Ping Pong Pow
July 6, 2003 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I've been ping mad all day since I found this neat little utility that can ping multiple hosts. Not very useful to the huge legions of loggers who use MoveableType, but a boon indeed to those who use homebrewed setups or others like e107 that currently don't have ping capability.
posted by Fidel (20 comments total)
I found a handy little blog package called BlogWorks XML that does TrackBack and limited pings. Been rather happy with it. Also supports the Blogger API so you can remotely update with a client. Needs ASP though.
posted by Samizdata at 10:12 PM on July 6, 2003

Is there any comprehensive list of all the pingable servers around? I've been digging and I have come up with these that work with the program.

I know can accept pings but I can't figure out the format to use with this specific program.
posted by Fidel at 11:02 PM on July 6, 2003

excuse me, but all servers on an IP network have had ping capabilities forever. pinging the server has nothing to do with blogging, updating blogs, or any blogging API. appropriating and incorporating this terminology in blogging API's is self-serving assholery, and confusing to the public. this is as stupid as claiming that a permalink is an "invention". linking is fundamental. linking to a particular thing is not by any means an "invention".
posted by quonsar at 9:35 AM on July 7, 2003

appropriating and incorporating this terminology in blogging API's is self-serving assholery, and confusing to the public.

Yeah, because "the public" knows this other meaning of the word "ping" sooooo well. And those who do know it, are too stupid to understand that words can have more than one meaning.

I bet you object to the word "spam" used for junk e-mail too. After all, spam only applies to Usenet!
posted by kindall at 9:47 AM on July 7, 2003

Um, no, the public damned well knows what 'ping' means thanks to online gaming, which is fairly mainstream these days, thanks.

What's being talked about here is nothing more than a one-off of RSS feeds. If you want to really ping the hell out of every host on the Internet from here to Botswana, try nmap, now available for Windows (towards the bottom of the page).
posted by Ryvar at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2003

Um, no, the public damned well knows what 'ping' means thanks to online gaming, which is fairly mainstream these days, thanks.

I must have missed the part where it was necessary to master obscure network details to play games... I mean, sure, there is probably a core of a few thousand people who are enough into gaming to look for any edge they can get, including obsessing over latency, but they do not constitute "the public" by any stretch of the imagination.
posted by kindall at 10:47 AM on July 7, 2003

Pinging means several things to several different internet niches. If I was on irc I would expect that people understood my reference as a ping to the server or another person on irc. If I was playing a multiplayer 3d game I would expect that people understood that reference applied to the game. If I was discussing server issues with a techy friend I think he would understand exactly what I was talking about. as this is a blog in even the loosest sense of the word I relied on context to deliver the definition of ping. I shouldn't have.. sorry. I should have been quite clear in which type of ping I was refering to. It was my first post on this landmark comunity blog. I will remember from now on to be overly wordy and bore the reader to death with definitions of things they should already understand by context. nay.. I will just never post a link again... j/k... Which means just kidding...
posted by Fidel at 11:11 AM on July 7, 2003

yes, now, as to the word "file"...
posted by quonsar at 11:12 AM on July 7, 2003


A few thousand? Right.

Never played an FPS have you? alone, by no means a comprehensive list, tracked 157,816 man years of FPS gaming before it's recent shutdown since 1998 from 180,000 registered individuals - this is just those hardcore, or more likely bored enough, to register with some stupid webserver. Thousands of man years of Counter-strike gaming alone are logged every month, with over 30,000 servers available.

Every time you pull up the scoreboard in Counter-strike, what do you see? Your ping time.

Every time you search for a server with Gamespy, or increasingly The All-Seeing Eye, it says 'pinging' servers and then provides the network latency details for each server for the people using it. Over 300,000 people ran ASE on the average day eight months ago. The situation has only gotten 'worse' since.

Do far, far more people than exist within the blogging 'community' know what ping really means? In light of all this, I'd say 'yes.' Keep in mind gaming sales outpaced movie sales years ago.

There are probably more people in the network security community alone, all of whom most certainly know the exact definition of a ping down to the ICMP type (quick quiz: is it 1 or 11?) than whom have ever heard of the term 'ping' in relation to some RSS ripoff for the blogging community.

Finally, as Fidel pointed out - there's IRC, which is another gigantic community all on its own.

All of these groups, which outweigh blogging in terms of Internet mindshare and predate it by lightyears, have a sense however rough that a 'ping' is an echo request sent from one machine (usually theirs) to another (usually a server) for the purpose (usually) of measuring network latency.
posted by Ryvar at 11:25 AM on July 7, 2003

I won't go so far as to call it assholery, but it is a poorly chosen name for blogging. Ping already has the widely understood meaning "are you there?" and gives you round-trip times. Ping in irc or gaming is analogous. So to change it to mean "hey, come read my newly updated blog" ... well, it confused me too.
posted by Isamu Noguchi at 11:36 AM on July 7, 2003

"hey come read my newly updated [any website at all]" is exactly what RSS feeds and readers, invented before the term 'blog' was coined, accomplish. Renaming it to something it is not only weakens a well-established phrase.

