Thursday, December 18, 2008

Link checker with Java - better version

I posted an old blog regarding checking for broken links with Java. However, that version uses 3rd party library httpunit and doesn't handle forwarding case. If a url forwards to another url, http response code would be 302 and the old version would consider that link is broken.

The new version would follow the forwarding url and check it. If the forwarded url is dead, it would be detected.

So here is the new code, without any extra 3rd party API:

private static boolean isLive(String link) {
HttpURLConnection urlConnection = null;
try {
URL url = new URL(link);
urlConnection = (HttpURLConnection) url.openConnection();
urlConnection.setConnectTimeout(5000); /* timeout after 5s if can't connect */
urlConnection.setReadTimeout(5000); /* timeout after 5s if the page is too slow */
String redirectLink = urlConnection.getHeaderField("Location");
if (redirectLink != null && !link.equals(redirectLink)) {
return isLive(redirectLink);
} else {
return urlConnection.getResponseCode() == HttpURLConnection.HTTP_OK;
} catch (Exception e) {
return false;
} finally {
if (urlConnection != null) {

public static void main(String[] args) {
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