[wp-hackers] Should Monthly Archive Pages ever return 404?

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Mon Mar 9 22:31:31 GMT 2009

"Mike Little" <mike at zed1.com> wrote:
> I would disagree. From a user's point of view, they should 
> expect a user friendly response. Which might not be the 
> same as 'valid'

Agree, but what is currently presented (404 Not Found) is decidedly NOT a user friendly response.

> One such response is, as I've suggested "what you gave me 
> was invalid, but here is something that is useful to you." 
> That's human level semantics.

That's what we are proposing, but that doesn't require a 404 be generated. 404 is more properly a protocol error not an application level response.

> Machine level (server to browser)  should either be "I 
> couldn't find what you asked for. Show this to your human" 
> (404 with content) or "I couldn't find what you asked for, 
> go here instead" (302)

That's a false dichotomy. Presenting a 404 means "Resource Not Found" when the valid resource to serve is "There are no posts here."  That should get a 200.

> Remember WordPress only 'does' posts, pages, and links, they are 
> it's only content.

That's an extremely narrow viewpoint that will be proven wrong with almost 100% certainty as WordPress evolves.

Again at this point I am not trying to impose this on others but there should be an easy way for a themer or plugin dev to make it so.

-Mike Schinkel

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