the iCite net > news / blog > a permalink

news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Even more on well formed log entries

posted: Jun 18, 2003 9:41:12 PM

This follows on my earlier posts (here and here) referencing the discussion started by Sam Ruby on what elements make up a web log entry.

One thing I would like to see is a permanent URI for the RSS rendering of a blog post with its full content. (This blog offers this—putting my links where my mouth is. See the bottom of the permalink version of this post).

I see a potential in aggregation and de-composition of blog posts (and websites in general) that is not limited to the data in current RSS feeds which represent only the most recent 10-20 posts. With iCites, I want to be able to link to posts that I like and feed off of them at any time in the future (to be a bit morbid about it).

The issue with permalink URIs to HTML pages, even if those pages are in XHTML, is that the blog post is wrapped in an HTML page layout, and even if the post and pernalink don't change, any other part of the page layout may and likely will change over time.

So, although with a blog post in XHTML I should be able to use XPointer (or some other function) to reference only the title of the post, if the page layout changes, it may change the placement of the title in the XHTML page, and require that I adjust the XPointer (or other function parameters) accordingly.

With the RSS rendering of a blog post with its full content, the post is totally stripped of surrounding page layout and rendered as something like its most basic data and metadata. We like to feed upon our RSS, yummmy!

In order to integrate iCites with blogs, I am going to create an RSS-to-iCite demo application. I also will create some kind of XPointer / screen scaper application to pull from websites in general. But, as you can probably imagine, working with RSS is better (assuming the descriptions can be escaped or are XHTML).

FYI, iCites will generally offer RSS renderings of themselves with permanent URIs.

Also, Tim Bray has posted some interesting comments on this on his blog in How to Identify a Log Entry. Tim talks about URIs and version identifiers for blog posts.

Mark Pilgrim also has an interesting take in his The Ws of weblogging. He talks about the elements that represent the "where", "when", "who", and "what" of a blog post.

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