Firefox Ping is Stupid

Personally I think that the Firefox link ping concept is one of the stupidest things I have seen in browser development lately. Who is going to use it? Let’s face it – it is very unlikely that equivalent feature will end up in IE and Opera. Most dev’s can’t be even bothered to make sure that their page even renders correctly in FF. Why would they bother adding ping links when they will already have tracking implemented using redirects?

Here are my concerns:

Privacy: this will make tracking easier than before – I don’t like people collecting data about me. At least when I get redirected, I know something funky is going on.

Will the ping use my proxy? If I’m using tor, are my pingbacks going through tor network?

Security: From what I understand, the spec allows multiple space separated URI’s to be used with the ping attribute. This can get really nasty, really fast. What happens if I specify “” 500 or more times in my ping attribute and post it at a high traffic site? Can you say DDOS?

I would just love to see my server go up in flames just because some idiot posted a pingerizedā„¢ link on slashdot and I’m getting barraged by FF pings. All of them would come from individual IP’s too. How fun!

Also, what happens on the client side if hitting a single link will cue up few thousand pings? Wouldn’t that crash FF or make it unresponsive?

Compliance: This is not a w3c spec. This extension was drafted by Most browsers don’t even bother to comply with half of the w3c stuff – is anyone else going to implement this?

What if Microsoft decides to implement proprietary “ping” extension in IE7 that will work completely differently than whatwg specs?

Even if the privacy and security issues are addressed, this will still be useless unless MS jumps at the bandwagon…


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