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Old 05-07-2009, 09:07 AM   #1
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Thumbs down Forum URL Issue

I have noticed as I surf the archives many dead links.
Not only links to outside sites. Those places come and go for numerous reasons of course.
But dead links (paths) to posts or threads right here on the forums.

Is it a perfect example of mgmt.folks not leaving well enough alone? Certainly a prevalent disease in these parts. IMHO

Here are 4 examples that were posted as links from one post to another.
Is there a way to convert to the new system from these?

Or did all the destinations just happen to disappear?
Or did the link placing member just make 4 mistakes in transposing them?

Here are the links I mentioned:
They had been placed by 2air who usually did a good job of linking.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/329209-post35.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/517358-post50.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/212497-post32.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/550696-post1265.html
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
I have noticed as I surf the archives many dead links. Not only links to outside sites. Those places come and go for numerous reasons of course. But dead links (paths) to posts or threads right here on the forums.

Is it a perfect example of mgmt.folks not leaving well enough alone? Certainly a prevalent disease in these parts. IMHO

Over the years we have had numerous upgrades, server moves and a URL change. Broken links are a chronic problem for any cyber archive and we do our best to repair them when we find them. Upgrades and changes are necessary for a variety of reasons; ever increasing data storage, improved features, new subforums or needed security enhancements. Air has grown immensely over the years - without server expansion and software upgrades the site would become unusable.

We do out best to repair these internal links as they are found.
You can help by reporting dead links via the report post button on a post.

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Old 05-07-2009, 10:40 AM   #3
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Arrow Janet, more specific info please

Janet your reply is exactly what I expected. However not what I asked.
I suspect the URL changes, if in fact that is the problem, was a matter of choice, not a result of the server changing.

I am certainly not looking to assign blame, altho I do think mgmts tinkering has caused some havoc here. Other changes have hopefully been beneficial.And I trust they have.
Maybe I should say I am Pro-Change (when necessary) and Anti-Tinkering (when it ain't broke).

But what I asked for was simply an explanation of what was wrong with those particular examples I posted above and whether there is a work around that we the members can do ourselves to get to the intended location.

For instance if the path has changed but the actual thread number is still the same, there is hope.
But if someone has re-numbered threads then there is little hope.
I surely hope the thread numbering system HAS NOT changed. Has it?

FWIW I have experimented with some old thread numbers and the transport to the right thread still works.
But no luck with those I posted above. Maybe 2air just screwed up the numbers.
Unfortunately he is not around to ask.
Generally you could take an old thread number and place it in the URL of any therad and eliminate any thing after the final (dot)html and presto you'd be on your way. I simply am wondering if this should always work still?
and why it doesn't on the 2air links above.
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Janet your reply is exactly what I expected. However not what I asked.
I suspect the URL changes, if in fact that is the problem, was a matter of choice, not a result of the server changing.

I am certainly not looking to assign blame, altho I do think mgmts tinkering has caused some havoc here. Other changes have hopefully been beneficial.And I trust they have.
Maybe I should say I am Pro-Change (when necessary) and Anti-Tinkering (when it ain't broke).
We had a url change several years ago that was beyond our control.

Quote:
But what I asked for was simply an explanation of what was wrong with those particular examples I posted above and whether there is a work around that we the members can do ourselves to get to the intended location.

For instance if the path has changed but the actual thread number is still the same, there is hope.
But if someone has re-numbered threads then there is little hope.
I surely hope the thread numbering system HAS NOT changed. Has it?
Thread numbers are assigned by the forum software and remain constant. I am not aware of any way to change them.

Quote:
Maybe 2air just screwed up the numbers. Unfortunately he is not around to ask.
Generally you could take an old thread number and place it in the URL of any therad and eliminate any thing after the final (dot)html and presto you'd be on your way. I simply am wondering if this should always work still?
and why it doesn't on the 2air links above.
It is fairly unlikely that 2air botched the numbers. But ... it is possible that 2 threads were merged or 2 posts were merged. I don't really know. But I can suggest that 'management' avoids tinkering as much as possible and that most changes to the forum are made to keep the site running as smoothly as possible. You should also know that the site mods who are primarily responsible for keeping things in order are doing the best they can and also have that same goal of a trouble free board.

You can help by using the report post button to report broken links. If there is a software problem or some other issue, we are most likely to track it down by establishing a pattern of similar events.

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Old 05-07-2009, 12:53 PM   #5
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Observe the threads that currently open well. And look at the individual subforums at http://www.airforums.com/forums/. Each subforum has an identification number and that number is included in a thread URL. For instance, this thread was started in the 'Forums How-To's & Support' subforum - f138. An update at some point included that subforum number for valid URLs. 2air's post quoting the now-invalid URLs - what was the date on that? I'm thinking it probably was 2-3 or more years back. Software updates and solving technical complexities are not all-seeing, all-knowing.

I'd wonder how much this issue affects embedded links vs. simply quoted URLs http://www.airforums.com/forums/329209-post35.html. It's now monumental to even attempt to find and manually correct all possible linking issues like this. This no doubt affects an entire class of links in our archives.

I tend to lose touch if I save a lot of links in bookmarks on my browser. Therefore in my early time at AIR I made notes and saved URLs in the old format to a txt file. I'd have to dig to find that file but those URLs are largely useless. I was a bit chagrined when I noticed this two or more years back. Gotten over it...
Everything's up to date in Kansas City
They gone about as fer as they can go
They went an' built a skyscraper seven stories high
About as high as a buildin' orta grow.
Price to pay for 'progress' I'd say. Zero meddling IMO.

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Old 05-07-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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Arrow Library Science

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Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Software updates and solving technical complexities are not all-seeing, all-knowing.
Profound Bob profound. Not even in Austin do they say God is a geek. Maybe in Seattle.

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Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
It's now monumental to even attempt to find and manually correct all possible linking issues like this. This no doubt affects an entire class of links in our archives.
Oh yeah I'd agree. Exactly my point. Should have been better managed as she went. It is touted as a knowledge sharing forum. So preservation of the knowledge and accessibility to it should have been priority one. Too late now so you advise "get over it".
Were I a mod I think I might say instead; "We see your point,thanks for your obsevation, but at this time we are unaware of a workaround or solution. We will ask our tech admin about it and get back with you, either way".

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
I tend to lose touch if I save a lot of links in bookmarks on my browser. Therefore in my early time at AIR I made notes and saved URLs in the old format to a txt file. I'd have to dig to find that file but those URLs are largely useless. I was a bit chagrined when I noticed this two or more years back. Gotten over it...
I never think of you Bob as one to lose touch, but my condolences for your loss. Very glad you were able to overcome it. Time heals most things they say.

I too am a URL bookmarker, mainly because the subscribe-to-thread function is so slow and redundant. I must have a thousand or so saved.
If the tinkerers or "progressives" have ruined most of those, time won't heal my disgust.
IMHO good "librarians" don't condone nor excuse book burning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Price to pay for 'progress' I'd say. Zero meddling IMO.
I must respectfully disagree...fully.
Cheers, I'm off to check some bookmarks.
Oh and that old "price to pay for progress" cliche is something we seem to be hearing most every day in the news with plenty more to come I suspect.


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Old 08-14-2009, 02:59 PM   #7
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Sorry about the delayed response to this. I found the issue and the dead links are working again. Unfortunately I accidentally overlooked the email where this was reported. In the famous words of Homer Simpson DOOH!
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