Monday, 5 November 2012

sniffing out difficult-to-find broken links

I thought it might be good to document one of the more obscure features of Scrutiny.

The Microsoft Content Management System (or at least the system that I've had the misfortune to be on the editorial end of) had an odd way of dealing with broken links.

If it detected a bad link when generating the page, it would replace the expected 'href' within the link with 'zref'. <a zref = ""></a>

This would prevent the user from experiencing a broken page, but they had a link that they could click with nothing happening, and made it impossible to track down broken links.

I don't know whether this thinking is a part of MCMS or part of the system that our providers had built on top of it (and may still be providing to others).

But Scrutiny will find and flag such links.

Do you use a system that makes broken links hard to find?