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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Monday October 24, 2005
02:57 PM

How to "read" a specification

[ #27298 ]

Previously I ranted a bit about the Yahoo! IDIF "specification". I now see that I didn't read it as carefully as I should have. Today Yahoo! let me know that I had not implemented IDIF correctly. Here are some clarifications.

Title: Used for displaying the title in the search results. This field should be approximately 50-70 characters.

This actually means "title must be a maximum of 80 characters".

Description: [...] This component should be approximately 180 characters.

This actually means "description must be a maximum of 180 characters".

Body: Longer description of the page. Used for searching and ranking purposes only.

This actually means "body must be a maximum of 1000 characters".

Silly me. I must read more carefully in the future.

IDIF was originally an Inktomi technology which Yahoo! acquired. Had Yahoo! merely taken the time to update the specification document, much of this pain could be avoided.

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  • At one time, Inktomi had some of the best and brightest people in silicon valley. I remember talking to a few engineers in New York at a trade show, amazed at how much more clueful they were than most of their peers in the field.

    I'm shocked that Inktomi released such a horrid spec, supported by an obviously deficient implementation on their side. Y!'s purchase of Inktomi (and IDIF) is irrelevant here. This should have been fixed long ago by someone with better than junior apprentice grade skills.
  • Thank you for this.

    Who knew these things? Very useful, this information is.
  • ... oh, by the way: Any thoughts on the length or format of the keywords?
    • Wish I could answer that. It's been almost a year since I've worked on this and I haven't had a chance to touch it again. Plus, this work was for my previous company, so I can't even go in and look at what I did. Sorry :/