It’s just data

Attention Concentration and becoming a place

Joi Ito: At some point, these "places" became public places and I ended up becoming a custodian. It's like having people come over to your place to party leaving you to clean up the mess. I lost control of the community, but not the responsibility. If it was called "Joi Ito's list" I think people wouldn't have come into the discussion thinking that it was a public place.

Like Joi, I wish people would use trackback more and comments less.


RE: Attention Concentration and becoming a place

Joi Ito: At some point, these "places" became public places and I ended up becoming a custodian. It's like having people come over to your place to party leaving you to clean up the mess. I lost control of the community, but not the responsibility....

Excerpt from Ali's Weblog at

sam ruby prefers trackback

sam ruby wishes people would use trackback instead of comments...done! i've implemented a quick-and-dirty trackback client for chrisan's BlogX and will check it in to... [more]

Trackback from romney.blog: daring to write code and chronicle the mundane

at

Dare Obasanjo

I prefer comments because one can engage in discussions with the posters as opposed to reading umpteen thousand blogs to see or respond to every opinion. However I can see why you'd want to avoid the burden of becoming some list moderator on your private blog.

If it bothers you that much maybe you should just disable comments.

Message from Dare Obasanjo at

Sam,
  It seems there was a bug in our earlier understanding of the CommentAPI. One of my users recently pointed out that Joe's spec says the  <title> element should hold tthe comment poster's name[0] which seems bass-ackwards to me but is what is specced. So I've changed the code in RSS Bandit and it seems you may need to change the code on your site.

[0] http://www.gotdotnet.com/community/messageboard/Thread.aspx?id=103428

Posted by Dare Obasanjo at

Dare, trackbacks are comments.  Ones that can be used to follow threads.

What's nice about trackbacks is that it increases accountability (are you willing to make that statement on your blog?), identity (was it really you who made the comment?), and diffuses the flames (don't like what someone says on the subject?  Tell them, not me!).

Christian, try clicking on back on your link above.  You haven't completely implemented the trackback specifications.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Dare - I should change my implementation based on somebody's interpretation of what Joe meant?  IMHO, it is most likely a misinterpretation.  Not only does it seem bass-ackwards, but it is not supported by the example.

Unless Joe has chosen to change his name to "Foo Bar" and not told anybody yet.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Sam,
I've only implemented half the trackback spec thus far (client). I'll finish the implementation before I post another TB. However, this got me thinking about comments...what if one of your readers wishes to comment on something you've written but a) doesn't have a blog or b) doesn't have a blog with trackback. I realize you said "prefer" trackbacks to comments, but I hope (and suspect) you'll keep comments alive and well on your site. :)

Posted by Christian Romney at

I am apparently bass-ackwards. Dare is correct in his understanding of the spec. Any suggestions on how it should be changed?

Posted by Joe Gregorio aka Foo Bar at

Oh, Jeez.  Looks like I guessed wrong.  Among other things, I assumed that table one was accurate.

In particular, I'd like comments to be able to have their own titles.  Trackbacks do.

At this point, let me do to things... express what I think should be done in the most precise way I know how (real code), and to turn this around as a question.

Code:

from rfc822 import parseaddr
name = comment.dc_creator or comment.author
if name.find('@')>0:
  (name, comment.email)=parseaddr(name)

Question:

What does trackback.title map to in the comment API?



Posted by Sam Ruby at

Use trackback more and comments less

This is great! We are turning blogspace into big dynamically connected communities. My post here will show up as a trackback on Sam's blog.My question. Is this the beginning of the semantic Web?Actually it'll be an exert, not a trackback. Almost...

Excerpt from iBLOGthere4iM at

Randy - it isn't the Semantic Web that Tim Berners-Lee et. al. envision, but it is the semantic web that works.

Think about it - instead of merely stating that this is a comment proporting to be you, it is a link to your website that others may link to, and comment on (if you had comments, that is).  Much richer and more weblike than the flat list I have here.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

To answer the question, trackback.title maps to title.

The reason that I chose to use 'title' as the user name for a comment (the last column in the table), is that I wanted to handle the case of a user submitting a comment but not wanting to leave their e-mail address. I just assumed, and could be wrong, that


  (Joe Gregorio)

is not a valid rfc822 e-mail address.

Posted by Joe at

Joe, now I'm really confused.  The trackback.title for this blog entry is "Attention Concentration and becoming a place".  If this is what you mean for the <title> element in the comment API to be used for, then Dare need not update his tool.  If, instead, you would prefer "Sam Ruby", then we should discuss this further.

Does bitworking.org support trackback?

<dc:creator>Joe Gregorio</dc:creator> is valid RSS 2.0.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Sam: I've noticed the [back] for the Trackbacks I send you usually have that same "RDF not found" note attached... but in my case, the RDF is there. Is it possible the regex that looks for the RDF is having problems with the "?" in the URL?

Posted by Roger Benningfield at

In the current spec the title should be Sam Ruby. I could update the spec to use dc:creator for the author name.

