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How to fix broken or non-working links?

Steven Thornberry

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Steven Thornberry

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Should the Forums allow links from sources that will dry up and ruin the Threads?
Well, I’m not sure how we can altogether prevent such links. Remember, too, that the thread you linked to is many years old.
 

Tom McIntyre

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We try to prevent that now by several means, but it is not possible to fully enforce it. If someone really insists on serving an image from somewhere else, we could refuse to post the information but we do not have that policy.
 

Jim Haney

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Steven,

A rule would have to put in place for not allowing external links.

Our Message Board (Forums) are in a disgraceful condition because of links people have posted and gone on to other servers, lost their files, etc.

Every day I try to look at a thread and run into this. I agree that they are mostly older threads, however if the Forums want to remain a Horological source for knowledge we can not countiune like this because most of the facts are missing.

Edit, I was typing when Tom posted........
 

Tom McIntyre

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We currently host all files that are uploaded from members workstations. We also proxy all internet images unless access is refulsed.

We starting doing that about 5years ago. The concept did not really exist 15 years ago and I am pretty sure there are relatively few such image links less that 5 years old.

Since we are now in our 20th year and I expect to be monitoring this site for another 40 years, I am pretty sure it will be valuable in the 2060 decade. :)

It is important that we do this site preservation because the Welcome to the American Watch Company web does not capture database references to images, so we cannot depend on that major resource to protect us. Wayback Machine
 
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Jim Haney

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Tom,
Sorry I really don't understand your answer. When I click on the Welcome to the American Watch Company web it shows up on the Wayback Machine as host and some of the blue links on the left don't work.

My suggestion was very Plain & simple. that we do not allow links as a source of information, rather we have the page or picture download to our site so it can not be lost if their host site disappears.
 

Tom McIntyre

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I will try to make it plainer.

We already do what you are asking us to do. It is not really possible to have 100% compliance.

Sites are generally archived by te Internet Archive, which I support with regular donations, but it cannot address this problem for us.

If better tools become available, we will use them, but we will always have some users who will not share if they think we have taken control of their property.

Some sites do not allow their images to be used on other sites so those references will always be an issue.

We are interested in providing a level of curatorial support for our users. For example if a remote image is used, our helpers may be able to find a substitute image from another source that will work (nearly) as well for example or possibly even better which is available to be stored locally.
 

Dave Coatsworth

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Sometimes a link is a necessary evil. If someone wants to reference copyrighted photos or text, a link is a legal way of doing that. Copying the image or text and uploading it with your post is not.
 

Jim Haney

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Dave,
Yes, I agree that historical items that are archived on National Or Museum sites can be linked. Most likely they will be around forever, however the problem is that so many links were done from individuals computers and they are gone so we have a huge gap in our threads with important missing information.

I recall Greg F had alot of important info lost because AOL pulled the plug on their storage system and he lost most of it.

Tom,
What system do we have to prevent individuals links to their pictures or computers from being posted?

Also the new PDF attachments of Having to upload to your computer a file to look at it is not in the best interest of the Forums
 

John Matthews

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Also the new PDF attachments of Having to upload to your computer a file to look at it is not in the best interest of the Forums
Jim - this should not be a problem. Many of the web browsers have extensions that open the pdf in a new tab so that you can read it directly in the browser, e.g. for Chrome

1632411841139.png

works seamlessly.

John
 

Tom McIntyre

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We have software that proxies all external references to files under our control. That is part of the basic software.

The policy of capturing them as attachments is an addon that we have been using since shortly before we switched to XenForo.

If you right click on an online image and select copy, you may paste the image into a post where it will appear full size and also generate an attachment. You may then delete the image and insert the attachment. That seems to be what a lot of people are doing.

When people forget to delete the full size images, I usually delete them for them if they are new to the site.
 

shutterbug

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I'm not sure I'm understanding the difference between that and what Dave said in post #10.
 

