[whatwg] <a href="" ping="">

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Oct 21 14:34:28 PDT 2005

On Fri, 21 Oct 2005, ROBO Design wrote:
> > 
> > Thoughts? Is it evil?
> > 
> >    http://whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#ping
> Yes, it's evil. That's my first impression. Actually, very evil.
> Yet, I want it :).


I agree with most of your points. In reply to specific suggestions:

> - The way you currently defined the ping= attribute is ... a bit ... 
> dislikable. I mean, you allow the usage of third-party URLs for pinging. 
> Now... if I want to annoy my friend (and flood his server), I just put a 
> ping= attribute pointing to his server? I would enforce the usage of 
> ping= URLs only on the server of the page.

You can do this already using <img> elements (in fact it's even more 
effecting for DDOSing a site since it happens as soon as the user goes to 
the page, not just when the user clicks a link). In practice it's not a 

> - Why multiple ping= URLs? It's useful ... if you allow usage of 
> different servers. Yet, if you apply my above suggestion, then ... 
> multiple pings are no longer needed.

Redirects almost always involve multiple servers in large scale 
advertising situations, apparently, hence the multiple URIs.

> - Nobody would really make use of it.

The suggestion for this originally came to me from Web advertisers, so I'm 
not sure this is necessarily true.

> It really depends what you want: to give the users something better ... 
> or developers and companies. If you want to give users something better 
> ... you'd probably do what I said above. If you want to give companies 
> "power" then just forbid disabling the use of ping= in implementations.

You can't really do that, just like today users can always just use the 
URI and ignore the redirect, they could do that with href="" ping="". In 
practice very few users will change that so it won't be a big deal.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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