Saturday, February 22, 2003

Back from traffic school

Boring - but I got 8 hours to think about other things. Like where to put the extra information that is required to weblog by email. The logical place would be in headers - but most mailers don't make this easy, and it would be confusing to some people. In addition - if you do "send page" in a web browser, and you want to comment on the page ( a very nice way to enter this kind of weblogs ) - you have an even less functional mailer.

Another option would be the recipient address - it can be Unfortunately - the "+" syntax is not supported by most domains, and it assumes you are in control of the mail system - which would work great for a "mail to weblog" provider, but not that well for individual use.

So - the remaining place is the top and bottom of the post. Each post will start ( and be parsed for ) a set of "magic" headers - headers inside the body and at the end, after some -- that indicate the signature. Some mailers allow to associate a signature with a particular address - that would work pretty well.

What meta-information is required ? First, a "key" - the preffered mechanism would be to sign the message, but again one of the target for such a system is people who don't want all the technical complexity of a new application.

The other info is the "category", and also some address to send talkback to ( this can be extracted from Reply To: if a mail-based "agregator" is used to read the weblogs ).

Is this too complicated ? I don't think so, people are used to start the mails with a "Hi" and with many kinds of "forms". I think there are also "mail templates" that could help.

HTML mail would be more difficult to parse for that - but it's not impossible ( just need to look for the magic keywords delimited by < and > ).

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