What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

I recently noticed that the documentation pages for MATLAB on the MathWorks site have been updated to a new format. Unfortunately, this also involves a new format for many of the page URLs, breaking a substantial number of links within MATLAB posts. For example, here's one of my posts that recently needed some TLC. Specifically, one of the old links to documentation on subfunctions:

http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/matlab_prog/f4-70666.html

no longer works (it just defaults to the documentation intro page). I had to link here instead:

http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/matlab_prog/local-functions.html

This repair was also complicated by a slight change in terminology ("subfunctions" are now called "local functions"). You can see that the jumble of letters and numbers on the end of the old link have been replaced with something that is actually descriptive of the content now.

Fixing the problem...

In general, these fixes may not be easy for potential editors. It may require that they be knowledgeable of MATLAB so that they can deduce what the desired target link is, and even then it may not be clear from the context of the post what the link was supposed to be. The best solution may be to just find posts with these bad links and leave a comment for the owner so that they can fix it themselves.

For anyone interested in helping, here are a few search queries to help find posts that may need attention. The offending URLs contain terms of the form "matlab_prog" and "matlab_oop", among some others. These queries will find these:

However, these queries can also give many false positives since they will match the newer corrected links as well. These sorts of queries may be more specific to the older dead-end links:

Some easier edits...

Additionally, I had previously been fixing some even older link formats that, while they usually redirected correctly, would occasionally fail or add garbage to the link URL. For example, an old link to the function FLIPDIM might look like this:

http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/techdoc/ref/flipdim.html

when it should be this now (what it should redirect to):

http://www.mathworks.com/help/techdoc/ref/flipdim.html

In other words, just remove the "access/helpdesk/" part. It's often a trivial edit, so I usually did it for posts I was already editing for other reasons anyway. If you want to find these to fix them, here's the search query I used.

share|improve this question
10  
Yikes... probably why link-only answers are discouraged so this doesn't happen and invalidate an answer. –  psubsee2003 Sep 28 '12 at 15:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .