[rfc-i] URL checking

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Mon Oct 17 20:24:36 PDT 2005

Paul Hoffman wrote:
> At 2:40 PM -0700 10/17/05, Joe Touch wrote:
>>If so, why would it matter?
> I wasn't talking about this specific draft, I was asking in general. 

Agreed - I was answering in general.

> That is, when the RFC Editor is doing things like making sure that 
> the format of each reference is correct, do they also check whether 
> the URL is even alive?

My point is that liveness during that period isn't a guarantee of
liveness in the next day when it becomes an RFC. Even if the author
checks it because the editor flags it, it's just as likely to die in the
time to publication.

>> It's just as likely to break by the time it
>>goes from the queue to final
> In this particular case, it didn't break: there was a typo in the draft.

Checking for liveness of all URLs in an RFC should be a fairly simple
script; checking that they result in the intended page, however,
requires manual verification.

>>(i.e., URLs aren't persistent anyway - why
>>bother checking at all?)
> Because it would be a service to the IETF community if a 
> newly-published RFC that had URLs had ones that work, particularly 
> for long-lived URLs like those to W3C standards, Unicode standards, 
> and so on.

I don't believe in long-lived URLs; they're exactly as long-lived as the
organization that they're registered with, and no more - in all cases.

IMO, given search engines, it's not clear that they serve a useful
purpose in archival documents anymore.

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