[blogite] Using proxies to implement alternative PingBack transport methods

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From: Simon Willison (simon@incutio.com)
Date: Sun Sep 08 2002 - 11:14:11 BST

Ian's proxy server got me thinking. The more complex PingBack suggestions
have the aim of allowing a variety of delivery methods for "pings", to
simplify implementation for less technical send users. Ian's proxy idea can
be extended to provide all of the functionality handled by the proposed XML
description file. People who wish to use PingBack just to receive emails
when someone links to their site could use something like this:

<link rel="pingback" href="http://pingback.net/proxy/email/145" />

Where 145 is the account number they were given when they signed up for the
(so far imaginary) free PingBack email forwarding service on pingback.net.
The same idea can be extended to provide Jabber forwarding, GET request
forwarding, SMS forwarding and whatever other crazy ideas people may have.
Best of all it stays decentralised - anyone can set up a proxy server to do
pretty much anything they want it to.

The only problem solved by the description file that can not be solved with
proxy servers is the site-wide definition problem - i.e if you change the
location of your XML-RPC server you will have to update the <link> elements
on every page of your site, which for a static site could be a bit of a
pain (plus I'm still a bit uncomfortable about using a <link> to point to a
non-browsable resource). I don't see this as a show-stopper though - people
have been coping with static sites for years, and the main PingBack target
audience (blogs) will have no problems in this regard.



Web Developer, www.incutio.com
Weblog: http://www.bath.ac.uk/~cs1spw/blog/

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