Linking to a URL that w3 link checker has a problem with

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Hello. On an essay I posted about a WW-II book, I included a link to a resource about a particular airplane. The original link
I posted was copied and pasted directly from the relevant page of the
resource but I was told by the checker that this was wrong:

This URL ends with the number 5, no file extension or anything. So,
okay, I figured I'd go up one level and post
with explanatory text that what I am quoting is on page 5 of that

According to the w3 link checker, it is STILL wrong. They said it was
forbidden, a 403 error, something about a missing overview.html,
index.html or missing acl. So I searched for the resource and found a
link to it in a Wikipedia article that was a different URL (http:// )but redirected or
otherwise ended up at .

So I put THAT URL in, figuring if it's good enough for Wikipedia it
should work for my page too. Nope. Now I am told that it is a 404 not
found error, even though when I click on the link even in the w3 link
checker report it goes to that page. WHat's going on and is it
possible to link to this resource? WHy does the link checker report
this as a 404 when the page does exist and the link goes right to it?

Re: Linking to a URL that w3 link checker has a problem with

On 2010-05-30, TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

    There's nothing wrong with that.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

   There would appear to be a problem with the link checker.

   Chris F.A. Johnson                          <
   Shell Scripting Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (2005, Apress)
   Pro Bash Programming: Scripting the GNU/Linux Shell (2009, Apress)

Re: Linking to a URL that w3 link checker has a problem with

Quoted text here. Click to load it

The validator says:

"Error. Sorry, I am unable to validate this document because on
line 495 it contained one or more bytes that I cannot interpret
as utf-8 (in other words, the bytes found are not valid values in
the specified Character Encoding). Please check both the content
of the file and the character encoding indication. The error was:
utf8 "\xBB" does not map to Unicode."

And the link checker says:

"For best results, it is recommended to first ensure that the
documents checked use Valid (X)HTML Markup and CSS."


Re: Linking to a URL that w3 link checker has a problem with

TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You need to read the error message properly, and not jump to conclusions.  
It says:

| Error: 403 Forbidden

That means that the Web server at has responded with that
status code when the link checker has sent a request to determine if the
link was OK.  A quick test directing the link checker to a dummy site shows
that it may have been intentionally locked out because it looks like a

$ nc -lp 80
GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.1
TE: deflate,gzip;q=0.3
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: Keep-Alive, TE
Host: ****
User-Agent: W3C-checklink/4.6 [4.194] libwww-perl/5.823

$ HEAD -US /
User-Agent: lwp-request/5.810

HEAD --> 403 Forbidden
Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate
Connection: close
Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 12:43:37 GMT
Pragma: no-cache
Server: GWS-GRFE/0.50
Content-Length: 1372
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Expires: Fri, 01 Jan 1990 00:00:00 GMT
Client-Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 12:43:37 GMT
Client-Response-Num: 1
Set-Cookie: PREF=ID=1044e68a9692ab9f:TM=1275223417:LM=1275223417:S=J-hH-
AuQfq9r7fei; expires=Tue, 29-May-2012 12:43:37 GMT; path=/;
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block


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