Cool URIs Don’t Change Apparently

The organisation behind a number of the standards that web development relies on in the present were forged through the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C. Over the years they’ve published countless documents on their web site outlining in great detail the various standards, such as what HTML tags are allowed to be nested within a <table> element in XHTML 1.0 Strict.

At some point they published a great document stating that cool URI’s don’t change. The general trust of the document, is that once a document is published on the internet – that URI should be permanently available as you never know who might link to it or consume it. As every user of the internet can attest to, there is nothing more frustrating than following a link from one web site to another and being greeted with the infamous 404 Page Not Found error.

While randomly clicking some links on my blog today, I noticed that I had two links in the footer to the HTML and CSS validation services. I haven’t clicked on those links for a long time, but for some reason today I did and was greeted with a 404 error. It would appear that over the course of time, W3 have very subtly updated the URI that the CSS validation service exists at:

  • Old: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/referer
  • New: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/check/referer

I figure maybe someone at W3C will see this pop up and see that one of their older, heavily referenced URI’s no longer works properly and they’ll put in the appropriate redirect.