Glacial Erratics

Purple commentary

August 11, 2003

Danny Ayers has been doing some thinking about PurpleNumbers and the URI refs that they create. Rather than respond to him in a comment, I'll put my thoughts here because it is a TrackBack kind of day.    (0001GJ)

In the second half of his posting Danny reiterates his desire for a trackback anchor that provides a sort of more public and open version of a development list for, well, anything.    (0001GK)

Unless I'm misunderstanding Danny (which I do a lot) Topic Exchange is some of the way there but doesn't really provide support for comments (although every comment does get a wiki). In MovableType, a category could be created that receives pings. I've just tested this by creating a PurplePings category with the following TrackBack URL:    (0001GL)

It gets the basic principle, but implementing comments is something other than trivial, but should be possible.    (0001GN)

Somewhere other than my blog is probably a better place.    (0001GO)

KMPings is an implementation in MovableType that's quite clean but it doesn't do comments.    (0001GP)

Either of these options, if publicized would go some distance to accomplishing some good. And I bet the Lazyweb could do or has done the tuning to make it better.    (0001GQ)

Update: Actually, the Lazyweb site is already doing it: trackbacks with comments all nicely lined up. Maybe that's easy to do elsewhere?    (0001H4)

On the URIrefs and associated stuff. Danny says:    (0001GR)

In HTML this is put in place using an anchor, the convention being to use the hash symbol as used for blog permalinks (it's essentially the same idea) :    (0001GS)

<a name="nid123">some text</a> <a href="">#</a>    (0001GT)

But is the expectation that the anchor will always refer to the same information item?    (0001GU)

Several thoughts in response to this:    (0001GV)

I've experimented with nodal styles of information storage that represent the wiki page (or whatever else) as a graph of nodes, each with an ID, each with a history, each mobile across multiple presentations.    (0001H0)

The long term PurpleReligion?, at least in my branch of the church, is that cool information items (the granular chunks) have URIs and because they are cool, they don't change. Of course, this is complicated by the fact that I'm also in the church that says identifiers are to strictly persistent, strictly unique, and strictly meaningless (so they can be unique and persistent), so I don't much like URIs as they are generally implemented because they are so, ewww, meaningful. Labels should be meaningful, and they should be pointed to by identifiers.    (0001H1)

Given time, funding, motivation, etc I'd like to create an implementation of Purple that uses handles as the identifiers for the chunks.    (0001H2)

All of this stuff, though, raises the spectre of how to deal with versision and doing identification of versions.    (0001H3)