Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

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LadyGeek
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Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:14 pm

Wiki editors create articles using the latest information available. Over time, links to websites and reference sources change and no longer work. This is not helpful, as the information is needed by our readers.

It's nearly impossible for the editors to keep every page up-to-date. Research is needed to find the appropriate replacement.

To help, the developers of the wiki software have created a "maintenance" script which finds broken links across the entire wiki. Instead of randomly running across a broken link, a wiki editor can simply look at the list and select articles of interest.

Due to lack of our editors' available time, I'd like to ask our members (and lurkers) to help keep the wiki's links up-to-date.

The list is in this page: Bogleheads:External link maintenance

All that's needed is to scroll down to an article that looks interesting to you, find the broken link in the page, then locate a suitable replacement. Once you find a replacement, post the new link here and an editor will update the page.

For example:
http://www.capitaloneventure.com/ (archive)

In Credit cards on 2017-11-10 03:44:34, 404
In Credit cards on 2017-11-19 18:23:41, 404
Go to Credit cards and look for the link. (View source to find it easily.) The link is the second entry in the table under "Everything else". What should the replacement link be? Is this credit card still available? If not, should it be removed from the table?

All of this takes time - which is in short supply. For this reason, we'd appreciate any assistance provided by the members and the lurkers (viewing the forum but not logged in).
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Forum members are encouraged to post corrections here or in this Bogleheads® forum topic: Suggestions for the Wiki

Readers without a forum membership are welcome to post corrections in the Help improve this page feedback form, located at the bottom of every wiki page (not visible in mobile view). No logins are required. Answer Yes or No, then enter your suggestion in the box provided.
===========

To the software crowd:

This is a python script bot which uses the MediaWiki API. If you are feeling adventurous, feel free to replicate the list on your own. The script is read-only, no account required (make one up on your own - it will work). If anyone has a question, just ask. I ran the script on my home PC in Linux.
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CollegePrudens
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by CollegePrudens » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:18 pm

Hi LadyGeek

Thank you for initiating this effort. I can take a look at the links in the "US" section. This section is at the bottom of Bogleheads:External link maintenance page so I am hoping that I won't clash with anybody else who has been looking at this.
LadyGeek wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:14 pm
<SNIP>

The list is in this page: Bogleheads:External link maintenance
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by Tyler Aspect » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:04 pm

In some cases old links disappear from the web due to purging of old data by commercial entities or individual contributors. Very hard to find replacements.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by CollegePrudens » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:49 pm

Tyler Aspect wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:04 pm
In some cases old links disappear from the web due to purging of old data by commercial entities or individual contributors. Very hard to find replacements.
For sure!

All - I worked through the 28 links in the US section of Bogleheads:External link maintenance and created a spreadsheet with a disposition for each deadlink, and, where available, a replacement link. This spread sheet is here .

LadyGeek - there are several deadlinks for which I could not find a suitable replacement (marked as unavailable in the spreadsheet). For these, the wiki text will likely need to be updated to remove the link altogether.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:02 pm

CollegePrudens wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:49 pm
For these, the wiki text will likely need to be updated to remove the link altogether.
It is my understanding that you can also use the wiki's Dead link template to mark links that suffer from link rot.
Wikipedia on link rot wrote:A dead, unarchived source URL may still be useful. Such a link indicates that information was (probably) verifiable in the past, and the link might provide another user with greater resources or expertise with enough information to find the reference. It could also return from the dead. With a dead link, it is possible to determine if it has been cited elsewhere, or to contact the person originally responsible for the source.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by CollegePrudens » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:35 pm

Interesting viewpoint!

We could adopt this philosophy (marking deadlinks with link rot). Perhaps we could go further and create a standardized disposition nomenclature to deal with deadlinks. At their scale, wikipedia likely has this figured out already. And we could adopt their philosophy (although I am unfamiliar with the inner workings of wikipedia maintenance).
Peculiar_Investor wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:02 pm
It is my understanding that you can also use the wiki's Dead link template to mark links that suffer from link rot.
Wikipedia on link rot wrote:A dead, unarchived source URL may still be useful. Such a link indicates that information was (probably) verifiable in the past, and the link might provide another user with greater resources or expertise with enough information to find the reference. It could also return from the dead. With a dead link, it is possible to determine if it has been cited elsewhere, or to contact the person originally responsible for the source.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:31 pm

^^^ Wikipedia has indeed figured this out. It's buried in: Wikipedia:Link rot ("Keeping dead links").

