In this answer I linked a URL that contains a * character:

http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.alexa.com/topsites

The * char seems to be converted to %2a. When I click this link, I get the following error:

HTTP Status 404 - /web/%2a/http://www.alexa.com/topsites

type Status report

message /web/%2a/http://www.alexa.com/topsites

description The requested resource (/web/%2a/http://www.alexa.com/topsites) is not available.

Reloading doesn't help, but when I switch to the URL bar and press enter again (or when I re-type the * in the URL), the page loads. So it seems to me that the * should not be percent-encoded.

Also, the detection of the link doesn't work correctly, as you can see here:

http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.alexa.com/topsites

(it recognizes only the part before the * character as link)


The * is a reserved character (sub-delims), according to RFC 3986:

URIs that differ in the replacement of a reserved character with its corresponding percent-encoded octet are not equivalent. Percent- encoding a reserved character, or decoding a percent-encoded octet that corresponds to a reserved character, will change how the URI is interpreted by most applications. Thus, characters in the reserved set are protected from normalization and are therefore safe to be used by scheme-specific and producer-specific algorithms for delimiting data subcomponents within a URI.

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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/159551/… –  unor Dec 21 '12 at 16:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This will be fixed in the next build; for details see my answer on Meta Stack Exchange.

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