I have never tried this so I don't know if it would work.
If you use a webserver locally to view your pages, rather than just viewing them directly you may be able to use a local hosts file to resolve www.yourdomain.com to 127.0.0.1 (your local machine).
I was wondering the same and this is what I decided to do. We have a site map that is not linked to from another page, it is just for us. I'm going to keep the links on the site map relative and make the rest of the site absolute. This way I can bookmark the local site map and still go to the different pages.
I'm not making the links absolute because of the big boys, Googlebot, Scooter, etc. as we never had a problem with them following any links. I'm doing this because our site has been hit by some personal bot's.
>>If you use a webserver locally to view your pages, rather than just viewing them directly you may be able to use a local hosts file to resolve www.yourdomain.com to 127.0.0.1 (your local machine).<<
Mark - I know nothing about servers. If you can translate into non-tech terms for me, I'd feel much more solid abt conveying this to people I might be working with....
Son House - When I saw your user name, I had to check your profile. Yep, that's the Son House you meant. I once tried to do a film on southern blues for Columbia Pictures, and in addition to people like Mississipi John Hurt and Furry Lewis, Son House was one of the inspirations. Have you seen the incredible clip of him in Montery Pop?
Anyway, back to HTML... the site map is a good way to navigate, but not necessarily to test whether all the other links work. Also, if coders use something like DreamWeaver and drag and drop to create relative links, then we'd have to come up with search and replace routines to create the absolute path names.
I remember way back, before I took the subject seriously, hearing about some tricks that people used, maybe in the FTP stage. I want to make this is easy as possible for everyone, or else I'm going to get a lot of resistance to the idea.
My idea would require each of your coders to have a webserver to be running on their PC (or one somewhere on your network) so it is probably overkill unless you have that setup in place already.
There have been many discussions in the past about the benefits of absolute URLs, I am not sure the extra hassle is worth it. The only major spider I have ever suspected of having trouble with relative URLs is Slurp (It can follow them OK, but I think sometimes it just chooses not to).
I am actually having the opposite problem at the moment. There is a spider from mindspring.com that thinks my external links are internal ones and is generating hundreds of 404 errors on my sites.
Robert_Charlton - I sent you a StickyMail.
Thinking about the local webserver, which won't work for me, I'm vaguely remembering that DreamWeaver (which I don't use myself) allows you to work on pages via FTP, or something like that, which could eliminate some of the problems of checking absolute URLs.
For the rest, any sort of auto-replace routines that people have used??
I use Homesite's "Extended Find and Replace" function, which does a great job, replacing on one document, all documents in a directory, or all documents in a directory PLUS its sub-directories.
Homesite comes (or at least it came) bundled with DreamWeaver, and the two companies (MacroMedia and Allaire) are now merged, so Homesite works hand-in-glove with DreamWeaver.