Categories are the lifeblood of a wiki. Once a topic is properly categorized, you can find it.

We have a few pages which already use the Dead link template, but the category did not exist.

I fixed it: Category:All articles with dead external links

There's been some editor activity to fix a few broken links. Readers wishing to know the editor(s) doing this task can check the "View history" tab in the top-right corner of every wiki page. (This is how Wikipedia works, it's the same software.)

===================
To the readers: What you are seeing is the underlying "day in the life" of a wiki editor. Even if you don't know much about investing, there's quite a lot to do. If you'd like to give it a try, please post a request in the Join the Wiki! thread, or PM myself or Barry Barnitz. Any and all help is appreciated.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by celia » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:49 pm

OK, I think we should pause for a minute. Last night I edited the pages referencing Rick Ferri and all the references to his personal website (RickFerri.com) which no longer exists since he retired. (Some links now go to the website of the company he founded, PortfolioSolutions.com, but not all.)

It just occurred to me that the WayBack Machine probably captured his website. So I went to look, just now. Yes, they archived it over 200 times. I found a page there "about Rick Ferri" for one of the broken links I deleted. So my question is, is there a way to link to the WayBack Machine archives and is that appropriate to do?

One of the problems doing that, that I foresee, is that a page we now fix will one day no longer exist but probably be archived. So the archived page we edit now could link to other archived pages. This sounds like it could lead to keeping all wiki pages "alive" although they no longer apply and could confuse people in 100 years. :D For example, when tax laws change and a certain tax credit is no longer in effect, we wouldn't want newbies to keep seeing the wiki page for it, but we might want "historic researchers" to be able to find it.

Am I over-thinking this?

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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:17 pm

To answer your question: "is there a way to link to the WayBack Machine archives and is that appropriate to do?"

Take another look at Bogleheads:External link maintenance.

For example:
http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify4.htm (archive)

In Disability insurance on 2017-11-10 03:44:46, 404
In Disability insuranceon 2017-11-19 18:23:42, 404
The Social Security website link no longer works. Immediately to the right is (archive). That's the Wayback Machine archive for this link - the bot has done your work for you. :happy

Is it appropriate to use these links? Yes, but...

You should double-check to see if the information has been superseded by something more recent. That's the danger you expressed in referencing a page that is knowingly out of date. If you can find more recent info, use it. If not, use the archive.

We know Rick Ferri won't be updating his blog, so it's very appropriate to use the Wayback Machine archives.

You can also see a summary of the Wayback Machine links in the wiki. At the top of the page, before the links start is a list:
3. Links to the web archive.
The wiki can search for external links, but it can't figure out if they work or not - hence this bot script.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by CollegePrudens » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:07 pm

CollegePrudens wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:49 pm
For sure!

All - I worked through the 28 links in the US section of Bogleheads:External link maintenance and created a spreadsheet with a disposition for each deadlink, and, where available, a replacement link. This spread sheet is here .

LadyGeek - there are several deadlinks for which I could not find a suitable replacement (marked as unavailable in the spreadsheet). For these, the wiki text will likely need to be updated to remove the link altogether.
FYI - I am working on the cleanup now using the spreadsheet linked to above. I am going to annotate Bogleheads:External link maintenance as I go along. I can clean up the annotations once I am done with the US section.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by CollegePrudens » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:25 pm

CollegePrudens wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:07 pm
FYI - I am working on the cleanup now using the spreadsheet linked to above. I am going to annotate Bogleheads:External link maintenance as I go along. I can clean up the annotations once I am done with the US section.
The cleanup of the "US" Section is now done. Please let me know if you see anything out of place.

I left a cleanup log in place on Bogleheads:External link maintenance as a reference. I can delete the annotations if anybody is annoyed by it.
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Re: Wiki Challenge! Help fix our out-of-date links

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:49 pm

I removed the section, as it's much easier to see what was done (and what remains) by removing links when they've been fixed.

If anyone wants to see what was removed, just check the "View history" tab. Here's the page before the section was removed: Revision as of 14:22, 28 December 2017

I'm working on this page as well, but in a top-down order. I've temporarily refocused my efforts to help update pages related to Wiki - Tax law changes, but will get back to this shortly.
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