Pepys TrackBack: fixing the problems and a new layout

Because of the problem I had with TrackBacks at Pepys’ Diary which I mentioned in my previous post I’ve had to do a lot of fixing.

While I love Movable Type, it lacks anything to easily manage pings (other than deleting TrackBacks received by an entry). When I was stuck with diary entries that had the same URLs listed in its ‘URLs to Ping’ box and in the ‘Previous pings sent’, and rebuilding the entry worsened the problem, the only solution was to edit the database by hand.

So I spent much of yesterday writing two PHP tools. The first automatically removes duplicate pings from Background Info entries. The second looks at a diary entry’s two lists of URLs and compares those with the TrackBacks actually received by Background Info entries. The two lists are then corrected to reflect reality and saved. It would take a bit of work to make these tools more generic, and I’m not sure anyone else has the same problem (it’s a wonder you’re even interested enough to make it this far).

Once that was all fixed I created a new format for listing the dozens of TrackBacks that Background Info entries receive; see, for example, Elizabeth Pepys’ new listing compared to the original. It involves some PHP and a MySQL query, but it works much better and, most importantly, doesn’t look like TrackBack any more. Very pleasing.


  • Phil, thank you. This diary and your efforts are outstanding. Can’t be said enough.

  • Phil, your Pepys Diary site is fantastic.

14 Jan 2004 in Writing

The Poetics of Space
I was unexpectedly disappointed by Gaston Bachelard’s book, so I’d love to know why it’s so highly rated. Enlighten me!
TrackBack problems at Pepys’ Diary
Sending several dozen pings from a Movable Type entry sometimes seems to make things go a bit wonky.

On this day I was reading