WSIL for Weblog Protocol Auto-discovery

With the introduction of RSD, it is obvious that people want (as the RFC states):

To reduce the information required to UserName, Password, and homepage URL.

This is a great idea and I’m all for it. It would be great if the user of a weblogging tool could just point it to the weblog and instantly have the tool discover accepted protocols and endpoints.

Indeed, I think it would be awesome!

Still, the RSD RFC seems to have its limits. Daniel has stated that he looked at the existing format for this (WSIL) and decided that it wasn’t meant to stand apart from WSDL.

While it does seem to be that the intent of the creators of WSIL is to use it with WSDL, there plenty of room in the specification to use WSIL to provide the same function as RSD wants to while still retaining (for use at a later time) all the power of WSIL/WSDL.

To me, this is all about bootstrapping.

But bootstrapping has to start out very simply. Appologies to Tim, but the WSIL file that he gave as an example is not simple.

Perhaps a more simple example can be produced that will show that WSIL is an appropriate format for protocol discovery.

First, as given in the WSIL spec, the following line is added to the HTML header of the weblog. This points to the WSIL file:

      <meta name="serviceInspection" content="weblog-services.wsil"/>  

Second, the WSIL file “weblog-services.wsil” is created with the following content. I’ve adapted the file from the RSD file for Dave Winer’s Radio Weblog:

  <?xml version="1.0"?>  <inspection    xmlns="">    <service>      <abstract>Radio UserLand Protocols</abstract>      <description        referencedNamespace=""        location="xmlrpc://" />      <description        referencedNamespace=""        location="xmlrpc://" />    </service>  </inspection>  

This seems to fulfill the following two criteria:

  • It doesn’t require a WSIL specialist to understand. I’m not very familiar with WSIL, but I created the file. This, of course, means that I may have made a error. I recall, though, that some articles on XML contained XML that was not well-formed and that was forgiven, so I hope any similar WSIL errors are equally forgivable.
  • It can easily be written by hand. That’s how I did it, after all.


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