Everyone who uses the web has run across the 404 error code at one point or another. It’s the warning that pops up when a web page could not be found. It is less common these days as most web servers now use custom errors and some browsers and internet providers try to redirect to alternatives. The number has even entered popular slang.
The 404 error is not the only numerical error on the Internet, though. And now along comes this brilliant idea to create a new error code for browsers:
Ray Bradbury’s fiction looks set to enter the structure of the internet, after a software developer has proposed a new HTTP status code inspired by Fahrenheit 451.
Tim Bray, a fan of Bradbury’s writing, is recommending to the Internet Engineering Task Force, which governs such choices, that when access to a website is denied for legal reasons the user is given the status code 451.
Given how much censorship is going on these days, including demands made by U.S. government bodies, the internet overlords should adopt this proposal without delay. When the government censors something, people ought to know that.
Plus it would honor one of America’s great writers, and there’s nothing wrong with that.