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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Building a free/libre platform for reviews

From: Erik Moeller
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] Building a free/libre platform for reviews
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2016 13:28:26 -0700

On Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 8:41 PM, Dave Rolek
<> wrote:

> Hi Erik, it's good to hear from you and of the progress being made on
> this project.  Keep it up!

Thank you for the kind words and the thoughtful feedback. :)

> As for the quoted part above, using a URL as an identifier might cause
> difficulty in grouping reviews on the same item.  Here are just a few
> examples (but the problem space is potentially "infinite"):
> Wikipedia article:


Yes, that's indeed a challenge with URLs. Right now there's a
one-to-many relationship between internal "things" and URLs
representing those things, and I'll add a "merge" feature soon, so any
reviews of the same thing can easily be put together. Since our rate
of reviews/day initially will likely be relatively small, I think
manual merging for now is the way to go.

There's a little bit of URL normalization going on already, mainly
stripping off the "/ref=cm_aya_bb_db" bits from URLs. The
smartest near term thing to improve that further would probably be to
replace the stored URL with

1) the result of any 301 or 302 redirects, and then
2) the <link rel="canonical"> representation URL in the document <head>, if any.

There are a few moving pieces to that since it delays the save or
requires post-save merge if performed server-side / requires proxying
of requests if performed client-side, but it's doable. I've added an
issue for that, here:

Mid-term I want to add additional lookup capabilities that are less
prone to conflicts, such as

- Search via Wikidata items (will work well for notable books,
records, movies, places, etc.)
- Search via OpenStreetMap POI identifiers (will work well for
restaurants, cafes, bars, businesses, etc.).

Both would initially store at least the external identifier (Q# for
Wikidata, Node/Way/Relation IDs for OSM) so that future reviews are
immediately added to the same thing, and longer term potentially keep
other metadata in sync. Suggestion for other open repositories with
similar qualities and existing APIs are welcome!

That said, I want to keep URLs around, since it allows for potentially
embedding reviews in third party sites relatively easily (e.g., a web
shop, a package manager like NPM or CPAN, etc.) by looking up reviews
by URL of the page the embed code is on -- and because it's a nice
catch-all for anything not covered by open data projects yet.


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