September 24, 2004
Web design 102: Thou shalt not publish a "Delete this site" link

Found this wiki clone homepage and read a while down until I got to the following diary entry:

Rollback mystery solved: The search engines did it!
6. June, 2004
Apparently random rollbacks have been occurring for some time now, but with the IP logging in place, it was easy to assign the blame. Search engines have traversed the site and have been “clicking” all the rollback links. So now the rollback link is done in javascript to keep those pesky engines at bay. This fix will be part of 0.9.2 and is already in effect on instiki dot org.

So they had a "Delete this site" link that worked via HTTP GET, and the search engines gradually removed the entire website!. That has to be the funniest side effect of not being in control (no one is on the web) I have seen in a long time.

[UPDATE and sidenote: The correct answer to this problem is not the one chosen. Just use HTTP in proper RESTian fashion, by not doing mutations with GET but only with POST. Search engines use HTTP properly and don't follow post links]

Posted by Claus at September 24, 2004 12:20 AM | TrackBack (1)
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