Markup Survey

Ian Hixie at Google just published a really awesome web authoring survey of a billion documents. What I found most interesting about reading it was places that things I’ve worked on, notably WordPress and GMPG, popped up.

HTTP Headers — “A pretty significant number of pages include an X-Pingback header (more than the number of pages with the Set-Cookie2 header). In fact, X-Pingback was the 30th most-seen header in our data sample.”

WordPress is one of the few platforms that supports pingback, an alternative to Trackback with a real spec. Apparently there are enough WP pages in the world for this to make a blip on the radar.

Page Headers — “It turns out that a tiny but measurable number of people do use the profileattribute, though. The three most-often used values are http://gmpg.org/xfn/1, http://dublincore.org/documents/dcq-html/, and http://gmpg.org/xfn/11. This makes XFN the most popular HTML metadata profile!”

Too cool for words. :) Both of these profiles are included by default in some WordPress templates.

rel="pingback" and rel="bookmark" both skirt the charts in the link relationship page. No XFN values made the cut there.

The <a> element — “external seems to be mainly propagated by WordPress, but people have long been asking for a way to label their links as being external vs internal.”

Nice to get a direct mention there, and we’ve supported bookmark and tag from the beginning. All in all the report is a very interesting read, and kudos to Google for doing this type of research and sharing it with the web. I hope to see more of these in the future, it delights my inner markup geek.

One thought on “Markup Survey

  1. Community Server 2.0 also supports pingbacks (along with trackbacks) and the blip should get a tiny bit larger soon, with sites such as blogs.msdn.com now receiving & sending pingbacks to/from WP blogs.

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