directives to XML
documents as well as HTML documents would do a lot to future proof the system.

Incidentally, the HTTP header idea means we can apply pingback to any file
type you care to mention! Say you retrieve the headers for something that
has been linked to and find that it has a content-type other than
text/html|text/xml|text/xml+html|whatever - if it has an x-pingback header
you can still send a pingback for it.



Web Developer,
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