W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > February 2009

Re: broken links in W3C documents and recommendations

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 12:26:04 -0500
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Cc: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, "Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress" <rden@loc.gov>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF7D8C3E93.7D3194AF-ON8525755B.005ECCFC-8525755B.005F8240@lotus.com>
Julian Reschke writes:

> I think what you're missing is that this is not out of ignorance, but on 

> purpose:

Yes.
 
> "Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months 
> and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any 
> time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material 
> or to cite them other than as “work in progress”."

I'm sympathetic to the notion that citations to IDs should be as "work in 
progress".  I must say I don't find this an even slightly compelling 
excuse as to why the content should disappear when the draft becomes 
obsolete.  As a member of the community who has been repeatedly frustrated 
chasing links from old emails to non-existing IDs, it would make far more 
sense to me that IETF leave the drafts in place for reference, as W3C does 
with obsolete working drafts, and if you like edit the draft to have a big 
header that says:  this draft has been obsoleted;  {work on this has been 
abandoned | useful other versions may be found at XXXX}.  If you really 
feel a need to remove traces of the text of old versions (which I think is 
a real loss, because one then can't go back to check what the state of 
discussion was at that time), then at least put up a page saying:  "You 
have followed a link to Internet draft ID-XXXX, which became obsolete on 
date DDDDD.  For information on the status of this work, see 
Link-to-status."

By the way, I found all of this particularly troubling when I was a 
newcomer to working with IETF drafts.  I would find links to IDs, find the 
content gone, and had no clue where to go next.  Having been around 
awhile, I can usually guess, but I think there is a large community that 
doesn't understand this.  For the rest of us, it's just a big nuissance.

I haven't looked into the nuances of HTTP code 410, but it sounds like the 
right one to use for this.

Noah

--------------------------------------
Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
1-617-693-4036
--------------------------------------








Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>
Sent by: www-tag-request@w3.org
02/12/2009 11:57 AM
 
        To:     "Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress" <rden@loc.gov>
        cc:     Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, Larry Masinter 
<masinter@adobe.com>, www-tag@w3.org, (bcc: Noah Mendelsohn/Cambridge/IBM)
        Subject:        Re: broken links in W3C documents and 
recommendations



Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress wrote:
> 
> From: "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
>> In fact, this disappearance of documents at those URIs was not due to
>> a clerical error on IETF’s webmaster’s part: it is IETF policy
>> currently to remove documents which have expired from the official
>> “Internet-drafts” repository.
> 
> This IETF practice has been a source of iritation to me for years.  I 
> have links to Internet Drafts in many documents and it would seem that 
> they could grasp the simple concept of a URI for the "latest version", 
> as the W3C does. I have spoken with IETF officials about this several 
> times, and the fact is, they cannot grasp this concept.  Maybe someone 
> in the W3C can explain it to them better than I can.

I think what you're missing is that this is not out of ignorance, but on 
purpose:

"Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months 
and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any 
time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material 
or to cite them other than as “work in progress”."

BR, Julian




Received on Thursday, 12 February 2009 17:25:17 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:48:12 GMT