Simon Willison’s Weblog


22 items tagged “pingback”


A rev=“canonical” HTTP Header. Chris Shiflett proposes optionally exposing rev=canonical information in an HTTP header, thus allowing sites to discover shorter URLs using just a HEAD request and removing the need to parse HTML. The pingback specification also uses this shortcut. # 12th April 2009, 12:33 pm



Pingback redux

I think I’ve worked out a way of implementing Pingback (or a Pingback-like system) without any need for XML-RPC, <link> elements or custom HTTP headers.

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More Vellum

Vellum 1.0a4 is out, and features comment support via a new Comments plugin and an Audience generic object type that abstracts the concept of “responses to your post” and is also used for Pingback support. Different response types within the same interface is a very neat idea, as Sam Ruby has demonstrated with his integrated comments, referral tracking, Pingbacks and TrackBacks. Stuart also suggests auto-discovery of You-Know-Me information from the URL of your weblog, presumably by another link element. This is a great idea, but I have reservations about the performance trade off as unauthenticated comment systems will have to retrieve the poster’s home page in the background every time they make a post.

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A global conversation

Dave Winer on TrackBacks and push backs (and presumably PingBack as well):

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Stuart’s pingback roundup

Stuart has a good summary of the recent advances being made in the Pingback/Trackback implementation sphere.

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Merging comments and pingbacks


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I haven’t been checking my referrer logs recently, so it was a nice surprise to see that Richard from Incutio has finished redesigning his blog and is now back to updating it frequently. He also has Pingback (implemented using IXR) and is pinging when he updates.

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Taking a leaf from Pingback’s book

Moveable Type 2.5 is out. From the changelog:

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Sam Ruby joins up

Sam Ruby has pingback. Ping!

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Pingback and Trackback

Hixie has written a whitepaper comparing Pingback to Trackback, and answering pretty much every question that has been asked about Pingback in the past week.

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Pingback coverage

The Pingback 1.0 specification is getting some serious attention. Mark Pilgrim and Dave Winer have linked to it. Ben Trott (co-author of Moveable Type and creator of TrackBack, the system that inspired Pingback) has objected to Hixie’s suggestion that Pingback is more transparent than TrackBack, claiming that TrackBack could be made just as transparent by the right blog tools. Ben blogged some further thoughts which lead to the following comment by Phil Ringnalda:

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Pingback 1.0

Hixie has published the specification for Pingback 1.0. In general the specification is an excellent document, but I’m not entirely happy with the following statement:

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Pingback supported again

I’ve re-enabled PingBack on my blog. Auto-discovery is now supported via both the standard <link> element and the new X-PingBack HTTP header. I have also implemented a new experimental method on my PingBack server—pingback.extensions.getPingbacks(url). Send it the URL for an entry on this blog (it must be an archive page and must include the fragment identifier so the system knows which entry you mean) and it will return an array of pages that have been registered as linking to that page via PingBack. This new feature is explained in detail in this email sent to the the blogite mailing list.

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Testing Pingback client

This post exists partly to list the blogs I know of that support PingBack, but mostly to help test my new PingBack client implementation.

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Pingback spec

I just realised I haven’t linked to the Pingback specification yet, so here it is. The spec has been carefully assembled by Ian Hickson and, although it is still a working draught, should be the first stop for anyone who wishes to create a Pingback implementation.

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Pingback server code

The source code for my PingBack server, including the code I use to grab an extract from the page linking to my site, is now available here.

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Pingback test

Aquarionics is now PingBack enabled, and he implemented it using IXR. Yay!

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Pingback specification

Stuart has published the first draught of the PingBack specification, detailing how PingBack works and how it should be implemented. PingBack is brilliant—it just works. What could be simpler than just quietly telling someone’s blog that you’ve linked to them?

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More on Pingback

More on PingBack. PingBack can be seen in effect on this blog and in this entry on If you wish to ping my blog you can do so using the following XML-RPC details:

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Pingback implemented

I’ve implemented PingBack on my blog. PingBack is a system for tracking who is linking to your blog in a controlled way, based on a post by Stuart a few months ago. The idea is that when you link to a PingBack enabled blog you (or your blogging tool) should send an XML-RPC “ping” to that blog’s PingBack server telling it where you have linked to and where you linked from. The PingBack server can then grab your page, check that the link is there and extract a title and short description from the blog. The system is an alternative to (and was inspired by) MoveableType’s TrackBack feature. Stuart and I are actively developing the idea and will be releasing code and documentation to help other people experiment with the system in the near future.

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Testing pingback

Testing pingback. This post is a lot more exciting than it looks ;)

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