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ESP Links Policy
(Revised April 2018)
As of April 2018, I will only link to sites that look like they will be around for a while. After a recent 'broken link' check, I discovered that a very large number of links had broken, in many cases, this is simply because someone decided to re-arrange a website, so the originally linked document was no longer where it was when the link was created.
This means that for major companies (IC and other component makers for example), I will link to the company's main URL, and not to the specific article or datasheet. It will be named so you have a fighting chance of finding the info using the website's search function, but the specific location will not be provided. Exceptions are where the link is to something I have on my own server, or where there is a high level of confidence that the link will exist unchanged for some time.
It inevitable that despite my best efforts, there will be links that no longer work. There are (currently) no broken links, but in more than a few cases it means that useful or important information has vanished completely. It is simply impossible to try to maintain all my pages with links to ensure that they are valid, but it's something that I do try hard to ensure. Unfortunately, many companies (and especially large ones) seem to move things around for no particular reason, and they don't include re-direction so the link simply breaks, leading to a '404' (Page Not Found) error. In many cases, the entire site disappeared, so the host could not be resolved, or led to something completely inappropriate (where a URL
scammer 'reseller' grabs an expired URL and offers to sell it for an exorbitant price).
Last time I checked, there were over 170 links that had broken or disappeared from the over 500 pages that make up the ESP website. This is now down to zero, and all references will (generally) either point to the main URL, or will provide the document name (and author if provided). It's a nuisance for anyone who needs to check references, but much less so than having a direct link that doesn't work. Where material is especially useful or even essential, in a few cases I will maintain the document (in original PDF format) and link it directly from the page.