404 → 302
A simple gesture for an evergreen Web.
What if links never died? What if we never broke the Web? What if it didn’t involve any extra work?
It’s possible. And easy.
Just make your 404s into 302s.
Thoughts, suggestions, and contributions welcome:
@amenthes Thanks for reminding me. Now added as a link to the front page. (Issue: https://source.ind.ie/indienet/4042302/site/issues/1)
PS. Looks like archive.org tried to index the missing page and so the final 404 now forwards to Yahoo Domains! 🤦
(I’m currently downloading a local copy of my old Geocities page so I can serve – and back it up – myself and I’ll update the link in the example once that’s ready. Also flying to Belgium today to kickstart a very exciting project that we’re collaborating on with the City of Ghent so apologies if it’s not fixed immediately.)
@aral I really like the message of trying to get web publishers to think about creating their own archives, instead of relying on the Internet Archive https://blog.archive.org/2013/10/24/web-archive-404-handler-for-webmasters/ A distributed web needs a distributed archive, and many different types of archives.
The first step of "Backup your current site to a subdomain" is the hardest part I think. While it's relatively easy for a static site, what does it mean for a dynamic web application?
@aral interesting idea to redirect to past versions of the site on subdomains. I just use a big .htaccess file with lots of redirection rules but I find your idea intriguing.
As for GeoCities I just found a few days ago that archive.org archived the last copy of my site before GeoCities went down. I don’t know if my local copy is as good as that. I should check.
https://alexschroeder.ch/geocities/kensanata/wiki/index.html (that color theme!!)
@aral Hah, the number of times I explained it to site administrators who replied (sniggered, even) that no one ever bookmarks a page. And then ignored me completely. Thousands of resources moved and were never found again.
This is a perfect use case for practical application of the current level of #automation tools.
@aral it seems there's an implicit assumption that any unfound link will necessarily exist somewhere further back, cascading through previous versions of the site -- is this correct? and if it was malformed, then it will be served a standard 404 on the oldest site?
@aral well, the landing page makes it seem that ALL 404s become 302s. the nginx snippet doesn't really clarify which server it applies to; perhaps either include an additional 1997.4042302.org redirect or include the server block's name as 4042302.org? perhaps three tiny server block snippets to further illustrate the * > 2017 > 1997 > 404.html cascade?
@aral i really think having multiple error_page listings would be easiest (on the homepage + on the how page)
server ( # 4042302.org
location / (
error_page 404=302 2017.4042302.org
server ( #2017.4042302.org
location / (
error_page 404=302 1997.4042302.org
server ( #1997.4042302.org
location / (
error_page 404 /404.html
@trwnh Noted, thanks. Will improve when I get a moment (https://source.ind.ie/indienet/4042302/site/issues/2)