I am working on a draft about identifiers (using the standard <a> element) when it occurred to me that URLs could play an unexpected role in document security. (At least unexpected by me, your mileage may vary.)
What if I create a document that has URLs like:
<a href="http://server-exists.x/page-does-not.html>text content</a>
So that a user who attempts to follow the link, gets a “404″ message back.
Why is that important?
What if I am writing HTML pages at a nuclear weapon factory? I would be very interested in knowing if one of my pages had gotten off the reservation so to speak.
The server being accessed for a page that deliberately does not exist could route the contact information for an appropriate response.
Of course, I would use better names or have pages that load, while transmitting the same contact information.
Or have a very large uuencoded “password” file that burps, bumps and slowly downloads. (Always knew there was a reason to keep a 2400 baud modem around.)
Have suggestions on how to make a non-existent URL work but will save that for another day.