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Update

Per Rand al'Thor♦'s answer below, the site manager for Chakoteya.net is apparently unwilling or unable to make changes at their end to resolve this problem.

That being the case, our options are now limited to trying to convince an SE Programmer to make the changes en-masse or making the changes ourselves.


Sometime over the past few days, Chakoteya.net appear have changed the URLs of their episode transcripts, enforcing case and rendering the links broken.

http://www.chakoteya.net/nextgen/132.htm = No longer working
http://www.chakoteya.net/NextGen/132.htm = Working.

http://www.chakoteya.net/ds9/447.htm = No longer working
http://www.chakoteya.net/DS9/447.htm = Working

http://www.chakoteya.net/doctorwho/32-12.htm = No Longer working
http://www.chakoteya.net/DoctorWho/32-12.htm = Working

http://www.chakoteya.net/voyager/718.htm = No Longer working
http://www.chakoteya.net/Voyager/718.htm = Working

http://www.chakoteya.net/startrek/16.htm = No Longer working
http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/16.htm = Working


A quick search indicates that some 445+ answers possibly now have broken or invalid links, although the actual number is probably lower given that several will have already been fixed or will link to sources that are unaffected.

Obviously we could go through and just change all of those that are affected but this would engulf the front page. Does anyone have any better ideas?

  • 1
    mod 5 per day or 100 day... {play trumpet whomp whomp} – Skooba Jul 2 '16 at 14:53
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    @Skooba - These aren't low value tag edits though, they're high value link edits. – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 14:54
  • I know, I am agreeing with you. Should have made more clear. Just found a bit of irony in it. – Skooba Jul 2 '16 at 14:57
  • @Skooba - I'm just having a look now. It looks like more than half of them are mine so I can't claim to be unbiased in this – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 14:58
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    "Sometime over the past few days" - actually I think this has been the case for months, but originally I thought the problem was that the site was simply down, and didn't think to try changing the capitalisation in the URL. – Rand al'Thor Jul 2 '16 at 15:09
  • @Randal'Thor - The other issue is that Chakoteya just isn't that reliable. It's frequently down. – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 15:11
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    @Valorum hey - when it's a free service by a volunteer - it's a little hard to be that upset about it. Maybe if people decided to make some donations they'd be able to use better hosting :) – Jon Clements Jul 2 '16 at 19:15
  • @JonClements - I can't decide whether the fact that I've sent (tens of) thousands of people to the site counts as "doing my part" to help them. – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 19:27
  • @Valorum there is that :) Bit of a shame they state on the homepage they're adamant against doing ads as I'm sure they could have a little bit of a revenue stream if they did... – Jon Clements Jul 2 '16 at 19:31
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    @JonClements - You aren't allowed to sell ad space if you host Star Trek stuff. Paramount (and their million lawyers) frown very heavily upon that. – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 19:48
  • @Valorum I was pondering if that were the case... – Jon Clements Jul 2 '16 at 19:50
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    I've put this on the developer's schedule for next week. Whoever is the lucky winner of the ticket should be able to make the change in the database without bumping any posts. That said, it certainly doesn't hurt to make corrective edits if you happen to come across broken links. – Jon Ericson Jul 7 '16 at 0:03
  • And this is why your answers should not rely on third-party resources. – Lightness Races with Monica Jul 15 '16 at 11:57
  • @lightnessracesinorbit - Well, it's certainly a good reason that link-only answers should get closed – Valorum Jul 15 '16 at 12:41
11

I have done a mass update to posts, post-history and comments for the following chakoteya urls:

  • doctorwho → DoctorWho
  • startrek → StarTrek
  • nextgen → NextGen
  • ds9 → DS9
  • voyager → Voyager
  • enterprise → Enterprise

If any others are affected, let me know by a comment here; I'll keep the script handy...

(I haven't run the script on "meta", as it would make this post very confusing!)

  • Cheers. Much obliged :-) – Valorum Jul 20 '16 at 8:02
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    fun observation; "movies" is still /movies/, not /Movies/ - gotta love consistency – Marc Gravell Jul 20 '16 at 8:03
8

Thanks for raising this problem.

After seeing Jon Clements's comment, I've just sent an email to the Chakoteya site administrator to ask them whether they could possibly fix the URLs so that e.g. http://www.chakoteya.net/doctorwho/30-15.htm redirects to http://www.chakoteya.net/DoctorWho/30-15.htm. That would be by far the simplest fix from our point of view - no editing needed here - and I'm hoping it'll also be not too hard for them to sort out this redirect.

UPDATE: I received a reply from the Chakoteya webmaster, who says the website itself hasn't changed (the folders for Doctor Who, DS9, etc. always had capitalised names, the only entirely lowercase folder being movies) and therefore they're not going to make any changes to the site, since they haven't done anything to create our situation.

  • SE was able to fix up all links from meta.so -> meta.se; is this a big enough problem for that to be an option? – KutuluMike Jul 2 '16 at 16:28
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    @KutuluMike - It seems to be into the hundreds (plural). If we can avoid rectifying them by hand then we should certainly consider it. – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 17:51
  • @Randal'Thor - How odd. The newer links are definitely different from the older ones. – Valorum Jul 3 '16 at 13:16
  • Ho hum. Plan B is that we now need to change these links over. Would you mind coordinating that? I'm happy to do the majority of the legwork since the majority of the required edits appear be on my answers, but it's a non-trivial amount of work and I'd appreciate not being shouted at for spamming. – Valorum Jul 3 '16 at 13:16
  • @Randal'Thor : Is it impossible to have SE devs write a script that simply makes the appropriate substitutions across the SFF:SE SQL database? – Praxis Jul 3 '16 at 17:01
  • @Valorum : See above to Rand. – Praxis Jul 3 '16 at 17:01
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    @Praxis It's theoretically possible, but I imagine it'll be quite hard to talk them into doing it, since they must have lots of other stuff on their to-do lists which is of network-wide importance. Also, 'messing up the front page' is a pretty inconceivable problem to SO-based people. I can ask if you want, but don't hold out too much hope. – Rand al'Thor Jul 3 '16 at 17:05
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    @Randal'Thor : Not only theoretically possible, it's absolutely possible and very simple. – Praxis Jul 3 '16 at 17:08
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    @Randal'Thor : The posts are database entries. Making the substitution across the database would not affect front pages whatsoever. Editing at the database-level would not push posts to the top. – Praxis Jul 3 '16 at 17:09
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    @praxis - When we've asked for these sorts of changes in the past, the answer has been no. – Valorum Jul 3 '16 at 17:27
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    This has nothing to do with browsers, and everything to do with the web server. He may have not actively changed settings, but the proper fix is to update his server settings. – phantom42 Jul 6 '16 at 20:16
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    Someone should send them another email. This is generally a single line or single checkbox fix, and it's broken every link and bookmark and feed to their site. It's not just us that's affected. He should at least be encouraged to contact web host support, if he's unsure, to see why his server is suddenly enforcing URL case sensitivity. – user31178 Jul 7 '16 at 4:22
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    @CreationEdge already been done and assistance in that regard has been effectively rejected. And they're a "she" not a "he" :) – Jon Clements Jul 7 '16 at 9:21
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    @JonClements And usually I say "they" or "she" and when I read it I was too lazy to fix it because text editing on mobile is dumb. So, of course this is the time that pronouns come and get me. Thanks, though! – user31178 Jul 7 '16 at 12:32
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    I'd guess they switched from a windows server (typically case-insensitive) to a linux server (typcially case-sensitive). – CodesInChaos Jul 9 '16 at 13:01

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