W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > February 2008

Misleading explanations in checklink reports

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 17:12:39 +0200
Message-ID: <022201c87309$df7759e0$0300000a@DOCENDO>
To: <www-validator@w3.org>

Users can get confused when the Link Checker 
http://validator.w3.org/checklink detects some permanent redirect(s) and 
no other problems with links. The report then ends with a part beginning 
with

"List of broken links and redirects
Fragments listed are broken. See the table below to know what action to 
take."

The sentence about fragments is very confusing (how many people know 
what "fragments" are? and this is not about fragments but URLs that may 
contain fragments, and usually don't). Moreover, it says that something 
is broken, but e.g. a 301 redirected link is _not_ broken. It conforms 
to all specifications, it works, and it it is required by the 
specifications that user agents process it properly. The suggestion to 
update the link is useful - but it's a SHOULD, not SHALL, matter, and 
the link is _not_ broken.

Suggestion: Change the text quoted above to read

"List of redirected and broken links

There are issues with the URLs listed below. The table summarizes the 
issues and suggested actions by HTTP response status code."

(You might consider using "addresses" instead of "URLs", if you think 
that "URL" is not an acceptable term in W3C parlance.)

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/ 
Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2008 15:12:53 GMT

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