W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-qa-dev@w3.org > September 2007

checklink usability: should we separate issues from warnings/notes?

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 14:47:59 +0900
Message-Id: <06A2C4E1-27BC-4F12-82C9-17493AF43686@w3.org>
To: QA-dev Dev <public-qa-dev@w3.org>

Hi all,

Working a bit on the link checker today, I started wondering if the  
way results are ordered is the most useful we can provide.

At the moment, we have

* List of broken links and redirects
   - stuff that was ignored because of robots.txt
   - link was 200, but we found broken frags
   - 301 "you should update the link"
   - 302 "usually nothing" should be done
   - 500 "server side problem, check the URI"
   - 404 ...

* List of directory redirects
   - foo -> foo/ : add the trailing slash

Trying to look at it with a fresh view, reacting like a 1st time  
user, I thought:

* Why is there a line telling me "nothing to do" in the middle of my  
errors? If there is nothing to do, I don't want to see this here
* Why are there some redirects in the "broken" section and some in  
another section
* What makes directory redirects special?

Thoughts to fix this: reorganize the output thus

1) broken links and other issues
“Issues found with the links and references in your document, which  
should be fixed in priority”
  - 404 -> fix the link
  - 500 -> the server responded with an error, checked whether the  
resource still is accessible
  - broken fragments: internal navigation may be broken

2) redirects
“These links were redirected. It may be a good idea to link to the  
final location, for the sake of speed.”
  - 302 or 307 (here instead of "usually nothing" I'd write "this is  
a temporary redirect. Update the link if you believe it makes sense,  
or leave it as is")
  - 301 (here I would specify why the link should be updated: "This  
is a permanent redirect. In order to save a hop in the process, you  
should update the link")
  - directory redirect (ditto, explain that it would make browsing  

3) Other Informations
  - robots.txt stuff
   (which BTW I wouldn't count as an error)
   “Some of the links could not be checked automatically and may  
require human attention”
  - stats and number of valid links/anchors found

A reorg like this could make it easier to separate errors, warnings  
and info, making it also possible to get rid of some of the  
(aggressive IMHO) splashes of background-color on the error/ 
explanation texts.

Received on Friday, 14 September 2007 05:48:01 UTC

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