[PP-main] Technical/implementation matters

Joakim Ziegler joakim at simplemente.net
Mon Mar 6 00:26:15 CET 2000

On Mon, Mar 06, 2000 at 09:20:53AM +0930, Nick Lothian wrote:
> I disagree. I think RDF has taken off quite well - try and name a site that
> doesn't have a RDF backend.

This is no doubt true. But what is the RDF used for? Do we see a large amount
of syndication between sites, based on RDF? I can't think of any, off hand.

Also, it's kind of messy to use RDF, since RDF is intended as a descriptive,
not containing, format. In other words, to publish a news item, you need to
use an RDF file to describe it, and another file which is the actual content.
And that means we still need to find a format for that content, and it can't
be HTML, it needs to be some XML DTD, since we're going to be marking up in a
very abstract way.

So I propose to make an XML format that encapsulates the data you would
normally put in the RDF/RSS file (perhaps even by embedding directly, using
XML namespaces), but we need a format for the actual data, and no such format

>> This is why I want the providers to push items. I'm actually toying with
>> the
>> idea of giving consumer sites the option of having the central server push
>> items to them, if they want them. This would be as close to zero-latency
>> as
>> we can get, and I don't think it's significantly heavier on resources.

> What about when people start writing non-website clients. Think of all the
> little "Show Current Stories on Slashdot" applets around. How can a push
> protocol handle things like that - especially over a dialup connection?

The protocol can easily handle push and pull. Especially since it's a matter
of "push to me when I'm connected".

> Perhaps the central server should push information to the other peer-press
> servers, and then they should allow frequent polling - this would allow
> sharing the load.

> I have to admit it is going to take a lot to pursuade me that XML over HTTP
> (at least for the user clients to non-central server communication) isn't
> the way to go. It is well understood, easy to program, and there are
> libraries/components to make programming it easy in just about every
> language for every platform.

Honestly, I don't see the problem with doing both. An HTTP/XML based system
is *trivial* to implement, even if you want to make the files virtual (that
is, not actually store the XML as separate files on disk on the server).
mod_virgule excellently demonstrates how easy it is to make things look like
files even though they aren't.

Joakim Ziegler - simplemente r&d director - joakim at simplemente.net
 FIX sysop - free software coder - FIDEL & Conglomerate developer
      http://www.avmaria.com/ - http://www.simplemente.net/

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