Cracking up

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I have just cleaned out our links database, which I do once a year. About 10% of the links were broken, similar to last year. Unless ESL is particularly bad for this, it doesn't bode well for the web. So much of the web is dependent on links, yet such a high breakage rate means that after a few years much of it will be unreadable, and particularly in areas like blogs where people tend to respond to things they have seen on the web and post their thoughts and the link.

Danny Hillis coined the term digital dark age to describe the losses that would occur through our using digital formats but not ensuring that they were permanently stored and accessible, so that generations to come would be able to find out very little information about us as the programs, operating systems, storage mediums, etc, were all out of date or broken. Deleting 10% of links every year suggests to me that in a matter of years the internet will resemble a Swiss cheese. Looking at links databases that are not cleaned is frustrating as endless parked pages and error or page-not-found messages come up.

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