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Welcome to Geeklog Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 11:20 am EST

Staying up with trends out there

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There is a trend towards "semantic web" and distributed repository of content in the web. It is a major change from "website-centric" model. In not so remote times users became members of a community around one website which provided them with ability to publish and ability to form a community: that is to comment each-other's content, to share information in a number of ways. Today this model changes. Ability to publish content is now a commodity. Everyone has access to one or another blogging tool and does not need much technical knowledge. How about sharing information and forming a community? Well, it seems web itself is becoming a community with the help of XML (and xml-based protocols).

A concept of "track-back" pioneered by Movabletype is a "glue" that ties together *content* of separate websites. After a user publishes an article on his website his software "pings" (or notifies) a number of websites about the fact that the content has changed. Not only that. It provides link to a chink of XML in the article body that can describe the article: topic, url, author etc. So, based on this notice, the remote website can do the following thing:

  1. the remote site owner can make a comment on the article and publish it on "his" website, not the original one. His program will inform the website of originating article about the comment. A link is formed on both of the websites, connecting them semantically (on common topic).
  2. remote website may be a centralised website directory listing all newly updated websites (
  3. remote website may be a "distributed content repository". It may maintain a listing of topics and with each ping it receives this listing grows. For example, if every member of the Geeklog community would notify "" on each its article about "geeklog themes", then visitors to "" could access a listing containing not only links to websites, but also date of publication and short contents summary.
  4. Finally there is an important use for Geeklog. That remote server to which an article athor sends notification about his article may actually be not remote, but *his own server*. But the "track-back" script would maintain a collection of links to the website articles that are classified and categorised. This would overcome limitation of Geeklog software that does not allow assigning several topics to one article.

Now from open content to open functionality. Weblogs are opening up allowding all sorts of applications to communicate with them through XML-RPC (xoops for example), through a number of standard APIs. This allows posting from other programs and again many other things with content syndication.

I would think this becomes a very important feature of a blog software, and Geeklog should pay attention. So far we are stuck to "website-centric" model. There is huge potential given Geeklog advanced community features.

Finally, some ideas about implementing this. As an intermediate step anyone can use "stand along trackback script (perl)" from Movabletype. It seems to work with a modified Geeklog template, with standard Geeklog code. I'll try to make a demo in a few days. As to implementing XML-RPC on top of Geeklog, I've came accross an interesting script with which one can call any method of a PHP class through XML-RPC. Maybe we can use it on top of existing Geeklog? GL2 is a great promise and will have many features but I try make the best of what we have today.

The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.

  • Staying up with trends out there
  • Authored by:Anonymous on Monday, June 30 2003 @ 01:32 pm EDT
Played with this a bit in "labortory" environs, and it was fun. We called it creating "sister-sites", a system in which one site infiomed another of new content on a rotating time schedual. Each site would send a message via the http protocol to another site once an hour. Depending on the volume and network speed, the two sites would pick a time to "get together" and exchange data. The incoming data was marked with a tag identifing the orignating site. This allowed us to maintain the content from one site within another site.

There was some argument about how to limit the editing and administration, and in the end we found we prefered the RSS/RDF feed idea better. But we were really being lazy. The idea was to poll special files (two of them really). THe first file was an rss feed that listed the recent stories, and the second file had a list of "stories about stories". The site maintaining the original story could then choose to include the others comments or not without actually censoring the commenting site.

What I would like to see is some sort of content Sharing within GL like this, but with all the content. Put half your topics on one server and the other half on another, set up content sharing and *magic noise here* It's like one site.....

But that's for wiser heads than mine! :)
  • Staying up with trends out there
  • Authored by:Anonymous on Wednesday, July 02 2003 @ 02:56 pm EDT
Has anybody gone any further developing trackback support for GL since this convo took place? I'm considering switching to GL, and trackback would be a huge plus.