Re: Interesting page headers (Was: [blogite] Before we update the spec...)

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From: Aquarion (
Date: Wed Sep 11 2002 - 13:29:10 BST

On Wed, Sep 11, 2002 at 10:46:54AM +0000, Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 11 Sep 2002, Aquarion wrote:
> >
> > Secondly, from my perspective it is pointless. Yes, grabbing the head is
> > faster, but not enough to justify it.
> Don't grab the head. Grab the entire thing, but drop the connection as
> soon as you've got the HTTP header.

One stated advantage of the X-Pingback - the original advantage, in fact
- was that you only have to send a HEAD request

> > My problem with the header is that the advantages it brings do not
> > outweigh the disadvantages, which is that if I try to take advantage
> > of the advantages, it makes the "standard" method take longer, and
> > that it involves playing with either headers or server configs,
> > neither of which an ordinary web-page should have to do.
> Again, I don't follow this. What disadvantages? Taking into account
> X-Pingback is positively _trivial_. Adding an X-Pingback header is the
> hardest part, in fact, not handling it -- and that's why I support leaving
> <link> in as a secondary mechanism, for those people who can't add
> headers. (And df you use Apache and have access to change the
> configuration (either through .htaccess or httpd.conf) then it's a one
> line change. I imagine other web servers don't make this much harder. So
> it's only hard for people who have unconfigurable hosts.)

My main point against it is that it doesn't tell you anything you
couldn't get from your referal logs, because I think Pingback is useful
as a trackback replacement - to say, for example, that my blog is
refering yours - but not as a *permenant* record of who is talking about
what. In this I agree with Mark Pilgrim, who's infamous "further
reading" section /only tracks the last three days referals/. Comments
and quick referals are not usually written to be set in stone and
forever used as a record, they arn't well-researched enough for that.
That is the realm of articles, not quick weblogs. And that's really the
point, if I write a nice article that hundreds of people link to, I
don't necessarily want to link back to them in perpetuity, mainly
because, if the article is of any worth - it will probably last longer
than most of the things that link to it.

Basically, I like Pingback as a record of the water-cooler type
conversation around a particuler topic within the blogging comunity, to
take it beyond that into the things that the original blog is /about/
turns the entire weblog mass into a giant distributed slashdot, with all
the kooks and trolls that this brings.

Pingback to weblogs I agree with. Generic pingback, however, is going to
require some /heavy/ selling power.

Not that it matters, since you've already released the spec, so any
argument against it is effectivly null and void.

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