Yahoo! WebRing Code Validation
This page describes the Yahoo! WebRing Automated Management System (AMS), what it does and how it does it.
It includes options that may be useful for Yahoo! WebRing RingMasters, as well as information for individual site members.
It is part of my Wazillion Navbars Project and, as a part of that project, helps provide information about the new Yahoo! WebRing system that assimilated the Original WebRing system on 05.Sep.2000.
What About Other Webring Systems?
This page only applies to the Yahoo! WebRing system.
It does not apply to other webring systems like RingSurf, Ringlink and Bravenet.
Please be certain you know which system is hosting the particular webring you are working with.
The Automated Management System (AMS)?
AMS is a tool Yahoo! WebRing has provided to assist ringmasters in managing their Yahoo! WebRings.
One of the issues of webring management is to ensure that the webring member has the correct "code" on the correct page on their website. The objective of the Automated Management System or AMS is to do this automatically.
If the AMS is unable to access the URL (e.g., it times out) then the AMS tags the site as "unknown".
What "Unknown" Means
"Unknown" means that either the site has not been tested yet or that the test failed for some reason perhaps unrelated to the site. For example, if the request for the page times out, then there could be problem with the server and not with the page. So the AMS does not want to report the site as "broken". But it also cannot confirm that it works and does not want to report it as "working" either. So it reports it as "unknown".
How AMS Processes "Broken" Sites
The ringmaster has the option to tell AMS to automatically suspend "broken" sites and to automatically reinstate them when they start working again. But it is completely optional.
If the ringmaster does not choose this option then the AMS simply reports its findings on the Manage Member Pages page.
The Automatic Suspension/Activation Feature?
On the Manage Member Pages page, at the bottom, under the list of member sites, is a check box. It is labeled:
To turn on the automatic suspension/activation feature, click on this box and press the Finished button. To turn if off, unclick the box.
Note that the automatic suspension/activation features is not automatic acceptance. The Yahoo! WebRing system will not automatically accept pending sites.
The ringmaster must manually accept sites that apply. The automatic feature will only "reactivate" a suspended site. It will not accept a pending site.
The Registered Page
There is a common misconception that it is acceptable to register one page and put the code on another.
For example, some people think it is ok to register the Main Page of their site but to put the code on a special Webring Page. This is not acceptable. The code must be placed on the same page as is registered for the webring. The AMS will only look at this one page. The AMS will not spider the site or check other pages on the site.
This is a change. In the "old days" of the Original WebRing there was no automated checker. So it was necessary for the ringmaster to do the checking. If the ringmaster wanted to permit registering one page and registering another he could do that.
And some other webring systems like RingSurf and Ringlink even provide "dual registration" to let you explicitly designate the page to contain the code and the page to be linked to.
However, Yahoo! WebRing does not provide for dual registration. That, combined with the introduction of the AMS begins to eliminate this possibility.
A Back Door
But beginning to eliminate it is not the same as completely eliminating it.
Recognize that there is no way to tell the AMS not to label such sites as "broken". It will always label them as "broken". But that is all it will do. Unless the ringmaster tells the AMS to suspend such sites, it will only label them and not suspend them.
If the ringmaster does not enable the auto suspension option, it would then be the ringmaster's responsibility to manually check such sites to see if they comply.
However, because this is a lot of work, most ringmasters now require that the code for webrings in the Yahoo! WebRing system be placed on the same page as is registered.
The Original WebRing System
If you are the ringmaster of a webring from the Original WebRing system that used to permit the code to be places on a page other than the registered page, then you should definitely not turn on the automated suspension/reactivation feature. If you do, you could suspend many of your webring's sites.
Navbar vs HTML
In its status report of October 16, 2000, Yahoo! WebRing pledged that webrings from the Original WebRing system would be permitted to use their original HTML codes forever. They imply that webrings created after the Yahoo! assimilation may be required at some time in the future to use the navbars. Whether they ever will or not is the subject of much speculation and disagreement among the various ringmasters.
To support the continuation of the original HTML codes, the AMS will check for them as well.
It now appears that, to be considered "working" the HTML commands must include at least one of the links that would cause navigation through the webring and at least one of the links that would cause the visitor to go to the Webring List (Hub) page.
That is, it must contain at least one of:
and at least one of
In addition, the Site ID must also be correct.
New Webrings and HTML
There are two reasons:
First, in their status report of October 16, 2000, Yahoo! WebRing put so much effort into phrasing their statement so carefully. If they had wanted to say that everyone would be able to use them always, the statement would have required fewer words and taken less effort.
RingMasters may find errors in the AMS. For example, the following situations have been reported to cause "false negatives". That is, they have been known to cause a report of "broken" even though they really aren't:
Reporting "False Negatives"
If you get a "False Negative", the first thing to do is to note:
(NB: The Ring ID is not the Ring Name. For information on the Ring ID and Site ID, see my Yahoo! WebRing Glossary.)
Then send this information to one of two spots:
If you report such failures, Yahoo! WebRing can improve the AMS. There is some indication that they do respond to such reports.
There are almost no more reports of "false positives" or code that is wrong that is erroneously being reported as working. But if you detect one, you can report it using the same techniques listed above for false negatives.
Member Status Reports
The Original WebRing was sending reports to ringmasters regarding status issues. My best information is that there is no plan to implement such reports within the new Yahoo! WebRing system. However, I am unaware of a definitive statement from Yahoo! WebRing.
The Wazillion Navbars Project
Webring Sections and Subsections
The Webring Section is a large section of my website. I have divided it into four major "subsections".
each "subsection" has it's own special "logo".
As you travel in the various subsections you will find, near the bottom of each page, links to pages within that subsection and also links to the other subsections. To go to any subsection, just click on the "logo" or on the text link for that subsection.
Webrings: General Information
This subsection includes general information about webrings. Webrings can be hosted by a variety of different services. This section deals with the overall concepts and issues, not with any one particular "brand" of webring.
The WebRing.com System
This subsection includes specific information about the WebRing.com system.
While not the only webring system on the net, it is the best known and the most used. I own many webrings in this system and belong to many webrings in this system. (I also own and belong to many webrings in other systems as well.) Click here or on the graphic.
Webrings I Own and Belong To
This subsection shows all the webrings I own and links to all the webrings to which I belong. This includes webrings in Ringlink, RingSurf, Bravenet and the WebRing.com system as well.
If you are looking to join one of my webrings, this is a good place to start. If you wonder about the webrings I belong to, this is the place to go. Click here or on the graphic.
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