Now that’s ironic, part two

Anil approvingly notes that Tim Bray’s looking forward to having Atom save him from seeing duplicate posts, despite the fact that MT‘s poised to be a major source of duplicates, with its dynamic atom:ids, and it ain’t gonna work anyway. I love syndication, but I don’t much like it most of the time.


Comment by Anil #
2005-04-11 13:03:27

Dude! We’re working on it! :) I promise we’ll have it solved in MT before Atom goes 1.0.

Comment by Sam Ruby #
2005-04-11 15:45:00

Will it require near-magic technology?

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2005-04-11 16:14:14

Assuming it’s done right, storing the current value for any existing posts, then storing the value at the time of creation for new posts going forward, I’m not sure it really matters that much when you get around to it. Sure, you’re contributing to the existing mass of duplicate-prone posts, but since we don’t have any idea what magic dust we need to add to them to make them safely de-dupeable, that probably doesn’t matter.

The problem is we don’t even know what the problem is: we’ve waved atom:id as a no-duplicates banner so long, not paying enough attention to the few people saying ”um, that doesn’t actually work,” that now instead of really looking at the whole problem, we’re doing a blind-men-and-elephant approach: ”I see dups from a main feed and separate category feeds, so doing this fixes it,” ”I see dupes from feeds in more than one format, so this fixes it,” ”I see dups from a person’s feed and a Planet feed, so this fixes it,” ”I see dups from two Planet feeds with the same person in them, so this fixes it.”

I’d be surprised if it’s fixable in the Atom 1.0 timeframe, but without even a taxonomy of duplicates, I’d be amazed if it gets successfully fixed. Having MT (and everything else) produce immutable atom:ids is a necessary precondition for fixing it, but it doesn’t even remotely fix it.

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