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Re: Firefox addin to replace 404 pages with archived pages from wayback machine

From: Herbert Van de Sompel <hvdsomp@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2016 14:58:49 -0600
Message-ID: <CAOywMHetgjmP5YU_oa3aQOF-mt0+NdUidV5-w7T=fsbNYs8sJg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, Herbert Van de Sompel <hvdsomp@gmail.com>
On Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 10:23 AM, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>

> See [1].
> I thought this might be of some interest to the TAG. Seems to me that this
> is OK insofar as the addin is a modification to a user agent, and is
> presumably activated only with the user's consent.
> Nonethess, this seems to embody a slightly skewed view of Web protocols:
> if I as a URI authority serve a new or updated page, your browser will do
> what I intend and show the user that new content. If I delete a page, the
> browser will not honor that deletion, but will show content anyway. This
> seems to me just a bit of a slippery slope. A 404 is just as meaningful in
> Web protocols (no such page) as a 200 IMO.
The Memento Extension for Chrome (http://bit.ly/memento-for-chrome) handles
404 and much more. It covers archived resources in many web archives, see
http://timetravel.mementoweb.org/about/. And its behavior is completely
under control of the user because it works by right-clicking links or

Right clicking yields a Memento menu with several options:
* Get near current date: Retrieves the most recently archived resource, and
hence can be used to address 404.
* Get near saved date: retrieves an archived resource with archival
datetime closest to the date set in a calendar picker
* Get near memento-datetime: if the page is itself an archived resource in
a web archive, retrieves an archived resource of a linked resource with
archival datetime closest to the date expressed in the page's
Memento-Datetime header.
* Get near page date: retrieves an archived resource with a datetime
closest to the page datetime if it is provided in a machine-readable manner
* Get near link date: retrieves an archived resource with a datetime
closest to date expressed in the data-versiondate link decoration
attribute, as defined in http://robustlinks.mementoweb.org/spec/

Note that the Memento protocol is not only for web archives. It can also be
supported by version control systems, wikis, etc. For example, the W3C wiki
and all versions of the W3C specs are accessible using Memento. Using, e.g.
Memento for Chrome, one can seamlessly navigate to the version of a wiki
page or W3C spec as it was at a certain date. And, of course to versions of
linked resources, using right-click as described above. Using the Time
Travel API, see http://timetravel.mementoweb.org/guide/api/, one can use a
URI of this form to get to a version of a W3C spec as it existed at a given



> I'm not proposing that the TAG do anything about this or devote
> significant time to it right now, just pointing it out in case it's of
> interest.
> Thank you.
> Noah
> [1] http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/firefox-will-try-to-show-y
> ou-saved-archive-of-a-page-instead-of-404-error-869482

Herbert Van de Sompel
Digital Library Research & Prototyping
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Research Library

Received on Friday, 5 August 2016 21:07:34 UTC

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