Posted by Joe at

Yikes, hit the wrong button.

So I am open to changing the spec. Is the addition of one more element to track in the CommentAPI too much? Sam's code example certainly shows how simple the change would be for Bulu.

And to asnwer your other question, as of right now Bulu doesn't support trackback (sending or receiving.)

Posted by Joe at

Roger - can you give an example?  One thing that is important is that the dc:identifier matches the permalink exactly.  In your case, permalinks have a trailing slash, but your dc:identifiers don't appear to.

Joe - again, not to flog a deceased equine, but that is not how I believe titles work in trackback.  What should title in trackback map to?

P.S. despite the confusing intertwingled threads in this comment, these comments have cheered me up as it appears that not everybody has been scared away from the big bad comment censor.

Thanks!

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Sam,
  Now I'm confused. Could you let me know what you think trackback titles should map to?

Posted by Joe at

Bottom line, I don't think that trackback titles (i.e., things like "Attention Concentration and becoming a place") are the same thing as comment name (e.g., things like "Sam Ruby"). This means that they don't belong on the same row in table 1.  Both can't map unambiguously to title.

My preference is that the commentAPI title element continues to map to trackback title.  This means that the mapping of comment name would need to change.  There are two possible candidates: author (which is OK, if there is an email address), and dc:creator (which works with or without an e-mail address).  In my software, I accept both, giving preference to dc:creator.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

That works for me.

Posted by joe at

On a related topic, does one have to implement both a Trackback client and server? For example, what if your blog supports Trackback AND/OR you prefer Trackback to comments but my blog doesn't support trackback AND/OR I prefer comments? Must both blogs support Trackback for it to be useful?

Posted by Christian Romney at

Joe: cool!

Christian: no.  Support what you want.  This isn't just a client/server statement.  For example, I've had requests to support trackback on my home page, but I only support trackback on individual blog entries.  I don't even support trackbacks on individual comments.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Sam,
I was hoping it was that simple. :) However, should I refrain from using Trackback to notify your site since the [back] functionality seems to depend on Trackback server support? Or am I missing a part of the client spec? Apologies for my ignorance, I just want my code to play nice.

Posted by Christian Romney at

Sam: "Roger - can you give an example?"

http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/1447.html#c1054943280

Note that the permalink sent with the trackback was query-string based, and matches the second RDF snippet's dc:identifier exactly. Hm... maybe it was just a fluke thing.

"In your case, permalinks have a trailing slash, but your dc:identifiers don't appear to."

Thanks for catching that... all fixed.

"...these comments have cheered me up as it appears that not everybody has been scared away from the big bad comment censor."

I think the annotation thing is a Very Bad Idea, but it came from someone who (a) seems like a nice guy, and (b) seems to have good intentions. I'm not inclined to run away from nice, well-intentioned people, even when I disagree with them.

Posted by Roger Benningfield at

"trackbacks are comments.  Ones that can be used to follow threads."

Well no, trackbacks are entries in your blog.  If you had to use trackback for any and all comments, your blog would become unreadable immediately, unless you put trackbacks in their own little section, which hardly seems like it raises accountability if it's hidden away somewhere.

Posted by anonymous at

Christian: keep doing what you are doing.  When your server software catches up, the [back] links will work just fine.

Roger and I are exchanging e-mail offline, resolving this problem.  Seems to have something to do with the use of &amp; in URLs.  Looks like fixes are required on both sides.

anonymous@blueyonder: comments are entries in my blog too.  trackbacks are placed in the same section as comments.  In this block trackbacks are comments.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Proposed change to the CommentAPI

Because of this discussion on Sam Ruby’s blog I have updated the CommentAPI with the proposed changes. All the changes are in the table, with the new stuff in yellow, and deleted stuff crossed through. This is currently a proposed change....

Excerpt from BitWorking at

Comments, trackbacks etc

Sam Ruby writes: "Like Joi, I wish people would use trackback more and comments less."  Turn the comments off, then.  Blogs are not discussion groups.  Discussion groups have been around for ages.  Blogs are inherently more...

Excerpt from Alec Saunders .LOG at

Comments, trackbacks etc

Sam Ruby writes: "Like Joi, I wish people would use trackback more and comments less."  Turn the comments off, then.  Blogs are not discussion groups.  Discussion groups have been around for ages.  Blogs are inherently more...

Excerpt from Alec Saunders: Alec Saunders .LOG: TechBiz at

Comments, trackbacks etc Sam Ruby writes: “Like Joi, I wish people would use trackback more and comments less.”  Turn the comments off, then.  Blogs are not discussion groups.  Discussion groups have been around for...

Excerpt from Alec Saunders .LOG at

Comments, trackbacks etc Sam Ruby writes: “Like Joi, I wish people would use trackback more and comments less.”  Turn the comments off, then.  Blogs are not discussion groups.  Discussion groups have been around for...

Excerpt from Alec Saunders .LOG at

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