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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Prevent link rot before the public condemns you

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/04/05

I’ve written about link rot quite a few times (it even has a category on my blog).

Preventing it is important, as it improves user experience.

For most users this is an unconscious thing when it works and becomes consciously annoying when it fails.

Some user groups are vocal enough to force you to fix link rot after the fact, causing brand reputation damage.

One good example was last year: [Wayback] Users condemn Microsoft for removing KB IDs from some bug documentation | Computerworld.

By now the dust has settled, KBID (Microsoft Knowledge Base ID) values are now in the documentation and these link schemes work again, not just over https, even over plain old http:

  • support.microsoft.com/help/KBID
  • support.microsoft.com/KB/KBID

The full discussion is at [Wayback] Understanding the new Windows update history experience – Microsoft Tech Community, one of the comments even got a bookmarklet to get you these canonical URLs back (Thanks [Wayback] Vadim Sterkin!):

javascript:void(prompt("URL:", ("https://support.microsoft.com/kb/").concat(document.querySelector('meta[name="awa-kb_id"]').content)))

Note:

  • you have to replace : by :, but otherwise WordPress screws the code; the gist below is better
  • that Microsoft is far from alone in this, last week I published about Source: Wayback machine and VMware KB links and before that about Embarcadero and many others.

Lesson learned: fix your link rot before you run into a public that does get angry on it.

–jeroen


javascript:void(prompt("URL:", ("https://support.microsoft.com/kb/").concat(document.querySelector('meta[name="awa-kb_id"]').content)))

view raw

gistfile1.txt

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