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Micropub properties for indiebookclub

Tantek and I were discussing the read-of and read-status properties and the process of standardizing them in the h-entry specification. I realized read-status may be an overly-specific property name, since the same concept might apply to listen, watch, and exercise posts. Since these are experimental properties, ideally they should be published with the x prefix: p-x-read-status. I noted this in the brainstorming for read posts.

The problem

I’m trying to decide if/how I should update the indiebookclub Micropub request to reflect this. I know of three Micropub servers processing both properties when publishing:

The WordPress Semantic Linkbacks plugin consumes the read-of property from webmentions to display a separate reading facepile.

The seemingly correct thing would be for indiebookclub to send these properties as x-read-status and x-read-of. My first reaction is: I don’t want to break the servers above (especially micro.blog) by changing it. My second reaction is: if I do change them now and eventually read properties get standardized, changing at that point will break servers a second time. Is it better to break things once or twice? I wonder if the “best” thing to do is leave the request as-is and only update it later, once the properties are standardized. This could have the negative effect of encouraging people to keep publishing read-status and read-of, giving the impression they’re standard.

A potential solution?

I could make different versions of the Micropub request and let users toggle them on their settings page. To prevent micro.blog from breaking immediately, I could default micro.blog users to the legacy version. Everyone else would default to v2. Whenever the properties are standardized, v3 would be setup and become the default.

This solution feels a bit unfriendly to Micropub server implementers, so I keep coming back to wondering if I should keep it as-is and only change when it’s standardized.

I feel a bit stuck, so I’m definitely open to suggestions. Help me, Micropub masters! :]

Eddie Hinkle Eddie Hinkle
That’s a tough decision. I can see both sides. On one side, it’s not too difficult to add an “-x” to the properties in the Micropub servers. On the other side, it seems like leaving it the same until the standard is the simplest step. Sorry I’m not much help, but I can understand the catch-22.

Tom Tom
<p>RFC 6648 says the best practice is to not use X-. Nottingham says that there is one good use of x-headers which is "<span style="background-color: rgb(234, 239, 239); color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">only I understand what this means, don’t bother trying"</span></p>

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