Heads Up! Sun Download Links are Changing


We've been working very hard on preparing our new download system for release. We hit a snag with data migration from the old system to the new and lost a number of weeks on our schedule, but we're back on track now and preparing to release the new system within the next couple of months (hopefully!).  

I wanted to post this "heads up" to alert any sites that direct link to downloads on Sun that those links will change. We are taking care of this with an automated, systematic approach for web pages we publish. However, we know there are external sites, not owned by Sun, that link directly to downloads. If you own or manage such a site, this is your notice that your links won't work correctly when we release the new system. (We will put redirects in to handle requests to the old system as gracefully as possible, but clearly the best solution is to change the links to point to the new system.)

What kind of links are we talking about? Primarily, this concerns direct linking to the current SDLC application. All such links start with:

http[s]://javashoplm.sun.com/...

(For example, look at the "Get it" page for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 Update 1 and you'll see a "Download" link at the bottom that goes to:

http://javashoplm.sun.com/ECom/docs/Welcome.jsp?StoreId=8&PartDetailId=SJWS-7.0U1-OTH-G-F&TransactionId=Try.)

Do you manage or know of a site with any URLs on them that start this way? If yes, we will be happy to work with the site team to let them know how to "translate" these URLs to our new download system. It's not difficult and can be done programmatically if there are a lot of them. 

(By the way, if you're using these links for Java software downloads, unless your customers require a very specific version or it's primarily a developer audience, we recommend linking to java.com instead. Java.com is much more of a consumer oriented download experience, and you can change your links now and remove any dependency on the roll-out of our new system. Java.com will not change as far as external facing downloads are concerned.)

Finally, there is one other class of effected pages that are "intermediary" pages on the way to the download system. All such pages start with:

http://www.sun.com/download/products.xml?id=

(The above example of the "Get it" page for Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 Update 1 is this type of page, located at http://www.sun.com/download/products.xml?id=467713d6 )

So, in summary, the new download system will replace these links and many of these "Get it" pages. If you link to them, you must update your site. To do so, please contact me at once by email at gary dot zellerbach at sun dot com. I will send you instructions on how to make the updates and ensure your are communicated with regularly about the changes and schedule. If you have general questions about what's going on, please leave me a blog comment. Thanks!


Comments:

Cool URLs don't change: http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI

Why don't you add \*redirects\* from old to new URLs so that nobody's site breaks?

Posted by Nicolas on October 05, 2007 at 10:38 AM PDT #

Hi Nicolas, thanks for your comment. Of course we looked very closely at doing redirects at the individual URL level. Unfortunately, the structure of the links between the old and new download applications is completely different, and developing and maintaining the code & infrastructure to precisely translate all the possible URL combinations was very cost prohibitive. These URLs have been stable for 10 years on the old system, and should be stable again for the next 10 years (or hopefully "forever") on the new download system, but for now I'm afraid we do have to go through with this transition.

When the new system goes live, there will be basic redirects. The "old" links won't break but rather the redirects will point users to the main download index page (for sun.com or Sun Developer Network depending on the request) where users can easily find the links to the new system. In most cases, we don't believe that will be necessary anyway since we are updating all the links in our publishing systems and have contacted a number of external sites that deep link as well.

Posted by Gary Zellerbach on October 08, 2007 at 04:54 AM PDT #

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About

I helped design, build, and manage download systems at Sun for many years. Recently I've focused on web eMarketing systems. Occasionally, I write about other interests, such as holography and jazz guitar. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/garyzel

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