Technology Weblogging

Tracking the backing of backtrack on trackback

Say that three times fast…

I’ve made a minor change to the Backtrack code that should allow any weblog that supports a variation of [ping)?__mode=rss to work, and that returns valid RSS. This is implemented by default with Movable Type’s trackback, including the stand alone TB server. And, this also now includes Sam Ruby’s weblog, which was one that wasn’t working previously, as you can see from the following post:, as well as this one.

(Click on the Sticky Strand for Sam’s post to see it in action.)

Sam implemented his own version of Backtrack, but his also allows one to ‘drill through’ to the backtracked items for each level, through the “back” link. In some ways I’ve stolen this functionality because when you backtrack one of Sam’s postings, his implementation of backtrack comes along, so to speak.

I thought about adding this support to my variation of Backtrack. What it would take would be to follow each link that’s returned within Backtrack, and use RDF/RSS auto-discovery to find the trackback link for the posting. For example, following one of Ben Hammersley’s posting, such as this one and looking at the source shows the block of embedded RDF/XML that Trackback uses for AutoDiscovery. I can then pull out the trackback ping and add this to my entry.

I could, but I won’t. I’m not interested in incorporating the expanded processing, and if people are interested in following a thread, they should follow it directly from each level rather than skip around. From the lack of interest shown in this functionality at Sam’s site, I don’t see that this is something people necessarily want.

At this time, Backtrack also does not include support for Pingback because I don’t see that this implementation of sticky strand supports an HTTP GET with parameter “?__mode=rss”, which is what I’m using. However, I may have missed this somewhere, though. because there is a tangle of messy threads about pingback, trackback, and variations thereof.

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