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

Re: 404 Error Please Help

From: Chuck Houpt <chuck@habilis.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 09:16:48 -0400
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-Id: <B1192770-4D62-4678-8998-2CC04224914B@habilis.net>
To: lytrotis <jtforms@dmgatlanta.com>

(Although this thread is a bit off-topic, I thought I'd respond  
because it is common to get confused about the different ways web  
browsers and web tools handle HTTP result codes)

Hi lytrotis,

The problem you are seeing is because the front page of  
insidegrape.com is always returning the 404 (Page Not Found) error  
code. The HTTP header is listed below (fetched with the curl tool).  
Because of the 404 code, the Validator stops checking the page.

Regular web browsers do not check or indicate anything when an error  
code is received - they just display the received page as normal. Of  
course, typically the page received with a 404 code is a page  
explaining that the requested URL couldn't be found (and maybe  
offering a site map or search). In the case of insidegrape.com, the  
normal front page is being sent with a 404 code.

Tools like the W3C Validator do check the HTTP result code, so it does  
not validate a page when  it receives a 404 code. Note that sub-pages  
of insidegrape.com return normal result codes, so they can be  
validated. For example:


Possibly the 404 code on the front page is a bug or it is set to  
prevent robots and other automated tools from visiting the site during  

Cheers - Chuck

Header Dump:

% curl -I http://insidegrape.com/

HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 12:27:09 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.63
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.2.6
Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT
Cache-Control: no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre- 
Pragma: no-cache
Set-Cookie: 93a4cd5d4ba7ac4f27dac967d3e05e88=-; path=/
Last-Modified: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 12:27:09 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Received on Wednesday, 13 August 2008 13:17:33 UTC

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