Linking to a specific edition may be preferable when linking to a HTML fragment, such as, for example, the text on Tilde Expansion (the URL has
#tag_18_06_01 at the end signifying a HTML fragment which in this case refers to the section on Tilde Expansion in a longer document), as advocated by Stéphane Chazelas in a comment to me regarding this:
Something to be aware of: when linking to POSIX with HTML fragments, it's better to specify the exact edition (like pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799.2016edition) as fragments have been known to change between editions of a same revision of the spec (a lot of links in answers on this site including of mine are now wrong as the fragments point in the wrong place after the 2016 edition has been released).
At the same time, I can see schily's point in another more recent comment thread, where he advocates linking to the most recent (undated) edition of the standard, simply because it's the current standard:
[...] if you remove the year substring in the POSIX URL, you would always get the latest documents under this URL.
How do I resolve these two standpoints? For example,
- do I not link to HTML fragment at all and always use the undated edition (forcing the user to search through the page for the relevant information), or
- do I link to a specific edition when referring to a HTML fragment, but to the undated edition when not (which is being inconsistent in behaviour and which I would probably forget to do properly after a time), or
- do I continue linking to a specific edition for everything (my answers would be correct for the linked edition, but may eventually be outdated when compared to the most recent edition), or
- do I use the undated edition for everything (links to HTML fragments may die after some time)?
I'm asking because it obviously matters to people enough to comment on it, and it would be nice to be able to "do the right thing" (if at all possible), and also because I tend to link to the POSIX documents quite often.