Datestamp That Page!

The last few years have seen Google replace many other traditional forms as the de facto standard way of doing research. If a question comes up or a person is doing research, invariably the first thing folks do is ‘google it’.
While working on my current Java project, I’ve had to learn a ton of new technologies. Generally the way I do this is google a term or concept and pick which of the answers best seems to answer my question. This works quite well, and in general I get the information I need.
Many times however I’ll find a paper, a page, a set of answers, etc that -seem- helpful, but the problem is I don’t know when they were written. The person publishing the page simply does not datestamp the page anywhere. This is particularly maddening when dealing with a constantly evolving technology such as Linux or Java. What was ‘best practice’ or ‘the new method for doing [x]’ 5 years ago (or even 2 years ago) is no longer the appropriate process.
Too many people are publishing pages that simply don’t give a time reference.
The most recent one was when I was looking up information on Linux tablet PC drivers for a set of tablet computers I saw on eBay. That took me to LinuxSlate, a page apparently about, well, slate drivers. Duh. 🙂
No where on that page is a hint of a datestamp. When was it last updated? How recent is that information? If it’s old, then I know to continue looking around for more current documents.
So, for the greater good. if you publish documents or pages detailing in particular technical information for the greater good, fer chrissake, DATESTAMP IT. A footer saying “Last updated: 1/2/33” is all that’s needed. Really.
This has been brought to you by the Society for a More Helpful Internet.

Dave Shevett

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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2 thoughts on “Datestamp That Page!

  1. if you use html-mode under xemacs, it will gladly take care of creating and updating a timestamp in your HTML file for you 😉
    just sayin’.

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