Reader Feedback

Volume 8, Issue 137; 23 Oct 2005; last modified 08 Oct 2010

A few thoughts on a few of your thoughts.

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.

Ursula K. LeGuin

You are, gentle readers, mostly unknown to me. Comments and trackbacks demonstrate that these pages are not unread. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some of my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances read these pages. Bloglines tells me just over 100 of you are subscribed to the “What's New” feed. It's nice to have you here. Welcome.

On the subject of these pages as a whole, two comments stand out:

  1. Putting “recent comments” on the home page wasn't universally seen as a positive change.

  2. Providing a feed that contained the full text of each essay, rather than just the abstract, would be seen as a positive change.

Lest it be said that I'm not responsive to suggestion, I've removed the comments from the home page, replacing them with a small, simple indication of the number of comments.

I've also created a “full text” feed: It's only available in Atom because I refuse to publish escaped markup.

For the moment, consider it experimental. I don't much like what I had to do to make it appear in Bloglines without a bunch of bogus styling (and Bloglines still gets things wrongs: incorrectly interpreting escaped markup, losing spaces, etc.); elements, like annotations, that currently require some Javascript are obviously not going to work; and there may be other problems. But for now, it's available.

Finally, on the subject of feedback of another sort, one essay, more than any other, was the consistent, unrelenting target of trackback spam. So I've made it possible to disable trackbacks on a per-essay basis. Guess which one no longer has it enabled?

Why that essay got so much trackback spam (nearly one a day, on average, where all the other essays combined probably average one a year), I leave as an exercise to you, gentle, anonymous readers. I sure has heck don't know.


Norman, the escaped markup link is currently http://localhost:8122/2003/09/16/escmarkup, which I guess was not your intention.

—Posted by Ziv Caspi on 23 Oct 2005 @ 09:46 UTC #

No indeed. But I've fixed it now, thanks!

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 24 Oct 2005 @ 12:03 UTC #

Bloglines seems to have at least one serious bug WRT Atom 1.0; I wrote about it, though at the time I thought it was solely my fault. Well, it was mine, but it is Bloglines’ fault too, and it’s been there for ages and still persists.

I admit I have not been motivated to find out how to submit a problem report to Bloglines.

—Posted by Aristotle Pagaltzis on 24 Oct 2005 @ 07:03 UTC #

And I just noticed another – it outputs the single-escaped angle brackets I used in a <content type="xhtml"> as literal angle brackets.

(Conversely the O’Reilly weblogs feed recently has been invalid XML because they forgot to single-escape angle brackets that were part of the content, not markup. Getting a grip on escaping in tools which aren’t XML all the way from top to bottom seems like a really hard problem.)

—Posted by Aristotle Pagaltzis on 24 Oct 2005 @ 07:10 UTC #

FWIW, I reported the "dropped spaces" and "mangled escaped markup" bugs this morning.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 24 Oct 2005 @ 11:55 UTC #

Cool – thanks.

—Posted by Aristotle Pagaltzis on 25 Oct 2005 @ 07:29 UTC #