KurtinSA

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John Matthews

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PS...is there a way to interpret the numbers at the end of the URL? Are they in some sense related to age of the thread? Maybe it's more complicated than that, having to include which sub forum it's in and then its age
Kurt as Jim has said the last number is the post id. and each post has a unique number. So your post (#15 on this thread) has the post id of 1497086 and Jim's 1497088.

The link you are referring to -

https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/help-dont-want-s-haller-to-explode.36879/post-263287

is a link to post 263287 and that is all that you need to go to a specific post using this form

https://mb.nawcc.org/posts/263287

Whenever I copy links to use in documents and spreadsheets I always use this reduced form. I do this to save space and storage - I have 0000s saved. It is beyond my simple mind why the link addresses are not in this simple form!

The link takes you to post '5 in the thread ...

1634997282289.png

which I assume this is the one you need to work.

It translates to

.

http://www6.nawcc-mb.com is no longer accessible.

Is this perhaps the link you were looking for 'german time bomb'


If it is it sort of proves my point :) keep it simple!

John
 

KurtinSA

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I guess I'm getting confused. The link within post 5 that I linked to is the one I'm interested in...where did it use to go? Could that link be corrected? Maybe we'll never know. I ask because post 5 talks about a page 4 that would be helpful to have regarding working on the German Time Bomb clocks.

Kurt
 

John Matthews

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Kurt

Is this perhaps the link you were looking for 'german time bomb'

https://mb.nawcc.org/posts/35131
If it is it sort of proves my point :) keep it simple!
My understanding, recollection, is that prior to the 'upgrade' the number of posts per page was smaller and I believe the link I provided is probably to the thread as it existed prior to the upgrade, but now it is displayed on 2 rather than 4 pages.

John
 

KurtinSA

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OK, I'm with you now...looks like in my first post above I didn't get the URLs correct. If we could surmise that your new link is indeed the same as what was referenced in the "4 page" thread, should post 5 be edited to include this new link?

Kurt
 

Tom McIntyre

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Kurt



My understanding, recollection, is that prior to the 'upgrade' the number of posts per page was smaller and I believe the link I provided is probably to the thread as it existed prior to the upgrade, but now it is displayed on 2 rather than 4 pages.

John
The strange post reference was generated by a version of the software in use about 12 years ago. Those older versions have no relationship to the current software's use of similar concepts. We have used "importer" software as we have moved from one platform to another to preserve the heritage of the site.

If you want to manipulate the threads and posts for your own referencing it might be useful to think of "names" which are to simplify references for humans and "identifiers" that are used by the software to uniquely and permanently idenfity posts in the database. Posts can be moved from one forum to another and even from one thread to another when the need arises.

The bbCodes POST and THREAD can be used in messages to reference the posts and threads that have those identifiers. [THREAD=182528]This thread[/THREAD] -- This thread. The background of this issue was also discussed earlier in this thread [POST=1490273]How it all works[/POST] -- How it all works.

-- By the way, the number of posts per page in a thread and the number of threads per page in a forum are user options that may be changed in your preferences. The options are messages per page and threads per page. I have both of mine set to 500 because I find pages annoying with my touch screen displays.
 
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John Matthews

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Those older versions have no relationship to the current software's use of similar concepts
What has remained constant is the post id - that's the reason I was able to determine the correct link. I never use threads, I always use posts and simple link to the first post if I want to link to the beginning of the thread.

John
 

KurtinSA

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Thanks for the update. I have been collecting a lot of threads on the GTB clock and was wondering if the number at the end of the URL gives me some indication as to where it fits in a time line. I have one thread where the number is "5179" (thread started 10/2004) and another thread with "183140" (thread started 10/2021). So, thinking that an initial order can be done using those numbers.

Kurt
 

Tom McIntyre

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The post id is consistent. The position of the post in the thread is not. Threads can be merged or split and can even have the order of the posts changed if that is needed in some special case.

The most common example is merging two similar threads where a newcomer has started a new thread when they meant to reply instead.

When a thread has gone off topic and the new post has value, the posts may be split into two threads.
 

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