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Re: correcting URIs - was User friendly 404s reconsidered

From: Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 07:27:06 +0930
Message-ID: <44BFFC32.10304@kbc.net.au>
To: Jesper Tverskov <jesper@tverskov.dk>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Quoth Jesper Tverskov at 07/21/06 06:53...
> An URL not found should return an error message and status code 404. It
> makes it possible to test for broken links and to combat link-rot or
> keeping it at a tolerable level. Consistency is important both for
> usability and accessibility. Don’t misuse markup, don’t misuse basic
> principles of the web.
> 
> We should work for a more transparent and honest net respecting people.
> Don’t tamper with my browser opening new windows without asking. Don’t
> rewrite my URLs behind my back sending me in another direction without
> asking, et cetera.
> 
> A website is welcome to include a list of near matches in the 404 error
> message asking the user: “Is this what you are looking for”. No problem.

Yes, I agree.  I have, fairly recently, gone from providing a "404 - Not
Found" type page to a "404 - Not Found, but here is the site menu/map
and here is the Google site search."

Automatic redirection to a "guessed" page is not only bad for us humans,
but just think what it would mean for software agents that are trying to
make sense of our site.

Cheers

M

-- 
Matthew Smith
Web Application Development & IT Consultancy
http://www.kbc.net.au
Received on Thursday, 20 July 2006 21:57:34 GMT

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