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When someone links to a question, at some time in the future the question that has been linked to may get moved to a more appropriate site. I have come across this several times while finding answers on the SO sites. When this happens, all you get is the standard SO 404 error message (case in point, the link in the comment from this answer). It would be nice if the SO engine could recognize that the question once existed but has been moved and automatically redirect to the actual question.

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Definitely a good idea. –  Laurent Etiemble Dec 9 '09 at 15:10

2 Answers 2

If the question is moved, then there will be a stub with a link to the migrated question.

If the question is deleted (as is the case here) you'll get the 404 error, unless you're a 10k+ user.

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So when a post gets migrated, the engine would full-text-search it's entire database looking for that URL fragment (up to the title, which is unnecessary)?

I like the idea; it'd be nice to keep everything clean. I just can't imagine that this would be good for performance, though.

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It only needs another field in the database, with the URL of the new location. –  Brad Gilbert Dec 9 '09 at 16:26
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It took me a minute to figure out (I was in the midst of writing a comment that was essentially "WTF"), but I like your way of thinking for the solution. Don't fix the broken links, fix the link target and redirect automatically. I like that, simple, performant, good answer. –  John Rudy Dec 9 '09 at 17:19

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