WMS Linkchecker

We’ve needed to have a linkchecker in place on the WMS for a while, but for technical and time reasons we’ve been unable to implement it until now. The good news is that the Drupal community already have a very good linkchecker module, which we will be pushing out to all sites in the near future.

The module we are using is called, unsurprisingly linkchecker and provides site managers with three things:

  • A Broken Links report which usually exists on the Reports menu, but we are moving to the Content menu as our site managers don’t have access to Reports.
  • A Broken Links tab on user profiles which provides a quick way to get broken links for content only you have created.
  • Messages at the top of node edit pages listing broken links in that node.

The module is very configurable, so here are some of the decisions we’ve made for configuration. Note that we may change some of these decisions based on feedback we receive:

  • Only scan page and block content types
  • Check both internal and external liks
  • Re-check every 4 weeks
  • Do not auto-updated 301s (see below)
  • Only provide reporting on the site. We plan to add email reporting as a future enhancement.

A note on status codes: The linkchecker will report various status codes for links it considers broken. The code for a page not found is 404, but other codes can be returned too, such as:

  • 500 – The server encountered an error
  • 503 – Service currently unavailable
  • 504 – Timeout
  • 401 – Unauthorized (probably requires authentication)
  • 403 – Forbidden
  • 301 – Moved permanently

In the case of 301, linkchecker has the ability to automatically fix the link to whatever it was moved to. This is a nice feature, but it makes us a bit nervous so we’re leaving it off for now until we can test that it doesn’t break anything. 301 responses can be ignored, but it is better to fix them.


Iteration 24

Iteration 24 is currently underway and will run from February 19th to March 13th.

Work underway includes:

  • Improved navigation for the Headway blog
  • An automated mechanism to move staging sites into production
  • Support for pps and ppsx files
  • Adjustments to the HR Job Postings application
  • Fixes for some minor issues with breadcrumbs
  • Integration of Knowledge Base data in WMS search results
  • Support for nested comments in WordPress blogs
  • Responsive design improvements
  • eCal internationalization and calendar creation
  • Standardization of filenames on older WMS sites
  • Views 3 upgrade deployment
  • WordPress upgrade deployment
  • Localization server deployment
  • Sectional Distinction deployment
  • Deployment of  update /community look and feel
  • Deployment of Student account application modifications
  • Porting of the McGill staff and student directory module to Drupal 7

Iteration 23

Iteration 23 is currently happening and will run from January 29th to February 18th.

Work underway includes:

  • Views 3 upgrade
  • WordPress
  • Localizatoin server for translations
  • Section Distinction
  • Bringing Community into standard theme
  • Student account application modifications
  • Exporting CGPA data ability  for WMS
  • Search html filtering to prevent open html tags
  • Short tag modification
  • update module
  • Linkchecker functionality
  • /study display issues
  • Language link display on /aoc
  • Homepage footer display issues
  • Channels custom location field improvements
  • Import issue on Channels
  • Deploy internationalization for Profiles
  • Image files disappearing  issue
  • Community front page news functionality
  • Access Denied message showing up on site
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