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Links to various files starting with http://math.uga.edu/~pete and http://www.math.uga.edu/~pete no longer work, but they can be fixed by changing the start to http://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete. Here are a few examples of such edits done manually: one, two, three. (Other examples can be found using SEDE.1)

There are many such links on this this site (and also on MO).2

Proposal/request. It would be nice if the conversion described above could be done in bulk rather than by manual edits. I would suggest doing this both on Mathematics and MathOverflow.3

Of course, such mass replacement can only be done by Stack Exchange employees. Still, I would suggest waiting a few days - to see whether somebody notices some possible problems or has some comments. (Moreover, it would be good to hear from Pete L. Clark whether he has some feedback.) And only after that this post should be retagged as to get the attention of a community manager.

I will stress that it should be http://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete and not https. For example, http://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete/integral.pdf works - while the link https://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete/integral.pdf does not work. (I suppose that if the site switches to https at some point, it would be again possible to convert such links in bulk.)

Why not other links on the same domain? This replacement does not work universally. To include just one example, links which were originally under math.uga.edu/~pollack are now on the domain pollack.uga.edu - as you can see in several posts where such links have been edited, such as here. (There are other links to the domain math.uga.edu but this change should cover the majority of them.)


Potential problems.

Some links might still need attention or manual edits - hopefully there won't be that many. (We might try to collect the posts which will need attention after the mass replacement in a CW answer. In any case, fixing the exceptional cases manually should cause much less bumping than manually fixing all posts.)

  • Dead links. There might be some links which are broken both in the original location and after the modification.
  • Wayback Machine. If there is a link to a Wayback machine snapshot of http://math.uga.edu/~pete/example.pdf, changing the string in the body of the post to http://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete/example.pdf will break the link.
  • Both links. There are some posts which contain both the "old" link and the corrected link (for example here).
  • I will explicitly mention that I did not check links in the comments at all. Comments are intended to be ephemeral, so they are probably less important. Moreover, comments cannot be edited manually (by non-moderators) - so we would not be able to deal with the exceptional cases.
  • There are also posts which contain link just to http://math.uga.edu/~pete/ - this link redirects to http://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete/ (so it is not broken); but the replacement would simply be the redirect. (Specifically, it is this answer and this question - I did not find other such posts. Both of them are returned when searching for pete/" in SEDE - I am not sure whether there is some better way to find such posts.)

General questions.

This is the first time that I posted a suggestion on this meta which would influence multiple sites. (Although my feature request on MathOverflow Meta would influence several sites, too: Can (and should) Project Euclid links be replaced in bulk?) And I am also relatively new to suggestions for bulk replacements of URLs. So I would be glad if the Stack Exchange employees who handle this would mention some general guidelines which would be useful to follow for similar requests in the future.

Some specific questions I have in mind:

  • I suppose it is better to start a new question for a feature request like this rather than just updating a single post. (Such as this one: Domains with dead links.)
  • Are some additional steps needed for suggestions which concern more than one site - or, in some cases, networkwide replacement? (Since Mathematics and MathOverflow have rather similar topics, I would guess that - at least to some extent - similar websites are linked from these SE sites.)4
  • Does the search-and-replace tool modify only the URLs or does it change all occurrences of the given string in text - even if they are not links?
  • If such string occurs as a part of a link to Wayback Machine, will that be modified, too?5
  • Is it (at least sometimes) reasonable to consider links in the comments, too?
  • If the substitution is done networkwide, is it done on per-site-metas, too? (For example, replacing the strings in this question and the answers would break a lot of links. At the same time, one could imagine a broken link to some domain in a meta post which is just a regular link, not a link illustrating problems with some domain - as here.)

I will include a link to a post which contains some further information about the bulk replacement tool: Domains with dead links. In case you want to contact me in connection with this suggestion and you do not want to leave comments here, you can use my chatroom. Perhaps also Boulevard of Broken Links or MO editor's lounge are suitable for discussions related to fixing links - and I visit both of them relatively often.


1Here is a query that finds both posts and editors and the same query for MathOverflow. In case this query times out, here is a less complex query - which doesn't show the editor - for Mathematics and MathOverflow.

2You can find such posts by searching for url:"*http://math.uga.edu/~pete*" or for url:"*www.math.uga.edu/~pete*". Of course, any such search can be restricted to one site - such as Mathematics or MathOverflow. You could find some such post also using SEDE: MO1, MO2, MSE1, MSE2. The database sometimes contains %7Epete instead of ~pete - as you can see in this query.

3There are a few such links also on Academia Stack Exchange: search for http://math.uga.edu/~pete and search for www.math.uga.edu/~pete. I would guess that the number of posts on that site is small enough for manual editing.

4When I previously asked in chat, the advice from the CM, I was told that it is not necessary to make a related posts on multiple meta sites.

5Now that the tool was run, we can say that answer to this question is: Yes. For example, MO330913, 124472. (The fact that only some of such links were edited might be a consequence of a bug in the bulk replacement tool.)

