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posted by janrinok on Tuesday January 30, @06:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the the-net-never-forgets-ha dept.

Web developer Trevor Morris has a short post on the attrition of web sites over the years.

I have run the Laravel Artisan command I built to get statistics on my outgoing links section. Exactly one year later it doesn't make good reading.

[...] The percentage of total broken links has increased from 32.8% last year to 35.7% this year. Links from over a decade ago have a fifty per cent chance of no longer working. Thankfully, only three out of over 550 have gone missing in the last few years of links, but only time will tell how long they'll stick around.

As pointed out in the early and mid 1990s, the inherent centralization of sites, later web sites, is the basis for this weakness. That is to say one single copy exists which resides under the control of the publisher / maintainer. When that one copy goes, it is gone.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday January 30, @07:05PM (3 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday January 30, @07:05PM (#1342426)

    As I work, I research things. As I find things valuable to what I'm doing, I'll incorporate them in my code / writings / whatever. Especially with code, I'll often drop a comment with a link - or in a document a footnote. If the thing I'm linking to can be summarized nicely in a paragraph or less, I'll also put that beside the link because... it's just a link, not terribly helpful when the destination decides to reorganize their content and either delete what I've linked to or more likely just spitefully move it somewhere to break all the links to it.

    There are all kinds of writing / coding / commenting standards out there... I tend to think of those more as guidelines than actual rules, particularly when they may jeopardize future me's understanding of what I'm writing, not to mention the poor sod who may try to pick up the pieces when I'm unavailable.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday January 31, @12:41AM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 31, @12:41AM (#1342464) Journal
    Depends. If I'm in an activity where honoring copyright is a thing, it is - writing code or songs, for example. For example, I shouldn't get a pass for verbatim copying of your code or artistic works without legally following whatever contract that code or art is released to me under. If I'm in a career where citation is really important - like academic research, then I need to cite. If I'm building a shed for personal use using some blueprints I got out of a book or website, then no it isn't. If I quote from a modern movie or book for internet points, it isn't.

    There's a hubbub in academia right now about shifty right-wingers searching for plagiarism (and similar misdeeds) in order to shame/embarrass/remove academic targets. It already caused a Harvard president to resign. It'll be interesting to see if this effort catches a bunch of targets (I gather the wife of the rich guy funding one of these efforts got caught as well) . My take is that there's some fields where this sort of skullduggery is probably incredibly widespread. OTOH, while I think a house-cleaning of plagiarizing academics would be useful, I doubt it'll have the effect that said right-wingers want.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday January 31, @03:31AM (1 child)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday January 31, @03:31AM (#1342471) Journal

      You might find interesting a facet of chess problem composition. Evidently, the space is small enough that inadvertent recreation of chess problems happens quite often. So often, there's a term for it: anticipation. First decent chess problem I made, I learned had been "anticipated". By 150 years.