2013-01-14

Your root path should never return an error

The other day I was checking out a link from Hacker News:
HackerNews Reader on Windows Store
This was the first time I had seen a Windows Store link. I had written a crawler about a year ago that would hit up API urls and gather information about Windows Phone 7 marketplace (this probably deserves a write-up by itself), so naturally I was curious. One of my pet peeves is a prominent top-left logo that is not linked. It says "Windows Store", I should be able to click on that and it should take me to a page about the store like Apple, or the store itself like Google.

Failing at that, I decided to just go to the / url, and this is what I got:

403!?
When http://subdomain.domain.com/bar has content with human interaction, the root path of that subdomain should never print out vague server error messages like this. There are only two legitimate status codes I should receive: 200 and 301; otherwise, you're doing UX wrong.

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