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    $\begingroup$ I'm submitting this request today (http://math.uga.edu/~pete -> http://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete & http://www.math.uga.edu/~pete -> http://alpha.math.uga.edu/~pete). It is a direct string find and replace. It looks like there will be a couple cleanup items from that, but it looks like they're well-characterized here. $\endgroup$
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 21:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Slate Thanks for looking into this (and into some other bulk replacement). I can be pinged in Boulevard of Broken Links and in MO editors' lounge - in case some longer discussion is needed (more suitable in chat than in comments). $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18, 2022 at 4:56

3 Answers 3

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Let us collect in this community wiki answer the posts which might need manual editing after the bulk conversion is done.

Links which are dead both now and after the transformation

Links to Internet Archive snapshots

Posts which have both old and new links

Some instances might be simply because the editor who noticed a dead link replaced only one of several links. But if there are some posts saying "old link (EDIT: here is a new link)", they would look awkward after the old link is fixed.

Other special cases

  • There are also a few posts where the URL linking to this domain is not rendered as a link because it is between square brackets: MO 25898 and MO 12264. (These two instances were fixed - and I didn't find other posts with the same problem.)
  • There are links to some pages which will work after the conversion - but the links from those pages are in the "old" format: MATH2400F11.html, MATH3200F09.html, MATH8410.html, MATH8900.html, primesoftheform.html. (There isn't anything we can do about that - but probably it is at least worth mentioning.)
  • There are a few links to math.uga.edu starting with https. SEDE queries: MSE1, MSE2, MSE3, MO1, MO2, MO3. But the only links which go to ~pete are already listed in other bullet points (either as Wayback Machine links or as a post with both types of links).
  • There was one tag-wiki with such link - it was edited.
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Thanks for raising this one to our attention. We've now executed the requested change. As with all link replacements, we do expect a bit of routine cleanup work, so be on the lookout for any cases that look odd.

It looks like y'all have a set of cleanup action items here that will need handling, but they all look relatively routine and well-documented. Let us know if you run into any major fallout as a result of the change and we'll see what we can do to help.

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    $\begingroup$ Haven't you actually done this only on MathOverflow? I've seen such edits on that site (for example this one) - but I do not see any recent edits by Community user on Mathematics. (This is a bit different from arXiv frontend - in that case I explicitly suggested that it's better to do it on MO only.) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Y'know, looks like it was only done on MO. I'll follow up. $\endgroup$
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Should be good now. Let me know if you encounter further issues. $\endgroup$
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ I have posted an answer which collects the links skipped by the Community User - I am not sure whether some of them were skipped on purpose or whether some of them might actually have been missed due to some bug. The number of the remaining links is small enough for manual editing - I am just mentioning this in case the SE devs want to check why those links haven't been edited (if there is a possibility that this is a bug). $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 11:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Martin I've reported this as a bug with the tool internally. $\endgroup$
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 17:24
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak The bug in our tool has been fixed (it was the incorrect handling of the ~ character in some places) and I've run the replacements again on MathOverflow and Mathematics. Please let us know if there's still anything else that's been missed $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Pollard StaffMod
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 22:16
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How to check which posts were edited

Probably some users might want to check which posts (in general or their own posts) were influenced, so that they can see whether they were some negative side effects.

Posts where old links remained

In some cases, the post still has the old link - they were skipped by the replacement tool for some reason. It might be good to collect such links. Maybe it might benefit the Stack Exchange developers - if they want to see whether this was caused by a bug in this tool. But mainly, this might be useful if we want to finish fixing the link by manual editing.

When searching for /math.uga.edu/~pete and /math.uga.edu%7Epete on MO I only found three posts: a/9294, a/51919, q/19079

Similar queries on Mathematics: /math.uga.edu/~pete and /math.uga.edu%7Epete.

Here are links to 63 posts which still had the "old" link after the edits by the Community User were finished: a/933, a/4206, a/12286, a/15485, a/17781, a/19507, a/19680, a/24960, a/25196, a/25923, a/25991, a/41630, a/50036, a/53036, a/64986, a/75587, a/82095, a/87936, a/97354, a/119134, a/174443, a/178554, a/179433, a/195420, a/140670, a/143688, a/145243, a/291604, a/320993, a/368257, a/387343, a/387829, a/427140, a/433361, a/500508, a/671635, a/682453, a/722811, a/1174645, a/1303841, a/1337301, a/1567198, a/2235584, a/2357664, a/3506355, a/3721948, a/3755499, a/3801830, a/3893181, a/3913790, q/84994, q/111164, q/146587, q/289736, q/627736, q/758121, q/1117592, q/2084756, q/2675114, q/2770747, q/3380918, q/3778231, q/3898391.

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    $\begingroup$ As far as I can tell, the posts on Mathematics from this list have all been edited. I do not know whether there might be some other posts "forgotten" by the community user. (There still remains the the task to check links to Wayback Machine and various other special cases.) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 3, 2022 at 11:32

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