Anyone has seen a 404 on a website, do you know why it's a 404?

Whenever a "404 error" appears on a web page, we all know that it means that the page has an access error, that is, the page is missing. In fact, it has long been common knowledge. As a standard HTTP return code, 404 is used to indicate the HTTP response status of a web server. However, there is a mystery about its historical origins that begs to be explored. At the beginning of the 21st century, there was even a group of people who tried to study the origin of "404 errors".

Just know "404" is a web page error, but do not know where it comes from?

It is rumored that before the third technological revolution, the entire Internet was shaped like a large central database and set up in a room called 404. At that time, all access requests were done manually, and if the requested file was not found in the database, or if the requestor wrote the wrong file number, they would get a "room 404 : file not found" return message.

In fact, a "404 error" message is usually the page that is displayed when the target page has been changed, removed, or the client has entered the page address incorrectly. Over time, people have become accustomed to using 404 to represent the error code that the server did not find the file. Of course, after actually examining the legendary room 404 does not exist, and in the 3-digit return code of the HTTP request, the one starting with 4 represents a client error. In China, the term "404 error" has a more extended meaning, and can mean either that the page does not exist, or that the content is illegal, or that the content creator actively deleted it.

In fact, we would like to say that although man has created cyber technology and he is under our control, it is not completely reliable. In fact, shortly after the birth of the Internet, wrong URL access came along with it. While we enjoy the knowledge and convenience brought by the Internet, we naturally have to put up with the painlessness of 404 errors, or how to say 'things are two-sided'.

However, Robert Cailliau, the creator of the Internet, does not agree with the above statement about the origin of the "404 error", and even says that it is nonsense and that the real origin of the 404 error is not the case. Although it now appears that Such erroneous accesses do not affect Internet development, but in the early stages of Internet construction, these can result in a significant waste of resources.

In response, Cailliau said, "When you're writing code for a new system, you can't waste too much time detecting requests for incorrect address access. Otherwise the server would have to remember too much information and would waste too many resources, and modern geeks have no idea what it's like to program with 64K of RAM! To avoid incorrect address access, the The programmer came up with a very simple way of specifying a numerical range of error categories, and '404 error' is what the programmer set up to let users know what they were doing wrong when they had a network connection error. Mark the user's error type as 404, meaning the page does not exist. "

?" Also, I hadn't thought at all about people thinking this way about the source of '404 errors', perhaps people are more partial to irrational, mystery-filled stories, which of course are fairly common among humans, and these irrational traits are innocent when human influence is small and information is slow to spread. But today, thanks to the internet, these characteristics have acquired a dangerous power. "Cailliau added.

Of course there are actually many other HTTP status codes besides 404. For example, 200, which means that the server has successfully processed the request and provided the requested page, or 301, which means that the requested page has been permanently moved to a new location, or 500, which means that the server encountered an error and was unable to complete the request, and many, many more. Finally, we'd like to say that HTTP status codes like "404 error" will always exist in the web world, no matter what.

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