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“Phil Responds (sorta) re: HTML Comments and Linking Technologies”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: 4599  Creative Commons, Trackback, HTML Comments, and Embedded RDF
Date Posted: Friday, March 18, 2005 11:18:00 AM Replies: 0
Enclosures: None.

I thought Phil was ignoring me. I wrote to him on the 7th, after posting about HTML comments and embedded RDF, to ask what he thought of my suggesting regarding invisible links pointing to autodiscovery documents.

He wasn't ignoring me, he just couldn't put his brain into gear for this one. (I'm not picking on him, that's what he said!).

He asked people to comment on my idea. Unfortunately, most of the comments have nothing to do with the problem at hand, and many of the commentors apparently don't understand the issue. (They talk about everything from the usefulness of trackback to the second coming of <blink>.

For the record, and perhaps to help bring the discussion back to the real point, here's the bulk of the email I sent to him:



At the end of that post, I had an idea/suggestion for linking to autodiscovery (or other types of metadata) documents that would seem to work with pages having multiple items (which has always been one of the two big problems with using a <link> elements in the head).

I realize it's not perfect, as the <a> tag doesn't actually have any identifying information that would allow the machine to associate it with a post on a page containing more than one (such as a weblog's home page). So, what about something like this?

<a rel="trackback:" href=""></a>

The single value in the rel attribute manages to both identify it as a trackback-related url, and identify the server object it supports. It appears to be a legal value, as the spec only says that the value of rel must be a string with the space separating multiple values (but we're only providing one long value).

It's logical, too, making it very easy to automate.

Any thoughts on this? I'm interested not just for the sake of trackback, but because other technologies will have a chance to "bloom" if this hurdle can be overcome.

He didn't publish that email, which is good, but without it the people being asked to comment would really have very little on which to comment.

Hopefully he'll post a follow-up with a link to this entry, so some more relevant discussion can take place.

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