Dr. Mark Humphrys

School of Computing. Dublin City University.

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Internet tips

Type/Edit/Paste URL in location line and hit return.
Only have to type from "www." rightwards. Browser fills in "http://" automatically.

http://host/dir/index.html
is the same as:
http://host/dir/

While one page is downloading, don't just sit there. Hit Ctrl-N to start a new window and pursue another link.
If things take forever, hit Stop! (Or Back).

Explore Options and Preferences.
Change your default home page to something sensible.

You can browse files on disk. Enter URLs like:

Check also:
file://localhost/

http://localhost/

http://127.0.0.1/




How to find your way about

Note the location line. Hover mouse over links and notice future location displayed in status line at bottom of screen.

Keep a bookmarks file.

Or just store all your bookmarks on Web pages (public or private). I do this. I don't use bookmarks.




How to follow a move, renaming or relocation ("404 - File Not Found")

Broken links are a necessary evil - it's why the Web scaled (no central database). But it's still a real pain.

If a URL doesn't work, try some of these:

  1. Hack the URL from the RHS.
    e.g. URL is:
      http://www.ed.ac.uk/~humphrys/old-directory/one-of-my-old-pages.html
    Try hacking bits from RHS:
      http://www.ed.ac.uk/~humphrys/old-directory/
    If that doesn't work, hack it from RHS again:
      http://www.ed.ac.uk/~humphrys/
    until it works - this redirects you to my new site:
      http://computing.dcu.ie/~humphrys/
    and off you go. You can then try looking for:
      http://computing.dcu.ie/~humphrys/old-directory/
    and so on (people generally move their sites lock stock and barrel to a new machine).

    Note - If you click the above links you will actually find that I have used 404 redirection to move you on to the new site.

  2. If still can't find it, search in Google.

  3. Even if gone, it might still be in Google's cache.

  4. Even if really gone, it might be in Internet Archive.




How to get a raw directory listing

If URL works, but is incomprehensible home page:
  http://host/staff/user/user.htm
My algorithm:

Hack it again from RHS:
  http://host/staff/user/
not in the hope of finding an index.html - we figure that the user does not know about the index.html convention, and user.htm really is his home page - rather in the hopes that the directory is readable and so our browser can construct a raw list of his files for us to explore directly, without having to follow links through his home page.

Even if the directory is   r-x   if there exists an index.html then we can't see the raw listing. This is because the decision of what to send us when we type that URL is made at the server side. So even if the directory is   r-x   creating an index.html means, due to hard-coded server-side logic (that we can't influence), that the listing will never be sent to us.




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On Internet since 1987.