Sunday, 5 December 2010

How to find old ICO or Article 29 Working Party documents despite broken links - use this form

If you're having problems accessing documents on UK privacy regulator the Information Commissioner's website or EU privacy regulators the Article 29 Working Party's site because of broken hyperlinks, try using this form (you have to then click Open to get to it). Please feel free to bookmark or pass the link on to anyone else you think it may help.

Background

Links to documents on both these sites recently broke on site revamps - even the internal search function eg this search hasn't been updated as of today; try that search, clicking on the first result, and you'll get no further than the home page of the sub-site.

But never fear. I've produced a little script, as y'do on a sunny Sunday afternoon, so that you can paste your old link in a box on a form, hit Submit and be automatically taken direct to the document on the new site (rather than just get the home page, or an error message).

To use my form, pictured at the very top of this blog, you need to go to this page, then click Open (as highlighted above), or just Download it (and save it on your own computer for future ref if you prefer). Javascript has to be enabled on your browser for the redirection to work. And needless to say my script only works for broken links to those 2 sites, and if they decide to "update" their sites again, I'm afraid all bets are off.  

Sorry the process is so long winded - I'd have included the form directly in the body of this blog for your convenience, but unfortunately Blogger is a bit weird with Javascript in the body of the blog or even in the head section of the template; I've figured out that it puts in line breaks so you have to run all the code on together in one line, but I've still not worked out how to escape stuff correctly whether it's quotes or the regex (I assume that's what's been going wrong, as a simple test shows a form submission can indeed trigger a Javascript function in the body of a Blogger blog.) I tried a direct link to that page on Google Docs but that doesn't seem to work either. 

If anyone knows the solution (for Blogger javascript or for getting a direct link to an HTML file uploaded to Docs), I'd really appreciate hearing from you! I'm grateful they're hosting all this for free, but I do wish Google wouldn't make it so hard for people to include Javascript on the webpages they host.

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