Take 5 minutes to help web developers and earn Stack Overflow rep

Update 2014-02-28: Gareth helped me make this dynamic spreadsheet that auto-updates from Google Analytics every night.

tl;dr - go thru Today's stackoverflow MDN links to fix and fix them in the StackOverflow answers.

Stack Overflow Rep

Helping developers is my professional and personal passion (See Exhibits A, B, C, and D). MDN and Stack Overflow are both great resources for web developers. But following a Stack Overflow answer link to a 404 page is frustrating and dis-heartening.

xkcd: Wisdom of the AncientsI added GA event tracking for 404's on MDN. I originally wanted to help writers decide which wiki pages to prioritize, based on how many times an MDN reader clicks an internal link that results in a 404. But when you record metrics and analyze them, you find the unknown unknowns, and "it’s the unknown unknowns that really matter, because that’s where the magic comes from."

So, I learned that the vast majority of 404's on MDN are from external links. (Duh!) And the biggest single source of those are old Stack Overflow links. Luckily, Stack Overflow allows us to edit those answers to update the links to MDN. There's even a special "Excavator" badge for editing a post that's been inactive for 6 months.

So, if you've got a few minutes, you could help clean some of these links up:

  1. Look thru the Google Spreadsheet; there's a long tail of links to fix
  2. Use our excellent new MDN search system to find the right doc for the link
  3. Edit the answer and earn +2 rep!

Note: Sometimes we may want to create REDIRECTs for the 404 pages to help other visitors, so if you fix some links, please mention it to us on this thread.

Take 5 minutes to help web developers and earn Stack Overflow rep / groovecoder by groovecoder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA
  1. Did we change something in MDN such that we caused old links to not work, or is this just the result of documentation being shuffled around? Either way it feels like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by not keeping old links working by default.

    • We do move content around. When we move pages, we leave behind re-directs. But many of these old links are from our MindTouch and/or MediaWiki days when that feature was less reliable.

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Take 5 minutes to help web developers and earn Stack Overflow rep / groovecoder by groovecoder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA