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Re: straw poll: "parent" vs. "in-reply-to"



"Dare Obasanjo" <dareo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> It's hard to vote in the straw poll when there isn't a clear
> definition of what <parent> or is <in-reply-to> is supposed to
> be. At first I thought it was just a way to show comments in a
> particular thread but I've seen some claims in theis thread that it
> can be used to trace conversations across weblogs which is very
> different. In the latter case I believe both <parent> and
> <in-reply-to> are bad names.

It is no different, the intent is exactly the same as if the reply
were made in the "comments" of the hosted entry (presuming it hosted
comments).  An entry with a "parent" or "in-reply-to" should be
threaded among other siblings of the replied-to entry or comment.

"parent" or "in-reply-to" is not merely a dc:relation, dc:references,
html:cite, or annotea-ns:annotation, it is a response directed
specifically to a previous entry or comment, as if in a conversation
or discussion.

The "single hosted" use case allows comment feeds to be collapsed to
one main comments feed, or even one single main feed.  The distributed
use case strictly parallels the single hosted case.

The In-Reply-To of email and References of email and UseNet are the
semantics being modeled.  Variously, In-Reply-To and References have
been used (abused) as an M:N relation, but practically have only
interoperated as a 1:N relation.

Annotea[1] has a similar model.  Annotea distinguishes an annotation
as being an open annotation or comment on a resource (an "annotation",
similar to dc:references or html:cite, even if it is a principle
citation) and a "Reply", in reply to a resource or another Reply.
"atom:parent" and "atom:in-reply-to" have the same semantic as
"annotea-thread:inReplyTo".

It is only *because* the relation is the same as from single-hosted
comment thread that the relation is useful.  A single-hosted comment
thread, in current practice, can either be flat (all comments reply to
the "main post") or threaded (comments can reply to other comments).
Distributed comments are the latter, by their nature.

  -- Ken


[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/Annotea/User/Protocol.html#ReplyProtocol

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