I knew I forgot something right before the new design launch today. I didn't get a chance to create custom images for the 404/Captcha/error pages on the TeX site.

Do you have any suggestions?

A few examples from other sites:

Cooking site's 404:

alt text

Gaming site's CAPTCHA

alt text

Photography site's 404 (Normally for Captcha, we do a "robot" theme.)

alt text

The idea is to have these images somewhat light hearted, and reflect the theme of the site. What are your suggestions for this site?

This question now exists as a competition on the parent site: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/5262/…. –  Loop Space Nov 12 '10 at 9:35

6 Answers 6

For a 404, there could be a play on some of most common TeX error messages. I think the Undefined control sequence is most appropriate.

As for an image, something simple like this:

\404{Page not found}

! Undefined control sequence.
l.6 \404

Or some variation thereof.

Probably rendered in different styles, to distinguish user input from TeX complaints.

But the standard catcodes of 4 and 0 won't allow that to happen. I think \cdiv would be more more in the spirit of TeX. On the other hand, how many would recognize what it stands for? Perhaps it would be a great inside joke. Oh, what the heck; I'll enter it as an answer so people can vote on it. –  Harald Hanche-Olsen Feb 11 '11 at 14:58

Badness 10000!!


alt text

We don't know how you arrived in room 404, but we have been working for a long time to correct all bugs!

I think this type of old book illustrations work really well! Here's a good site where all the images are in public domain: oldbookillustrations.com –  Jin Nov 13 '10 at 4:23
@Jin Thanks - and I love the new design! –  Yiannis Lazarides Nov 13 '10 at 6:10

Use one of Don Knuth's Road Signs or the Dangerous Bend Sign

Dangerous Bend

Actually that sign was introduced by Bourbaki (though that shouldn't stop us from using it). –  Caramdir Feb 8 '11 at 19:23
Yeah, but Bourbaki didn't code it up in METAFONT ;-P –  SamB Feb 9 '11 at 2:31

What's with something like this:

> \page=undefined.

Maybe in combination with an assign tracing:

{changing \error=0}
{into \error=404}

One possibility is this variant on Martin Tapankov's answer:

\cdiv{Page not found}

! Undefined control sequence.
l.6 \cdiv

Look here if this mystifies you.

Ha ha. I had to look at the URL (but not click through). –  Loop Space Feb 11 '11 at 18:52

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