Hixie's Natural Log

2002-09-23 15:27 UTC Pingback 1.0

We released the Pingback 1.0 Specification today. Is your Web log pingback-enabled?

Pingback was an idea originally thought up by Stuart Langridge and then developed by Simon Willson. Experimental implementations cropped up, here, there, and everywhere.

It basically boils down to telling a Web log when you've linked to it, by fetching the page, looking for a header advertising a pingback server, and then invoking an XML-RPC call on that server. The best thing about this idea is that unlike similar schemes like TrackBack, it is totally transparent to both users. It is also software-agnostic, so any Web logging system can implement pingback and interoperate with all other pingback-enabled Web logs.

Pingback already has several interoperable implementations (check some of the links from this post to see if the system works — if it does, the pages will have links back to this post). If you want to implement pingback yourself, there is an open Web log dedicated to writers of such software, which you can use to test your code.


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2002-09-23 12:23 UTC Relaxing Sunday

Yesterday was nice. I got to help my sister move stuff around their new house (does a house count as new before being finished?) and I got to watch Aristocrats with my niece and her cat, Ericka. We also got to watch my brother's wedding video, made by my other brother.

Ericka is so cute. And she's really light! I hope she doesn't do what our cat Carouge did 10 years ago when we were moving house, though. (Namely, get fed up with the dust and move out.)

2002-09-19 17:09 UTC Why does Windows make you stupid?

Jim asks why Windows makes people stupid, saying that users should somehow know that to change the focus-follows-mouse behaviour they have to go into the registry, find the Control Panel\Mouse branch of the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key, add a ActiveWindowTracking key with type dword and set it to 1. He points out that on Linux-based systems, these same users quite happily tweak the many files in /etc and in ~/ to similar ends.

Well, Jim, there's a very simple reason why on Linux-based OSes I am able to fix the problems while on Windows I am not. On Linux, when faced with a problem, I can go into the source and fix it. If I find, in the source, that it is already checking an undocumented pref, then I can simply tweak that. But on Windows, I have no way of fixing the code, because Microsoft withhold that code from their users.

2002-09-18 17:01 UTC Open meetings on live TV are a good thing

While setting up my laptop earlier today I was watching Donald Rumsfeld talking to the House Armed Services Committee in an open session explaining why the US should attack Iraq to prevent Saddam Hussein getting Nuclear WMDs.

Near the start of his speech, a couple of demonstrators interrupted the meeting with chanting (Inspections! Not War!). I found this frankly embarrassing. Mr Rumsfeld handled this interruption very well, pointing out that Iraq had agreed to disarmament, not inspections — inspections being merely a way of checking that the disarmament is taking place — and that the demonstrators showed the value of free speech, that they would not even remotely be allowed to interrupt such a meeting in Iraq.

Mr Rumsfeld made many good points; he didn't play the usual politician's game of trying to say nothing while talking a lot. He also spoke in an international context, speaking of the US as a member of the UN rather than the typical American perspective of considering the UN as just an extension of the states. I have great respect for him.

However, I don't think his points were an argument for all out war. I know I've only got TV and films to go by, but surely it would be better to send a small team in, grab Saddam Hussein and his cabinet, and put them on a fair trial for crimes against humanity. There shouldn't be a need for all out war. Unless the real special forces aren't anywhere near as sophisticated as the ones on TV.

2002-09-18 08:34 UTC Weeeeeee!

I have a new hard drive! Horrah! Woohoo!

Total elapsed time from Dell acknowledging the disk was broken to me having a new disk in my hand: less than 24 hours.

I shall now attempt to install some operating system or other. Fun fun fun!