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I came to see a question on Stack Overflow two days ago that had a link to a tutorial on , but the link that the question as well as an answer used, are no longer available, but are dead. I edited the link on the question as well as the answer, updated it to the newer one. But the edits weren't applied, neither to the question, nor the answer.

Are we not allowed to edit links contained in the question or answer, even if the links are no more available and I have the new link.

I had mentioned in the details, the old link is no longer available, here is the newer one.

What if someone close to solving the problem just misses something important just due to the dead links?

Are we not allowed to edit the links?

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Could you link to the question? –  AsheeshR Jul 30 '13 at 9:58
    
will try to @AsheeshR Let me search. –  Optimus Prime Jul 30 '13 at 9:59
    
Why the bold, and `code` for something that is not code? –  Arjan Jul 30 '13 at 10:02
    
Added links @OptimusPrime. –  AsheeshR Jul 30 '13 at 10:02
    
Did you read the rejection reasons? –  hims056 Jul 30 '13 at 10:03
    
@OptimusPrime Your profile page, under the activity tab has a link to much of your activity on the site. It can be very helpful for looking at your suggested edits and what edits were rejected, and why. –  psubsee2003 Jul 30 '13 at 10:08
    
@psubsee2003 Thanks. I never wnet to see why the edits were rejected, I did not even know that we could see that. –  Optimus Prime Jul 30 '13 at 10:11

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, you are encouraged to edit posts to fix broken links whenever you are able to do so.

So aside from that, I don't really know what this question is about. I can guess that you're talking about these two edits that you recently suggested and had rejected.

But like the reviewers' rejection reasons indicate, your updated link was also invalid (returns a 404). So no, you're not supposed to edit posts to replace broken links with broken links. If you can't fix a broken link, you should:

  • leave a comment informing the poster and hope that they know of an alternative location for the resource, or
  • edit the answer to remove the link and clean up the post so that its absence is not noticeable.

Oh yeah, and this is why posts that contain only links are not acceptable, because the links inevitably go dead and render the content useless to anyone else in the future. If you run across such a post, whether question or answer, that has a dead link, the original poster can't be reached for comment, and the post is useless without the link, you should flag it for deletion by a moderator.

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Isn't fixing just one link in a post "too minor"? –  AsheeshR Jul 30 '13 at 10:04
    
oh right. I could not see why was edits rejected actually its not .php at the end, but .html. I would edit the links now. See the new link works. –  Optimus Prime Jul 30 '13 at 10:04
3  
@AsheeshR Not necessarily, no. If the link is important to the post, and it's dead, then fixing the link counts as a significant improvement over the original. But yeah, I mean, I would like to see editors fix other problems also while they're "in there". –  Cody Gray Jul 30 '13 at 10:05
    
No, neither of these links work either: capricasoftware.co.uk/vlcj/tutorial1.html, capricasoftware.co.uk/vlcj/tutorial1.htm –  Cody Gray Jul 30 '13 at 10:06
    
    
@AsheeshR IMO "too minor" does not necessarily mean small. A good edit can be big or small. The key is editing everything. If the edit fixes all problems in the post, then it is substantial. –  psubsee2003 Jul 30 '13 at 10:06
    
@AsheeshR IMO, the question are answer are not only to help the OP, but also those who come to stackoverflow later with their problem, would they surely get the same help if links are broken and links are good? –  Optimus Prime Jul 30 '13 at 10:09
    
Links fixed now, with a couple of other minor edits thrown in for fun. Plus I upvoted that answer, even though I don't know anything about the subject, because it is very good and somehow has been missed by the community. –  Cody Gray Jul 30 '13 at 10:10
    
Any post should not be so dependent on links to convey information such that it doesn't make sense without them. The fact that changing the link in a post qualifies as a substantial edit for it shows that there are problems in it, IMO. –  AsheeshR Jul 30 '13 at 10:18
    
@AsheeshR Replacing a broken link in a post by a working one is sufficient to count as substantial. Fixing other issues is appreciated but not required. The point of rejecting “too minor” edits is to teach editors to avoid wasting time on one inconsequential spelling error or the like. The only time fixing a broken link would count as too minor is if the post should be deleted instead (e.g. because it consists of only the link) — there's no point in wasting any effort on a post that's to be deleted. –  Gilles Jul 31 '13 at 12:13

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