Which wild card is used to define the page not found route?

Understanding the Wildcard for Page Not Found Route

In web development, routing involves the setup of how a web application responds to a client request at a particular endpoint, which is a URL (or a specific path on that URL). Routing forms the bedrock of any application, be it web, desktop, or mobile.

When defining routes in many web development frameworks, we often need to handle erroneous navigation, commonly known as "404 - Page Not Found". Now according to the quiz, this is defined using the '**' wildcard.

The '' wildcard is a special type of wildcard that is used in route configuration to denote an invalid or improper route. When a user requests a page that doesn't exist, we want to show a proper "Page not found" page, and the '' wildcard handles this neatly.

Here is a practical implementation considering Angular as development framework, but the concept is quite similar across many other platforms.

const routes: Routes = [
  { path: 'home', component: HomeComponent },
  { path: 'profile', component: ProfileComponent },
  { path: '**', component: PageNotFoundComponent },  

In the above example, when users try to navigate to pages that do not exist, they will be directed to the PageNotFoundComponent, i.e., the error page.

For better user experience, it's always good to have a custom 404 page that aligns with the general look and feel of your application.

A vital point to note here is the location of '**' route in the array of routes. The Angular router uses the first match it finds in the configuration. Therefore, the wildcard route should always be the last route in the configuration array to ensure the router falls back to it if no other routes match.

Remember, the '**' wildcard route is not a standard for handling this situation across all languages and frameworks. It is a common practice in the Angular framework and some other JavaScript based frameworks, but other programming languages and frameworks may have different standards to handle "page not found" scenarios. Hence, it's advisable to refer to your specific framework's or language's documentation when setting up the routing systems.

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