The 404 page, error page and captcha page have very generic images.

There have been proposals for 404 images and captcha images before.

This is a call for error image nominations.

Furthermore, the text on these pages should include standard unix error messages:

  • 404: No such file or directory, of course
  • captcha: Permission denied?
  • error: I/O error?
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  • good idea -- something nice and Unix-y! – Jeff Atwood Jan 27 '11 at 0:49
  • Didn't we already do this a long time ago? – xenoterracide Feb 27 '11 at 11:31
  • oh right... and you mention it. It's been ignored by the SO team. Since they have complete control over that, I have no opinion, it would be ignored anyways. – xenoterracide Feb 27 '11 at 11:39
  • @xenoterracide: There were previous threads about 404 and captcha, I started a new one about error, hoping that people would submit ideas. Once the community has made some kind of decision, we can start bugging the team (Jin?) to implement it. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 27 '11 at 11:47
  • Oh boy... does this mean that picture of Tux in front of the computer has a chance? – Nathan Osman Jul 12 '11 at 16:44

I'd really like this on the offline page:


(By apswartz, from the Unix gallery on flickr)

Why I like it: the slightly fuzzy look (as if there was maintenance going on); the unix theme (/dev/null); the capitalization and lack of a second L (that's what the maintenance should be fixing).

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useless use of cat

(from GirlieMac's HTTP Status Cats)

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I'm confused, why would "standard unix error messages" link to something inside gcc?

Captcha should not be "Permission denied", because it's not denied yet. From that page you linked to I think "Connection reset by peer" is more suitable.

Lots of other (not better) error messages can also be used for the error page: "Host is down", "Network is down", "Network is unreachable".

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  • 3
    The link was the first google hit for a list of strerror strings. I think “Permission denied” is ok because retrying with a captcha is analogous to retrying with sudo. I don't like having a network error message here because there's a risk of confusion with an actual network error. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 28 '11 at 18:29
  • Put an interrogation mark after the funny error messages. This should be enough to convey the idea that those are not real error messages. – Stéphane Gimenez Aug 12 '11 at 22:34

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