Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Web/cloud presence

While browsing yesterday, we ran across a cached link that was out of date. In the news, of late, we have seen arguments about whether the web/cloud ought to be forgetful (or forced to be such). However that discussion turns out, sites need to be aware that links persist long beyond the expectations of some.

In fact, the link was from 2010: Gardner's Beacon, Vol. I, No. 1 (actually, the URL was technically addressing an ASP file which no longer exists). When picked, yesterday, the link went to a standard 404 (not found) page which surprised me. So, I went looking. Sure enough, there was a missing line in the control/configuration files at the new site.

Well, the transition was in 2012 (documented here). At that time. MS, our friend, pulled the plug. I blogged all sorts of issues related to this (for instance, unsuspecting little companies had put the system into their process - yikes).

Now, though, as you will see if you pick this (404 Not found), the error page is a little more instructive. The message is general as it supports a throw from many places. At some point, perhaps, we will be a little more specific.

As you will recall, we had a go on the content/configuration stuff last summer as we moved from the 2012 time frame to something a little more modern (CMS, again). And, if you look at Status, top of page, you'll see a link to our technical blog as we work issues. Why? Well, it has to do with the fact that there are lots of open issues with regard to the web/cloud and more. Only those who are raking in the dough (or, those who we must forgive because they might not know better) seem to not care; as is the case with every age, we are at various crux points. Thankfully, Thomas Gardner's life can shine a light, yes even after so many centuries, on how to better handle our choice mixes.

Aside: People, quote us on this. All sites (oh, gosh, supposed smart folks) have updated themselves to be more friendly to mobile devices. Guess what, people? They made it hard to find information, in general. ... But, as this old guy knows, we get the pendulum swinging back and forth with technology. Right now, its manic, again. He only hopes that some semblance of sanity returns before his time is up.

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Last year, we convert to using CSS more fully. This year, we are toying with introducing more scripting. However, as we do so, expect that we will be discussing the pros and cons which get trampled under who is first (no matter the consequences on the populace) and who can make more money (as if that is a sign of smarts - and, in a supposed Christian society? - Harvard (we will have to introduce Nathaniel Eaton as the first nerd) going secular was not a step up).

Remarks: Modified: 02/27/2015 

02/27/2015 - Example of how stale links come about.

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