[wp-hackers] Ping and Privacy - misleading choices in Blog Visibility

Marci O'Daffer marci at odaffer.net
Fri Jun 15 00:03:18 GMT 2007

Thanks, that's great to know it does all that. And it even works without a
robots.txt. Neat. :)

I still wonder, though, if it couldn't be better explained during set up.
The wording by the checkbox is misleading as to what happens when you check
it. The implication is that search engines are the only thing affected, when
in reality it's both robots.txt AND ping. You get both or neither, with one
check mark.

So it works great if you want total privacy, or no privacy, but there is no
middle ground -- that is, it's not explained or offered during set up. I
imagine lots of people want the search engines to find them eventually (so
they say "yes" during set up), but don't want to alert Ping-O-Matic right
out of the gate  -- but they don't know that option means "yes to ping"
also, because it never says or even implies that. If they KNEW they were
agreeing to both, they might make a different choice, then go in and make
manual changes to admin once they get WP installed.

Maybe there should be two options in set up:
_ I want search engines to visit my site.
_ I want to alert Ping-O-Matic every time I make a post.

At least this way the new user can see that there are two options, rather
than having both options turned off or on, without realizing what's

Marci :)
a.k.a. kalico

On 6/14/07, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:
> The privacy option does four things:
> 1. Adds a <meta name='robots' content='noindex,nofollow' /> to all
> pages (if they call wp_head, anyway).
> 2. Causes hits to robots.txt to send back:
> User-agent: *
> Disallow: /
> This only works if a) WP is in the site root and b) no robots.txt
> already exists.
> 3. Stops pings to ping-o-matic and any other RPC ping services
> specified. This works by having the function privacy_ping_filter()
> remove the sites to ping from the list. This filter is added by having
> add_filter('option_ping_sites', 'privacy_ping_filter'); in the
> default-filters. When the generic_ping function attempts to get the
> ping_sites option, this filter blocks it from returning anything.
> 4. Hides the ping sites option entirely on the Options->writing page.
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Marci O'Daffer
kalico at kalico.net

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