Links and Page URIs that Resist Link Rot

The essential ideas of using permalinks to avoid link rot have been around much longer than since the term permalink came into common use. The term permalink appears to have originated around the year 2000, and was widely used only after that. Tim Berners-Lee wrote an article about the essential ideas in 1998, and one suspects that he thought about this much earlier.

A long time has gone by since then. This is partly why it drives me crazy when popular software generates web pages that appear to be most naturally referred to with URIs that contain suffixes like .html, .php, and .cgi. I wish that people would stop making their software work this way.

Did you know, though, that sometimes you don’t have to suffer with including suffixes in your own links, even when you want to link to a page has one of these suffixes? With some web server configurations, you can omit the suffix in the URI, and the web server that resolves the target URI will figure it out. For example, Berners-Lee’s article resides at but when creating your own link to this page, you can omit the .html suffix, and use the following URI! For details, see Berners-Lee’s article.