Announce: Prefs distribution thru XML-RPC

Dave Winer dave at
Mon Sep 20 14:29:21 BST 1999

Suppose you have a website that is distributed across several machines,
perhaps geographically, with some or all of them serving dynamic pages with
per-user customization. You want to provide a single place for the user to
set preferences and have the changes percolate to the other servers on your
internal network.

We had to build such a prefs distribution network for UserLand.Com, and
naturally we used XML-RPC to implement it.

The interface is easy to implement once you have an XML-RPC layer running.
It consists of a single RPC handler, updateMemberInfo, on each of the
affiliate machines. It's a little more complicated on the prefs hub -- it
has to implement a database of affiliated machines, and call each machine
when a preference is updated. On either side, it's a very easy
implementation and it delivers a feature that users want.

Like all the next-level-up specs we're doing for XML-RPC the focus is on
simplicity, and should work equally well with SOAP or other transport-level


The specification is here:$496

The Frontier implementation is here:$1484

Dave Winer
UserLand Software

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