[wp-hackers] RE: Trac #2361 (TB + PB to the same blog causes onlythePB to show)

brian at thecodecave.com brian at thecodecave.com
Tue Jul 11 17:41:42 GMT 2006

mj>> Why would you want to favor Trackback over Pingback?  I'm not asking
mj>> that rhetorically, I'd like to know why, when given a resource that can
mj>> accept both Trackbacks and Pingbacks, you would favor Trackback.
cg>[..]I think TB is actually on the road to dead[..]
cg>I'm saying... it's like no matter what the users' reason is, they did it anyway, and 
cg>now it's WP's role to give priority to TB over PB since that's what the user 

Well said Guru. It should be clear that the issue here is not that WP should use trackbacks instead of pingbacks.  The issue is that trackbacks should be allowed when the author manually declares a trackback is preferred. 

I do agree that pingbacks have a technically better (easier to process) specification than trackbacks*.  But if the destination handles both equally well, AFAIAC, it's the end appearance is really important.  If anyone cares to add anything (relevant) to my understanding of these two methodologies, I'd be glad to listen.

IMHO, there are situations where trackbacks have an obvious advantage in WordPress because they use the Excerpt field for the content sent to the other blog.  No matter how contextual a pingback's automatically extracted paragraph maybe, it will not be better than a hand customized summary.

Even when the excerpt is automatically created for the trackback, there is a good chance that the trackback's excerpt will be more meaningful than the extraction made by the pingback.

Let me ask you.  In your opinion, which of these two real life examples better expresses the content of my article:

First, an example of a trackback (without a customized excerpt): 
The Code Cave said,

NOnces have arrived in WP

Wordpress 2.03 is a critical security release. It eliminates the HTTP Referrer check and replaces it with a nonce system. What is a referrer check? Well, it is an attempt to confirm that an administrative action is being taken by an administrator in

Fri, 2 June 2006 9:13 am · #

Now, an example of a pingback for the same article: 
] Here’s the link for the download: http://wordpress.org/development/2006/06/wordpress-203/ If you want to get a smaller version of it, with only the changed files, go here: http://markjaquith.wordpress.com/2006/06/01/wordpress-203-upgrade-changed-files-zip-changes-diff-changed-files-list/ I haven’t verified his file. So, you should do so on your own, or just bite the bullet and upload the whole release. [

Pingback from The Code Cave on June 1, 2006 

My article was primarily about nonces, but it contained a reference to the download of 2.03.  If I were looking at those two comments, I would be more likely to visit the article based upon the info in the trackback.  The pingback makes it look like just another "2.03 is released; download it here:" post.

I think looking at the comments for http://wordpress.org/development/2006/06/wordpress-203/ gives you a good sampling of the actual working of trackbacks and pingbacks.  In the first 10, 6 of the 7 ping backs were 1 liners that really tell you nothing of the content of the article.  Looking at the first 20, being generous with the ones I can't read, 10 of 16 (maybe as high as 13 out of 16) are 1 liners that don't make the article appear to be worth visiting.

Though it is not meant to be this way, the pingbacks could be explained as a simple blip on the original blogs sonar to say that the article was referenced.  Whereas, trackbacks create an entry meant to be followed back to your blog.  

So, I think allowing Trackbacks to be used when author has manually expressed their intention to use a trackback only makes sense.

Brian Layman

* References for those just reading along: 

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