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CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

Posted July 23, 2018 11:47 AM
Pathfinder Tags: Good Answers

As part of a larger project to eliminate broken links across all IEEE GlobalSpec sites, we've been working on links in CR4 posts and comments. We know that older posts still get traffic, so keeping the links up-to-date is worth the effort.

When we can find substitutes for broken links we update them. For these older posts, changes in site structure or security often cause the problem; these links are simple to fix. If we can't easily find a replacement, we'll delete the link. If a post no longer makes sense if all links have to be removed, we delete the post.

We know the importance of Good Answers to the community, so we do our best to keep them. Sometimes we have no choice, though, and the poster's GA count will go down as a result. Please accept our apologies for this unfortunate side effect of our site maintenance effort.

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#1

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/23/2018 11:53 AM

Oh, the humanity!

(My GA number might go down? Where's my digitalis?)

My annual raise is not based on my GA number, so that's all right. I'm not even sure what mine is.

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#2

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/23/2018 12:18 PM

Maybe we should just print all linked material....? I usually try to post the most relevant portion of the link, then use the link as a reference....Nothing more frustrating then searching for an extended period of time and finally finding the information you're looking for, only to find the link doesn't work...DOH! I run into this frequently!....So I applaud your effort...

Rock on...

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/24/2018 4:15 AM

I already have a colleague who seems to be trying to make a printed back up of the entire internet, hitting the print button is his knee-jerk reaction.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/24/2018 2:22 PM

haha Yes, an analog person in a digital world...been there

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#3

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project.. Set your phasor on stun.

07/24/2018 3:12 AM

Sometimes Just Knowing Where it Pointed Before Is Worthwhile

Well. You could reply to the post. In the reply you could include the text of the URL of the original link not as a link but as paste-able text labeled as a dead link. You could provide any substitutes as new links in the reply initially or as you get a round-tuit. The broken link in the original post could be changed to point to your explanatory reply thus eliminating that dead link in your stats. You would therefore not remove the post nor any GA's it carries. Users might also reply providing substitutions without effort on your part. They lose that opportunity if you remove the post.

"If we can't easily find a replacement, we'll delete the link. If a post no longer makes sense" ..... is presumptuous, perhaps even pompous and quite unnecessary. Some sites go on and off line without notice so some dead links reincarnate. Since your site is active and perceived as valuable you should be sensitive to that perception and take care not to arbitrarily and unnecessarily erode that value. The initial conversion of a dead link in a forum post is quite automate-able. If the link reincarnates you could automatically convert your paste-able URL text into a hot link rather than eliminating your reply and reinstating the original link. Then if there is value in any substitutions in the reply you do not lose that value.

I was part of the team who created the Texas State Electronic Library(ca1995) which subscribed to and hosted a great many fora. We ran similar dead link cleanups and saw many problems of this type. Storage is cheap. Lossy and irreversible changes are unpopular. Error on the side of retention and use the mechanisms already in place to implement maintenance concepts. Automation saves labor both for the sysgods and for the users. Using existing mechanisms saves time both in implementation and in education of your user base.

Please consider these suggestions in the spirit in which they are offered. I have vanishingly small skin in this game. You, however, are making a bed in which you will have to lie for the foreseeable future. I wish you well. I would not have bothered to compose this comment if I did not appreciate your service and anticipate getting good value out of my (admittedly casual) use of it.

thewildotter

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#6

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/24/2018 2:34 PM

If someone uses this site just to run up GA points, they are here for the wrong reason. Lighten up and enjoy the posts.

I have no idea what my GA point total is and haven't for several years.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/25/2018 7:02 PM

Seriously? I doubt it.

This crowd is a tough audience and, with the exception of, "Caption this" very few GA's are charity awards.

I don't believe that anybody comes here lusting for GA's

Well OK, there was one instance, long long ago, where a certain cat member was getting close to the first 100 GA total and was, figuratively, rubbing every leg on the forum to cajole that seemingly unattainable final. I'm not sure cats have the memory of humans. Theirs may be more selective, in this case.

I asked the question of admin. because I have always believed that only those who bestow a GA should have the right to cancel their vote.

I understand that purges are necessary since this group is long in the tooth and been around for ages.

There was a time when there were no GA's. They were originally instituted (I believe) to help inform newcomers that members with high GA counts were more credible. That may be debatable today.

I doubt that any serious member would take his ball and go home if the GA count was deleted and discontinued. Unless of course, they were uninvited to leave by admin.

That's my two cent's worth.

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#8

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/25/2018 8:44 PM

Actually I don't like links--the things that say "see here" and similar. When you print something for future reference, that link doesn't work. I wish they would insert there, or at the end, the actual site address. Then it would be meaningful when used someday.

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#9

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/27/2018 4:58 AM

I have got a couple of GA's - and don't know why. There is nothing special about my answer, as far as I know, to justify a GA for me, as I find with many GA's for other posts. Similarly with OT's - where mentioning OT's here in this post could get me an OT.

Anyway, since both are awarded by anonymous posters, what is the value of either.

Perhaps we need a 'like' rating instead, and translated into a % of posts, that will not change if links and posts are deleted.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/29/2018 11:01 AM

I've thought the same thing -- that "like" would be a useful feature. I'll pass this idea along to the team that is looking at CR4 upgrades/changes.

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#11

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/29/2018 5:55 PM

The spam problem deserves a much higher priority than this.

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#12

Re: CR4 Broken Link Repair Project

07/30/2018 11:09 PM

Wonder why nobody brought this up yet, but a couple years ago we had a thread going about breaking a bath tub and the link since then points to nowhere.

This would be the first one that needs fixing!

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