[typo] pings (xml rpc), trackbacks and patch 526

Chris Roos chris at seagul.co.uk
Sat Jan 14 05:43:49 EST 2006

Scott Laird wrote:
> On Jan 12, 2006, at 4:53 AM, Chris Roos wrote:
>> I've recently become interested in pinging aggregators (technorati et
>> al) when content is updated.
>> I'm aware of the 'auto-ping' section in the admin interface and always
>> assumed that this was happily pinging the aggregators as new articles
>> were added...
>> However, as the original post in patch 526[1] states, this is not  
>> the case.
>> Basically, the method used (Ping#ping) is sending trackbacks not  
>> pings.
>> As per the last comment added to that ticket, I don't think the  
>> patch is
>> correct as it actually replaces the trackback functionality rather  
>> than
>> add's ping to it.
>> I'm planning to take a look this weekend at something more fully  
>> fleshed
>> but would appreciate any comments (on this mail or comments on the
>> ticket), especially if I'm not making any sense (not unlikely)..
> That be great.  Typo's current trackback support is almost but not  
> quite completely broken; it'd be great to have a working implementation.
I took some time looking at typo yesterday to see what we already had 
and what needed to be done.  I think this list describes where we're at.

* We can consume trackbacks correctly, when they are sent to the correct 
url (/trackback/:article_id).  However, it would appear they are not 
displayed correctly - using only the path part of the url means that the 
links are actually to the site that was send the trackback rather than 
the site that sent the trackback.

* We can send trackbacks correctly, to an address that accepts 
trackbacks in the correct format[1].

* We don't support sending pings (xmlrpc weblogUpdates.ping[2]) to blog 
aggregators to notify them that content has been updated.

* Although we try to send trackbacks to url's linked to in articles 
(providing the relevant setting is checked) we don't make any attempt to 
check that the url's accept trackbacks, most of which will not as they 
are locations of articles not the location of the trackback for that 

I'd suggest that we need to do the following in order to get this sorted.

* Make the distinction between sending a trackback from an article to 
another and pinging an aggregator to notify them that content has 
updated.  Although they can potentially use the same implementation 
(lots of articles on the web still mention using trackbacks to notify 
aggregators, where most of the aggregators seem to expect 
weblogsUpdates.ping), I think it's important to make the distinction in 
our understanding.

* Properly support sending pings to aggregators.
** This should be separated in the admin interface from the trackbacks, 
and provide the ability to list url's that accept pings (much as the 
default 'automatically ping these..' list provides now.

* Remove the functionality that automatically pings urls linked to in 
articles (I feel that this is pretty irrelevant in the majority of cases).

* Add the ability to enter a list of trackback url's on article 
creation.  The actual trackback locations can then be entered for any 
links you may have made in the article.

* Add the ability to auto-discover trackbacks in articles that are 
linked to in an article (idea from [3]).

I think this kinda gives us everything that the current typo pertains to 

In my reading yesterday I came across the term pingback.  I still don't 
100% understand what this is so if anyone can enlighten and suggest why 
we might [not] need to support this that'd be great.

Any advances or shall I start implementing these changes (hopefully at 
some point this weekend)?


[1] http://www.sixapart.com/pronet/docs/trackback_spec
[2] http://www.xmlrpc.com/weblogscom
[3] http://typo.leetsoft.com/trac/wiki/TypoWishlist

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