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Is there any way to keep links from the closed sites, so they can redirect to the migrated questions?

See here for the migration of the recently-closed sites.

The problem is with links on external sites, so not to have them pointing to a dead site.

When it comes to theoreticalphysics.SE, we used a script providing trackbacks to arXiv (a repository of scientific preprints) whenever we quoted an article there, see http://meta.theoreticalphysics.stackexchange.com/questions/227/arxiv-trackbacks-working. We have sent 478 links and it will be embarrassing if there are all dead.

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I know that eventually we will all be dead, but it does not mean that the links should share our fate. –  Piotr Migdal Apr 26 '12 at 9:02
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Agree. We all hate link rot--so I say the domain should be kept with a bare-bones migration system. –  Manishearth Apr 26 '12 at 9:13
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Given that the database already contains a record of which questions have been migrated where, I don't believe it should be technically difficult to include a feature where links to migrated questions on closed sites would e.g. automatically redirect to the migration target. It's just a simple matter of programming. And, hey, the SE devs even have almost a whole week to implement it! :-) –  Ilmari Karonen Apr 26 '12 at 15:27
    
I wouldn't bet on it happening, SE team seems to think dead links are a good thing given their lack of comments on the subject. (only Jeff seemed to say anything about closed sites/questions and links, and now he's gone) –  Jonathan. Apr 29 '12 at 13:36
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@ninefingers thanks for the bounty!!! –  Manishearth Apr 30 '12 at 3:27
    
@Ninefinger: Many thanks! –  Piotr Migdal Apr 30 '12 at 7:38
    
@Ninefinger You may want to award the bounty now.. –  Manishearth May 4 '12 at 3:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted
+500

On the topic of ArXiv specifically - we (well, Geoff Dalgas, specifically) have already contacted the people at ArXiv about this, and gotten a positive response. We will be working together with them to handle all of the link fixes there.

Additionally, we'll be temporarily supporting redirects for all posts that end up migrated to another site (in other words, those where there isn't a dead end). These redirects will be up for 6 months. After 6 months, we'll take a look at the traffic, see if there's a ton of redirecting happening (in which case we'd need to keep them alive), or if they've basically gone stale (in which case support is no longer needed).

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What is the cost of providing such support for dead links? Isn't the primary cost the effort it takes to set them up, rather than what it takes to maintain them? –  InquilineKea May 4 '12 at 0:13

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