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Jun 26, 2006

Trackback or Pingback

When we started developing our own blog functionalities we were quite blue eyed as to what we should put in there.
Our first description of what should or could be included in our blogging application was very unaware of today's standard blogging tools functions and the underlying protocols.

But now we've seriously read up on the subjects and discovered that reciprocal linking between blogs was very standard procedure.

In the past I've already created a tool called the links exchanger, that enabled quick reciprocal linking between web pages along with control mechanisms to make sure that links were present and stayed that way.  The mechanism is still implemented at a lot of the sites we developed for our customers, as well as for our own e-commerce sites. And still works great.

But we never actively promoted that tool, and put further development on hold.

And in the meantime the web world experienced this huge wave of blogging and  bloggers created their own ways of commenting on each other blogs, and manage reciprocal linking along the way.

Enter trackback and pingback!
The first protocol I discovered was pingback. Pingback seemed a very promising way of implementing automated reciprocal linking to my blog, and I will discuss some more details about pingback very soon in another blog.

Then I soon found out about another method: trackback.

This left me wondering if there were even more "protocols" around, but I could not find any relevant information in ping or trackback related pages and posts on the internet.

Pingback or Trackback?
Now what method should we start implementing, if any?
Pingback seemed very promising at first as it is a lean and mean protocol, and looked fun to create our own classes and methods for to implement in our framework.
But we soon noticed that trackback seems to have "won" the battle, at least in googlefight which shows 153,000,000 results for trackback vs. 3,600,000 results for pingback.

Also we noticed that pingback relies on XML-RPC heavily and it appears that the PHP manual pages for XML-RPC states all PHP functions for XML-RPC are EXPERIMENTAL and has no manual entries that can be of use.
Now that's something I like in art, music, films etcetera, but makes me go hmmm.

And with the help of Sam Ruby's blog and his common sense point of view on trackback vs. pingback we decided to start studying and implementing the trackback functionalities first, and will investigate if we can support pingback after finishing trackback.

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