Link rot is such a pervasive problem for anything that's older than 1-2 years. I wish more folks at all levels of managing websites would have some awareness that keeping URLs stable or setting up redirects is important for our collective memory.

@eloquence this was a constant fight at my old job, even though everyone really understood and appreciated it.

But inevitably there would be a deadline that needs to be met leaving not enough time to properly spec out the URLs... and now you have to live we these for years.

The part of our webserver config with redirects from old URLs to new ones was a hairy one indeed...

@eloquence indeed. I am grateful that saves us here...

@kensanata @eloquence For the same reason, postcards and emails should be resent as soon as they’re received to keep them always in circulation, the radio should play the same programming every day, and phonecalls and texts should be repeated verbatim every day. To preserve the precious love expressed in them♥


@eloquence Webposting isn't archival, it's publishing.

The archiving ... is ultimately a separate concern, though yes, linkrottage is pretty annoying.

@eloquence are you aware of which (is under construction and) includes a "perpetual web"? Like having the internet archive built into every site. I'm not sure it solves link rot entirely, but it would be a big step in that direction.

But link rot is not a problem for the server hosting the content, that's link persistence. Link rot is the linking resource's problem.

Both are obviously related but you seem to be addressing the first issue.

Perhaps having #metadata, such as an #HTTP header, indicating the expected lifetime of the resource would be a good idea?

@eloquence That’s one thing the IPFS project is trying to deal with. People can pin files they like, and when the server of origin goes down, they’ll still have them, and even help others get them. It uses content hash keys, so that you will never be held legally accountable say for instance publishing a document saying “This is what I plan to do:” Without a content hash, the site owners could make you promise whatever they want, retroactively. Or they can just take down the document, making your blog look stupid because you linked to it.

@eloquence It’s annoying that “have a good archive of the content” seems to be at odds with “keep content up to date”.

Wikipedia articles have built-in history tracking, so you can permalink to the version you saw, but generally it’s better to link to the latest version, which is more likely to be missing the information you want it to contain.

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