useless search box on

Michael Richardson mcr at
Mon Nov 22 00:17:22 UTC 2021

Dr Paul Dale <pauli at> wrote:
    > Apart from keeping dross around from old unsupported versions, I don't think
    > there is much the project can do about this unfortunately.

Well, the project could avoid deleting man pages from the server.
If they were worth posting, then they are worth preserving?

Instead of deleting, one could update in place.
That might mean don't post "man1.1.0", instead post it as "man1.1", and update it with
     man 1.1.0, 1.1.1, content.
     The pages had better say which version they are internally. They
     seem to do this already.
     This assumes that having man1.1.0 and 1.1.1 online at the same time has
     no value, and that if there are any changes within, that they are
     explained by the man page themselves.
     This probably has much better SEO.

Post and delete them as you do now, but insert symlinks.
This is really cheap to do, but has the downside that the content appears
multiple times, and the search engines will continue to prefer the older path.

Post and delete them as you do now, but provide 301 redirects.
I wondered if there was an apache module that could turn symlinks into 301s,
but googling just found others with the same question.  Since "man1.1.0" and
"man1.1.1" are pretty close, the Apache mod_speling module may be able to do

Post and delete them as before, but have a better 404 handler.

Other more complex thoughts: don't use google to search, do something
inhouse. (hello... 1997 is calling).  Use a complex google search restriction
so that one could even search within a documentation set.

Michael Richardson <mcr+IETF at>   . o O ( IPv6 IøT consulting )
           Sandelman Software Works Inc, Ottawa and Worldwide
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