Ivor O’Connor

September 7, 2009

Free Software To Check For Links Reviewed

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 8:50 pm

Link Checker Review

I went through synaptic package manager on Ubuntu looking for free link checkers to try out. After installing each of them I gave them a spin and documented here what I found. Not surprisingly there were only a few good ones. My favorites after reviewing them all are linkchecker and webcheck.

linkchecker

linkchecker index.html >linkchecker.log 2>&1

gURLChecker

This program installs itself in the applications menu under “internet”. It pulls up a nice gui application that does not expect to find any files on your local hard disk. If there is a way around this it’s not clear how to proceed. The normal “file:///” specification is unrecognized by it and it proceeds to prepend a “http://” in front of anything.

If a website accesible via http:// is chosen only minimal checks are performed. No where near the detail of what you get with linkchecker.

weblint-perl

This application, though installed via synaptic, does not seem to get installed properly.

11:39:48 black@black:~/common/ivor/www/template$ locate weblint-perl
/usr/share/doc/weblint-perl
/usr/share/doc/weblint-perl/README
/usr/share/doc/weblint-perl/buildinfo.gz
/usr/share/doc/weblint-perl/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/weblint-perl/copyright
/var/cache/apt/archives/weblint-perl_2.04-2_all.deb
/var/lib/dpkg/info/weblint-perl.list
/var/lib/dpkg/info/weblint-perl.md5sums
11:40:01 black@black:~/common/ivor/www/template$

checkbot

Despite the nice documentation it did not want to run with the local file version or the website. They have a clear example of how to use it with both local files and sites on the web but neither worked in practice.

linklint

Great name. Could have better documentation. As in which file and line has the “error”.

12:29:22 black@black:~/common/ivor/www/template$ linklint index.html /@

Processing …

found   7 directories with files
found   1 default index
found  13 html files
found   8 image files
found  38 other files
found  40 http links
—–   1 action skipped
ERROR   1 missing named anchor

Linklint found 60 files in 7 directories and checked 14 html files.
There were no missing files. No files had broken links.
1 error, no warnings.

webcheck

Run this from a separate directory as it will write multiple files in the directory it’s run from. Here’s an example of it running:

12:43:07 black@black:~/common/ivor/www$ webcheck template/index.html
webcheck: checking site….
[list of files making website]
webcheck: done.
webcheck: postprocessing….
webcheck: done.
webcheck: generating reports…
webcheck:   anchors
webcheck:   sitemap
webcheck: overwrite ./index.html? [y]es, [a]ll, [q]uit: a
webcheck:   urllist
webcheck:   images
webcheck:   external
webcheck:   notchkd
webcheck:   badlinks
webcheck:   old
webcheck:   new
webcheck:   size
webcheck:   notitles
webcheck:   problems
webcheck:   about
webcheck: done.
12:48:38 black@black:~/common/ivor/www$

Once this is finished view the index file that was created. There are lots of interesting stats on the right hand table of contents making webcheck a useful utility. I’m going to spend the rest of the day correcting the problems found under the heading “problems by author”!

w3c-linkchecker (checklink)

This is supplied by W3C. It is probably very good but does not seem to supply anything more than the others. Here’s how to run it:

checklink -r -H -q template/index.html > puffedup.html

and then open the html file with your browser. Given the fact it is the official W3C link checker it must be good. However I was not impressed with it compared to linkcheck.

screem

Not sure how to use it. Looks like it might be promising. Unfortunately as soon as the existing project is added screem darkens as if it is processing and locks up. Not sure if it will ever return. Error messages being returned from the command line so far are:

(screem:20163): Gtk-WARNING **: Refusing to add non-unique action ‘cancel drag’ to action group ‘ScreemActions’
(screem:20163): screem-CRITICAL **: screem_page_is_feature: assertion `SCREEM_IS_PAGE( page )’ failed
(screem:20163): screem-CRITICAL **: screem_page_is_xml: assertion `SCREEM_IS_PAGE( page )’ failed

It’s probably safer to avoid this product unless you’ve got time to scream at the developers constantly.

htcheck

This is a mess. There’s no useful help for it. The php gui to help is apparently missing. And a quick google shows no useful documentation on first glance. Furthermore it requires mysql. Seems like something to avoid.

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