In a recent (now deleted) question, I proposed having a little reminder of some sort to archive links that are put in questions and answers, as they can die and much of the time there is no archive of them. TheWanderer proposed in the comments having the servers automatically archive links for us, and I am writing this to expand on the idea.
While posts shouldn't depend completely on having them still work, links can be really important. If part of an article is quoted in a post, it could be useful to read the rest for more information on a subject. If we archived them, this would be really nice. Here's how exactly I'd want this to work:
If you post a question or answer with a link in it that doesn't go to a page on
stackoverflow.com, or any of their subdomains, the link would be opened in the Wayback Machine or archive.is. Then it would go through these checks:
- If there were no archives of the link, it would wait a few hours and then save the link if the post were still open in order to not waste resources saving links from spam, troll, and off-topic posts.
- If there were any archives but the most recent were older than a certain amount of time, it would be saved (to decrease the amount of unnecessary saving of very similar versions of pages in the Internet Archive).
- If a new link were added to a post that fit the other criteria, it would be saved.