Volume 6, Issue 42; 19 Jun 2003

Once more, fiddling with the software instead of writing useful content. The new (highly experimental and possibly short-lived) feature is "talkback", the ability to post comments about the articles you read on

Criticism talks a good deal of nonsense, but even its nonsense is a useful force. It keeps the question of art before the world, insists upon its importance, and makes it always in order.

Henry James

This page demonstrates a new feature of the software that drives this site: user comments.

I approach this feature with some trepidation. There's no authentication involved, so I have little control over the content. I don't believe that I've introduced any security holes, but one hardly ever knows. I'm more worried about the fact that comments are posted immediately and without review.

If I get any significant number of profane or otherwise malicious comments, you can expect this feature to vanish faster than you can say “delete that RDF property”.

On the other hand, if all goes well, perhaps I'll open up comments on all the pages. Do you have any, uhm, comments on that plan?


This is a test. This is only a test. Had this been a real emergency, we would have fled in terror and you would not have been informed.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 19 Jun 2003 @ 11:51 UTC #

This is another test.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 19 Jun 2003 @ 04:30 UTC #

I'm actually surprised at the small amount of obnoxiousness I've found reading blog comments. Knock on wood.

—Posted by Chris Wilper on 19 Jun 2003 @ 06:20 UTC #

Hello Norm,

Yes, it appears feedback works. I reckon you need something similar for emailing too. Emailing is such a drag sometimes, when all I want to do is deliver a message.

However, you shouldn't disable talkback just because of one or two abuses.

Here is the message:

Can you comment on how easy it is to modularize RelaxNG schema's, as opposed to the big DTD nest that I currently work with?

:-) J

—Posted by Hello Norm on 19 Jun 2003 @ 07:07 UTC #

Hmm. I have to decide if I think anonymity is a good thing, "Hello Norm" :-) I could add a "send email" button (in fact the talkback button does send the comment to me in email), but I'm not sure I want to lower the bar that far. And I certainly don't need another spigot for spam to come through :-(

With respect to modularizing schemas, I tried to describe how that works in "One Namespace or Many?" on 11 June 2003, but I'll see about writing a more focused essay when I get a chance.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 19 Jun 2003 @ 07:46 UTC #

Noticing you have four meta-fields necessary to add a comment, would you consider a FOAF URI field to optionally supply that, and/or more?

I'll now go create my FOAF file...

—Posted by Ken MacLeod on 20 Jun 2003 @ 01:55 UTC #

Regarding modularizing schemas, I've spent some time recently pondering what the typical requirement/need is for doing that. And I could be way wrong, but seems like most comments I've seen suggest that the need it just to make authoring easier, not usually, say, for purposes of validity checking -- to constrain authors to a limited subset of a elements in a full schema -- and not usually to deal with limitations in processing applications.

I'm thinking the ease-of-authoring requirement can be better met in other ways that don't require monkeying with the schema -- e.g., enabling smarter mechanisms for limitating and/or grouping elements at the editing-application level.

—Posted by Michael Smith on 24 Jun 2003 @ 12:35 UTC #

Ok, I created my FoaF file...

Then I wrote FoafCheck to support what I was describing and incorporated it into Blosxom :-)

Summary: if you enter only a FoaF URI into the Homepage field, it fetches the instance and autofills the remaining fields.

—Posted by Ken MacLeod on 25 Jun 2003 @ 03:51 UTC #

very very usefull site for me..thank's offer

—Posted by hi on 18 Nov 2005 @ 12:05 UTC #