Webmentions are like trackbacks, but trackbacks that do not contain the information needed to show them, instead relying on the receiving party to fetch that information from a microformat (that part seems to be missing from the spec).
What annoyed me so much that I opted to not implement it in any of those blog engines I'm involved in is that it is a useless re-invention of trackbacks. There is no point in webmentions, not one feature that could not be done with trackbacks as well. They have a wikipage arguing against trackbacks on https://indiewebcamp.com/Trackback, and all points on that page are wrong when looking at how blog engines actually implement trackbacks. Just take the first, fragile discovery: The critic is that the RDF comment needed for Trackbacks is is complex and get stripped. But frankly, it is not complex to grep for it and if you can't control your own page HTML to preserve comments, you have different problems (and one that could hit your microformat equally). More important: Trackbacks actually can be found via a rel-tag in the site head exactly like pingbacks (and I guess webmentions), rel=trackback.
And of course blog engines verify that the origin really has a link to the receiving page, the spam problem is solved there exactly like with webmentions.
What should be done is to take trackbacks and formalize the current solutions and extensions into a formal protocol. There is no need to willfully cut out the existing independent web, as in blogs, for a hipster indieweb movement.
I guess I'm still annoyed.
Because webmentions are alive. Sometimes you need to re-visit and re-pack things to bring them back again.
Trackbacks are alive as well. But yes, they should be revisited and repackaged, I agree that they could need a popularity boost. But that is possible without breaking compatibility for no reason.
In fact I was reminded that originally webmentions were on top of pingbacks: http://tantek.com/2013/113/b1/first-federated-indieweb-comme...
As far as I understand that change is mostly for simplification, which always a good thing.
Webmentions are no simpler than trackbacks, and to have them diverge for no reason makes everything more complicated for the engine. It is no straight-forward simplification at all, thus no good thing.
I hope I did not just miss that (now again and when I saw it the last time), but this does not seem to capable of that.
So, it's not quite trackback, but hopefully it's more useful!
And something I would push into our html markup and debug (the service in the middle might make some origin checks fail), despite my concerns with webmentions as a spec and concept.
The main reason Webmention is less susceptible to spam than Trackback is, is because with Trackback, there is no requirement that the comment text have its own URL. At least with Webmention, a spammer has to create a URL for the spam comment.
The webmention.io service sends a secret token in the payload so you can verify the request came from there.
Thanks for opening the issue, I will add a comment and subscribe.
dc:title="Medieval II: Total War"
It is virtually never parsed as RDF. RDF-in-HTML-comments is a horrible antipattern that has no use in the RDF community outside of the weird legacy use case of Trackback.
It is hidden metadata (which can and does break) and violates the DRY principle.
Note that I'm not fan of this, rel=trackback is what should be used. But it is not complicated to add those tags into a page, which was my point.
The DRY principle in its original form does not apply here: The information in those tags will change when the information in the database changes. They are not hardcoded.
"stems from another way of thinking about metadata"? Nope. It was a clumsy hack because they actually just wanted to put the <rdf:RDF> tags in the HTML but people would complain about HTML validation so they put it in a comment tag.
Apart from that I do not think you should compare pingback/webmention with trackback. The ones are to inform about some mention/comment, the other is transporting the content of it. If you want to compare than I would compare microformats/open-graph with trackback.
I'm actually not okay about the distinction. Trackbacks inform and transport the content, and webmentions inform and are coupled with an unspecified convention to get the content. They end up having the same purpose.
I'm eg. myself running a service that makes it simple to accept WebMentions on something like a static blog: https://webmention.herokuapp.com/
Sorry if something is not 100% right, it's what I remember.
Things like Pingback and Trackback seemed to be all the rage for a few months, back in the day. They then seemed to cease being talked about - either discussion has bypassed me, or they just carry on being used, seamlessly, or they've failed. It would be great to see something like this really take off, though, especially since many bloggers started turning off comments.
Just like Google Analytics has become useless for low traffic sites. My blog gets hundreds of page views, all from referral spam. I don't even bother trying to see if at least some real people are looking at it.
The web isn't static, backlinks tend to disappear. So a one-time effort isn't useful, especially if it further complicates already bloated browsers and enables DDoS techniques.
A useful way of collecting backlinks at any point in time would be through search engines that snapshot all the visible web regularly with timestamps. It's too bad they don't offer such services anymore.
On the user side: dunno. I never found value in pingbacks listed at the bottom of a blog post, and I doubt that a different technique in the background will change that profoundly.
I also show the reposts, likes, etc. there, I even aggregate those from facebook, instagram, twitter, flickr, etc. with help of https://brid.gy/ which translates fb, tw, etc. to microformats and sends a webmention. And I'm getting more and more native webmentions, but that is most probably because I'm active in that community.
That is actually really nice!
Not a fully formed thought.
Vouching may help preventing spam from percolating to public-facing pages through automated mention processing, but it does absolutely nothing to stop or to discourage referrer spam, which is aimed at the actual owners of the resource rather than their visitors.
W3C isn't just HTML: they also publish the specifications for CSS, ARIA, XML, XSLT, XQuery, XProc, RDF, SVG, WOFF and so on. Some of which (like the XML-related stuff) have no real bearing on the browser or front-end tech.
We'll be stuck with these redundant proposals for decades. Webmentions could be a fantastic library on its own, though as previously mentioned, we already have trackbacks. Does it need to be an additional few files in the codebases of Chromium, Firefox, et al.? No.