If I seem upset about all of this, it's because I am all of the above examples: a network security guru, a hardcore FPS gamer, and a longtime IRC user all at once - I use this term hundreds of times daily in the sense that it has always been used. To my thinking this is about the absolute worst direction in which any linguistic evolution for it could occur. I sincerely hope it doesn't catch on.
posted by Ryvar at 11:45 AM on July 7, 2003

predate it by lightyears

no no no, you know better than that.

posted by mdn at 11:49 AM on July 7, 2003

You misunderstand me. I know lightyears is a measurement of distance.

To parse what I said more precisely:

Bold = conditional A
Italics = conditional B

which (outweigh blogging in terms of Internet mindshare and predate it) by lightyears

I do plead guilty to poor sentence structure, however.
posted by Ryvar at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2003

I wonder if Mr. Whiner will get upset by quonsar now since he innovated(?) this usage of the word. And maybe up my Winer Number while he's at it.
posted by billsaysthis at 12:07 PM on July 7, 2003

jargon file: ping
  1. n. Slang term for a small network message (ICMP ECHO) sent by a computer to check for the presence and alertness of another. /.../
  2. vt. To verify the presence of.
  3. vt. To get the attention of.
  4. vt. To send a message to all members of a mailing list requesting an ACK /.../
  5. n. A quantum packet of happiness /.../
posted by effbot at 12:10 PM on July 7, 2003

Ryvar, Ryvar, Ryvar. If you had only plead irony instead. Now it's not just bad sentence structure but shitty metaphor too because you know lightyears aren't a measure of weight either much less weight over time. Furthermore, you could have referenced Han Solo.
posted by wobh at 12:17 PM on July 7, 2003

Well, I always figured the obvious explanation to what Holo said was that the Kessel Run (undefined) wasn't about time to completion (given that a parsec is 3.2 lightyears, IIRC since I haven't looked it up since I was a 10-year-old geekling) so much as it was about performing the run in the least amount of distance - read: it was a cerebral challenge to an extent as well. All ships apparently travel equally quickly in hyperspace in Lucas' universe, there being no equivalent to a warp factor ever mentioned that I can recall.

See, Solo and the ship's computer had to calculate out their hyperspace route because it ain't like dusting crops - there is, at least according to the fiction, a fuckton of math involved apparently. So the ship was really notable because it could help Solo find amazing shortcuts, or something . . . which is the only way the word 'fast' has any meaning in a universe where (apparently) all ships travel at essentially the exact same max speed limit. That's how I rationalized as a kid, anyway. I was a real astronomy afficianado back then and caught that mistake the first time I watched the movie.

Maybe I put too much thought into it, though.
posted by Ryvar at 12:59 PM on July 7, 2003

Linguistics Semantics, Cinnamons.. er synonyms.. Language changes.. get used to it. just because its a new use doesn't mean it's any less valid. When I "ping" a blog update aggregator I am asking them to pay attention to me and if possible get a response. I have been sucking up every bit of information about computers and how to manipulate them since mosaic. so while I don't have any paper that says I know what I'm talking about... Lets just say I know all the definitions that were mentioned. I like blogging.. I'm not real great with post titles but I like to think that I bring my readers something interesting and might turn them on to another little piece of the net that they've never seen before. See the thing is the other day I found myself pinging people in real life and I was disconcerted that they weren't ponging me. I expected at least one person would pong but.. people in general I've noticed don't really know anything about computers.. they have one but it boggles them. They don't have the attention span to try something new and if it doesn't work try to figure out how to use a computer. There's a mac group that meets locally that think a lot of themselves because they use simple computers. They don't try to understand anything but the end product.. they don't want to mess around with the inner workings.. I think I am in an interesting position in life. I know everything I know about computers from the internet. Even what I ultimately want to do is somewhat computer related. I need to know computers to be able to produce the music I'm happy with. Any way I'm babbling.. I try to intrigue rather than explain.. I'm not really there to present I'm there to get thier attention..
posted by Fidel at 8:56 PM on July 7, 2003

Look, just read the manual, okay?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:07 PM on July 7, 2003

Mod note: "Ping" is totally stolen from submarines. Jeez, hasn't anybody seen The Hunt for Red October? "Give me a ping, Vasily.  One ping only please." .wav
posted by kirkaracha (staff) at 7:10 AM on July 10, 2003

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