Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pinging update in the new Wordpress

I just came across this post by Thord Daniel Hedengren where he speaks with quite a bit of outrage about a change Wordpress has made in their pinging code which he discovered in a post by Christian Bolstad. Basically, for the less techno-savvy (and for me) what it means, is that earlier, when you published a post, Wordpress used to ping (inform) various places that keep track of the content on your blog about the update. This took time, which directly translated into waiting time while your post was published. Now, what it does is publishes your post, and pings separately in about an hours time.

Thord is of the opinion that this causes some damage to his site being indexed fast enough. It may be true. Who knows? What I found so strange was that he seems disproportionately angry about the whole thing. Part of his anger is about the nature of response from Denis de Bernardy which he has quoted, where Denis seems dismissive about his concern and makes a valid point that its difficult to get people accountable when they aren't being paid, so if information on this change was not present in the documentation, it is likely to be an ommission because it didn't seem like a big deal, rather than a deliberate secret (which doesn't make sense in an open-source project :D) and he suggested that Thord put it in the documentation if it matters so much to him.

While it isn't such a big deal for me, I find it fascinating to see the kinds of things bloggers find threatening to their online well-being. "Putting the real time web to a halt", "Tells no one" is quite an extreme way of putting this scenario (is it only me who thinks it reads like its implying a deliberate conspiracy?). Your site is updated, services accessing your feed see the change immediately, and its only the notification of the change that is delayed. Have some perspective. To his credit, Thord has submitted a counter patch for this change.

I honestly hadn't thought that it would matter. I was not aware that the delayed ping will do much damage to my blog. Still don't think so. Perhaps because my blog isn't one that gets updated within hours. I don't see the big issue for me at the moment, considering that its only the notification getting delayed and regular access to the feed is up to date - at least that's how it is on my blog. My feed is showing correctly immediately.

On the other hand, with a large list of services to ping, I see the value in separating it from the regular posting in the interest of efficiency.

So to me, it looks like people want different things from something as simple as a publish button. I can't figure out the great deal if a publish button doesn't ping automatically for me. Afterall, it doesn't do many other things for me which make a difference to my site as well. It publishes, which is the main thing, and I am happy that it publishes more efficiently.

It may just be me, but I'm actually happy about this change,. as I often end up publishing, reading my post, editing, publishing the edit and so on a couple of times before I'm completely satisfied. I always worry that I may get penalized by the pinging services for 'ping spamming' if there is such a term. But there wasn't much I could do about it. Now, I can edit for an hour, go back and forth, and it gets pinged when its ready.

I like this.

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