Monthly Archives: February 2006


About 98% of Trackbacks are spam. Obviously that can’t be addressed with a new spec without breaking backward compatibility. (For added humor, see the front page of the Trackback Development Blog.) The charter of the new trackback abandons the only thing that made Trackback interesting, and incidentally one of the things it was created for, content aggregation and category aggregation and other applications that don’t require a link at all. (Essentially a push application of what everyone uses tags for now, it was way ahead of its time.) In the meantime, they’re re-inventing Pingback with XML-RPC replaced by Atom/REST.

Free Sun Server

I put in an application for a free Sun server to try out for either or Ping-o-Matic, depending on when/if it arrives. Everything we’ve done on has been Dell thus far, and honestly they’ve been pretty good with the exception of one box that they’re going to replace soon. Our biggest DB server (a Dell 6850) does north of 300 queries per second, but it weighs as much as me and uses a crazy amount of power, which is expensive. Of course as more and more of our infrastructure becomes distributed, high performance boxes don’t matter as much.


WordPress Widgets, we just enabled editable sidebars and some bootstrap widgets on Plugin for WordPress, API, and a few more widgets are on their way. Right now widgets are just for sidebars, but I see no reason the concept couldn’t be adapted for the Dashboard as well. It’s ultra-simple, if you know HTML you can make a widget.

Better Trackback?

There is talk of pushing for Trackback to become a standard. A few of the problems with Trackback are immediately apparent: horrible internationization support, bad auto-discovery, proclivity for spamming, no verification, historical baggae of category junk, bad spec. Fix all these and you get… pingback. Pingback is big enough now to make a blip in Google’s markup survey, and is supported by a wide range of platforms. The question is whether people are going to want to support an existing and robust standard or want to put their name on something new, the global “not invented here” syndrome where everyone wants their 15 standards of fame. (As someone who has been involved in several standards myself, I admit the draw is strong.) What Pingback does need is a better advocacy site, like atom has.

Hack WP for NY Times

I was at the New York Times last week and one of the things that blew me away were how many WordPress blogs they’re running. I had seen 2-3, but it turns out they have almost 25 running on both sides of the paywall and they’re going to be doing even more with WordPress as time goes on. (There are also some interesting things going on with Times Select.) There’s more good news: they’re hiring. Khoi Vinh writes “A thorough knowledge of weblog publishing software, especially WordPress, is required.” Sounds like a great gig for whoever gets it. Bringing things full circle, Khoi’s site is one of my favorites and an inspriation for the new


There is some joker wannabe hacker pretending to me and asking others for sensitive information. Here are some tell-tale signs: IMing from a misspelled version of my IM addresses, like “saxmat02”; emailing from a gmail account with my name; using bad English (more than I normally do); asking for passwords, etc. These are all things I’d never do. If you ever have any doubt that the person you’re talking to might not be me, just call me on my cell or use one of the other contact methods here.