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

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From: Simon Willison (
Date: Wed Sep 11 2002 - 14:09:11 BST

At 13:29 11/09/2002 +0100, Aquarion wrote:
> > 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

True, but it seems with hindsight that sending HEAD requests is not the way
to go as clients can send a normal GET request and cut off when they have
gathered enough information. The X-PingBack header is no longer there to
allow for HEAD requests (that is an idea which has been pretty much
discarded) - it now works as a performance enhancement and a way of adding
PingBack information to non-HTML documents.

>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.

You don't have to link back to them at all :) You can discard the PingBack
information, or display it on a separate page, or log it in a database and
forget about it.

You do have a good point though that non-HTML articles are already well
served by referral logs, but I think the benefits of having a list of
"intentional" links (as opposed to things like search engine referrals) are
well worth implementing PingBack for.

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

The spec is still listed as a "working draught" - it isn't finalised yet
and won't be until it hits version 1.0. Any problems with it (in particular
the X-PingBack issue) therefore deserve to be discussed in depth - which is
what we are doing :)



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