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RE: [CT] Using robots.txt to flag an adapting site

From: Jo Rabin <jrabin@mtld.mobi>
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2007 09:30:15 +0100
Message-ID: <C8FFD98530207F40BD8D2CAD608B50B4732B80@mtldsvr01.DotMobi.local>
To: <public-bpwg-ct@w3.org>, <public-powderwg@w3.org>
Cc: "BPWG" <member-bpwg@w3.org>, "Rotan Hanrahan" <rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com>

Thanks Rotan for bringing this up.

I "don't disagree" with use of the link header. However I am not sure it
has as much flexibility as one would like. The semantics are also a
little cloudy in my view - is it really appropriate to infer from the
fact that there is link specifying an alternate with media handheld,
that this version is not itself suitable for handheld? I might
conceivably have versions for desktop, iPhone, series 60 and DDC, for

A plea not to ignore the work of the POWDER group here who as I
understand it have been chartered to replace robots.txt and who I know
have a way of describing parts of site by URI matching. Various POWDER
documents have been elevated recently, and I expect you'll find them a
jolly good read.

http://www.w3.org/2007/powder/ (does this have the most up to date
references Phil?)

I am not sure where the POWDER work went on the subject of variant
resources - i.e. resources that differ in their nature according to
aspects of the request header as well as aspects of the URI, hence a
cross post to powder.

[There is another related issue here aside from the use of labels (DR)
to describe whether the site is made for mobile or not, and that is if
the site varies its representation then a label saying that the content
is child friendly may be true for the mobile representation but may not
be true for the desktop representation. (Not a good example, I know). So
scoping descriptions by URI pattern matching may not be sufficient, and
transforming proxies which alter the User Agent header may very well
pervert any DR mechanism anyway unless both the DR and the transforming
proxies work in concert]

In a rather school-masterly way I'll point out that the CT list is the
right place for this conversation, hence the cross-post. If continuing
the dialogue please do so on that list.


Jo Rabin
mTLD (http://dotmobi.mobi)

mTLD Top Level Domain Limited is a private limited company incorporated
and registered in the Republic of Ireland with registered number 398040
and registered office at Arthur Cox Building, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin

> -----Original Message-----
> From: member-bpwg-request@w3.org [mailto:member-bpwg-request@w3.org]
> Behalf Of Aaron Kemp
> Sent: 29 September 2007 01:42
> To: Rotan Hanrahan
> Cc: Sean Owen; BPWG
> Subject: Re: [CT] Using robots.txt to flag an adapting site
> On 9/28/07, Rotan Hanrahan <rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com> wrote:
> > Glad to see opinions. I was just adding it to the pot, as I said.
> thing to note is that
> > robots.txt is site-wide, rather than on a page request basis. Not
> if that makes much
> > of a difference, but perhaps it might.
> This is a good point -- it would be easier for a site owner to
> blacklist an entire site (assuming they weren't using a script to
> generate their content that could be easily changed).
> Aaron
Received on Saturday, 29 September 2007 08:30:40 UTC

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