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Opened 11 months ago

Closed 5 months ago

Last modified 5 months ago

#4458 closed defect (wontfix)

Intentionally/permanently archived forum threads should return a 410 status

Reported by: jonoaldersonwp Owned by: SergeyBiryukov
Milestone: Priority: high
Component: Support Forums Keywords: seo analytics
Cc:

Description

When a forum thread is intentionally, permanently archived as a result of editorial/quality/spam decisions (e.g., see https://wordpress.org/support/topic/great-theme-alx/), the page should return a 410 HTTP status rather than a 404 status.

Change History (9)

#1 @SergeyBiryukov
11 months ago

  • Owner set to SergeyBiryukov
  • Status changed from new to accepted

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta by tellyworth. View the logs.


10 months ago

#3 @johnjamesjacoby
5 months ago

Is archived the same as closed, or is it new functionality specific to WordPress.org?

In bbPress core, "closed" is simply the opposite of "open" and only controls the ability of Participants to reply to a topic. It is not meant to indicate that a topic is gone or archived, but rather that it is locked from future community participation.

For example, it is not uncommon for a topic to be a super sticky, still important to read, but is simply not open for discussion. See: https://buddypress.org/support/topic/when-asking-for-support-2/

Last edited 5 months ago by johnjamesjacoby (previous) (diff)

#4 @Clorith
5 months ago

Archived is not the same as closed, no.

We use closed the same was as bbPress core expects it to be used, while Archived is "hidden to non-moderators", essentially a soft-delete for content we do not want to be public, but it's not spam so shouldn't be deleted.

Spam is different, it is marked as spam and outright deleted, so there's no recollection of it having ever existed, and they will then rightfully return a 404.

#5 @jonoaldersonwp
5 months ago

Deleted spam should also return a 410, ideally.

#6 @Clorith
5 months ago

That sounds unreasonable, sorry to say, we can't retain spam posts for the sole purpose of knowing it existed at one point in time just for a HTTP status header.

I had a quick look at the 410 definition, and according to MDN (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Status/410), if it's uncertain if the status is permanent, a 404 should be returned. Since archived entries may or may not be re-published in the future, it sounds like they should also be returning a 404 like the current implementation does?

#7 @dd32
5 months ago

if it's uncertain if the status is permanent, a 404 should be returned. Since archived entries may or may not be re-published in the future, it sounds like they should also be returning a 404 like the current implementation does?

Agreed.

410's have no place on the Support Forums/WordPress.org in general, the content is simply gone - perhaps temporarily, a thread may be re-published, or if one is deleted permanently new content may appear in it's place.

#8 @jonoaldersonwp
5 months ago

  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from accepted to closed

OK, happy to bin this given that URLs are essentially all temporarily. Not ideal, but without a system to manage/log URL histories (and set 410s accordingly) we'll have to accept that we'll be stuck generating thousands of 4o4s all the time :(

#9 @johnjamesjacoby
5 months ago

The idea of keeping a history of truly “gone” URL patterns doesn’t seem like something bbPress (or WordPress) are well suited for in core, because doing so requires either a dedicated database table, or never truly deleting posts, and instead marking them as deleted, which surely must go against some right-to-be-forgotten.

That said, I can imagine ways to solve the problem if (or when) we decide to either way. 🙌

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