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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.



Matthew Smith
Web Application Development & IT Consultancy
Received on Thursday, 20 July 2006 21:57:34 UTC

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