Get your hand off my Harry Enfield video

 by Martin Belam, 8 December 2006

Considering that The Guardian's web sites have traditionally been one of the more advanced online offerings from the British press, it is surprising how often they make errors when linking through to material. I wrote before the World Cup about their failure to link to their RSS feeds properly, and for a while their Football Weekly podcast was only available to download either as a direct mp3 file or via iTunes, because the RSS feed for it was either not published or not exposed. I also often find that when clicking links on their The Fiver email, that once the URL has been meddled with in order to capture click-through data, the redirection often lands you at the other end with a 404 unless you jiggle with the address a little.

Yesterday there was a classic example in the Media Guardian story about the return to working together for Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. At the top of the article was a link through to a teaser trail for the forthcoming show.


This went to a .wmv file which played the video just fine in Windows Media Player. However, embedded within the article was a hyperlink to a "sneak preview", which went not to the .wmv file, but to an .asf file. For Internet Explorer users, this meant you could download the video to your hard-drive, which I'm not sure was the intention. For Firefox users, well, at least this Firefox user anyway, the effect was much more dramatic. Clicking the link meant a screen full of nonsense, and a complete browser crash. Nice.


1 Comment

Ah, so I wasn't alone in that happening then!

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