Re: Broken links, are we ever going to address them?

Matthew J Gering (
Thu, 26 Jan 1995 16:25:56 +0100

While I understand many of Roy's objections I do not agree that many of them
need to be a problem.

I favour an approach of a server informing the referring server if a link
doesn't work. What the referring server does with the information should be
configurable (e.g. send email to the webmaster or other individual depending
on the location of the refering page, log to a file, ignore completely or even
automatically correct the error). This should not present an issue to
webmasters about receiving hundreds of failure messages.

If my server receives a failure message it can check if there really is a
broken link and then, depending on who owns the offending page, it can inform
them. My server could also have thresholds for when it informs people of
broken links and how often.

The server which receives the duff request could be similarly configured to
only send a single message to each referrer which requests non-existant data
or even to wait until it had received a given number of requests from the same
referrer before sending it a failure message.

I am not sure whether this functionality should be in the server or a separate
server and client. The advantage of having it in the server is that that way
everyone gets it automatically :-)

I realise that this approach is only a partial solution to the problem, but I
do not see any total solutions on the horizon so I think a partial one is
better than none.


Derek Harding				
Product and Software Developer                                  +44 1223 250422
PIPEX (The Public IP Exchange Ltd) 
- "Pardon me for living, I'm sure."
       -- (Terry Pratchett, Mort)