Leon has an answer to Identifying Capacitors which includes a dead link to http://www.amqrp.org/kits/elsie/. What is the best way to let him know the link is dead? I checked his profile but saw no way to message him, even indirectly.

I'd prefer not to add a "404 link not found" comment, because then he may fix it and leave a reply, which adds two unnecessary comments to the site.

If there were some transparent way to let users know their link is dead, that would be nice. Do we currently have anything like this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ An edit-reason message appears above the edited version when "edited xx ago..." is clicked. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Sep 19 '16 at 1:40

I don't really see the problem leaving a comment below the answer with the bad link. If he fixes the link, you can delete the comment.

In general, this is another reminder why links are bad in questions or answers unless they provide only side information. Any question or answer should still stand on its own with all links removed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree Olin, links are bad for precisely this reason. I was hoping to inform him without involving a moderator or comment, so that he could fix it with zero bloat added. \$\endgroup\$ – rdtsc Sep 15 '16 at 12:03

Raise a flag and let the moderators deal with it. Be sure to explain exactly what's wrong; it saves us a lot of time.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll also add that if you know what the link should be, then go ahead and make an edit and change it out. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Sep 15 '16 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I couldn't find what "elsie" was, otherwise I was thinking the same thing. \$\endgroup\$ – rdtsc Sep 15 '16 at 12:00

Two methods come to mind.
Both are the sort of thing my gaming expert son seems to find in all computer games - legal 'tools' that allow unintended outcomes but/and which are liable to be frowned on 'by some'.

(1) You can send a near-zero public visibility comment.
Add a comment with a succinct & clear description of the problem at the very start of the , and then, after a 'suitable period' (see below) delete the comment.
The system places a reference to the comment in the relevant user's inbox.
When the comment is deleted it is no longer publicly visible BUT the recipient still receives the notifocation.

I do not know how long the 'suitable period' is that the comment must remain before the recipient sees it after deletion. This could be zero time, with the system forwarding the comment as soon as it is completed, or may require a "housekeeping cycle" or similar.

I'll send you a post & delete comment after I finish this answer to see if you receive it.

(2) More subtle (possibly). If you have enough rep to edit other people's answers, you are asked to submit a reason for the edit on completion. This reason is sent to the user's inbox but AFAIK is not publicly visible.
The system requires edits to be a certain minimum size but a functionally zero content edit is possible.

  • \$\begingroup\$ #2 is especially bad since it bumps the whole question to the top of the active list. Also, edit reasons don't jump out at other people, but then can be found by others by looking at the edit history. For example, I can see you left the edit reason "performed a zero-affect edit. Did you receive this message?" to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 19 '16 at 11:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Olin - yes re visibility of #2 - as above " An edit-reason message appears above the edited version when "edited xx ago..." is clicked. –" #1 SEEMS to be less invasive. Maybe not. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Sep 19 '16 at 11:53

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