Extension? · The notion of having a base set of required components and a bunch of optional ones grouped into modules makes all sorts of sense. But why the word “extension?” Also, the phrase “Standard extension” grates a bit. Why not just say “optional modules?” I’m not a Wiki veteran, if I were would I just go and bung this change in?

Hee-hee, I just touched my first Wiki (added some stuff, didn’t expunge “exception”). Am I now more hip? #

Abstract Ruby · Sam Ruby has launched a discussion, in the abstract, of what the defining elements of a log entry are. It’s almost physically painful for me to think about these things in the abstract, because I’m suspicious that if the people doing it won’t show me the bits on the wire, when they whip away the curtain I’m going to be looking at an API or object model or UML diagram. So I’ll just rely on the good sense of those involved to understand that abstractions are useful on the Internet to the extent that, and only to the extent that, they’re crystallized into syntax. Having said all that, here goes.

I have only one gripe with Sam’s formulation: I don’t think that reverse chronological order is one of the core constituents. I’d be willing to accept as a requirement that each entry get at least one timestamp (ongoing’s have two: created and updated), so I think my discomfort has little practical effect. Because given datestamps, software is perfectly capable of showing me a bunch of entries in any order I want.

As for the rest, I think I’m pretty much with Sam. As one of the authors of a document that intones mightily about the importance of URIs that are persistent and consistent, I don’t agree with Shelley Powers that it’s just fine to deal 404’s. But I don’t think that this has any practical effect, because Shelley (and I assume everyone) agrees that a log entry really needs to include its own canonical URI, if “unique location” (or “unique identifier?”) is a better name for it I’m fine with that.

While I generally agree with Shelley’s thoughts on the kind of structures you find in the content of log entries, I’d be inclined on grounds of general conservatism to avoid trying to write those into the rules right now, because we’re early on in this process. Who knows which weird directions the notion of “log entry” will go shooting off in? #

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June 16, 2003
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