TheMadScientist - 3:01 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)
This is a part of the HTTP specs. Don't break the web by ignoring that - and we see a great many people visiting the WebmasterWorld Apache forum who are having problems with their sites because they chose to ignore the specs.
I thought there was a way to designate the location for the index page of a specific set of documents within HTTP Specifications:
Neither the linked 'index' text, nor the <link rel="contents" href=""> (in the source code) reside at a 'directory' URL on the site liked above, which if you are correct, at least one should. In fact, trying to request the URL I linked http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/links.html without the links.html http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/ results in a 403, Forbidden Error, but according to your post this 'breaks the web' and is not in accordance with HTTP Specification?
Has anyone who has reported an issue ever also reported they were designating the index of a collection of pages (documents) as a page (document) at another location rather than leaving it for the User Agent to decide where it most likely resides?
And, please, don't imply it breaks the web to do certain things unless it really does, because it does not in any way break the Internet to use a page URL as an 'overview' of a collection of documents rather than a trailing / URL (the w3c does it) and IMO any SE related issue would be corrected if the person with the issue added <link rel="index" href="/location"> markup to the pages (documents) in question.
Has the preceding ever been suggested as a solution in the Apache Forum and, again, has anyone whom reported an issue ever reported using proper document relationship markup on the pages (documents) in question?
You do not in any way need to use a trailing / to have an overview page (document) for a collection of documents and if some user-agents (not people, they'll 'get it') have difficulty in making the connection it is easily corrected according to HTTP Specification using the specified document relationship markup, and to say otherwise is, IMO, very misleading.
Here's a reference for the possible link relationship types [w3.org] for those interested.
The w3c even goes so far as to recommend using document relationship markup within links and documents [w3.org] to aid search engines in indexing websites...