I'd like to propose a new feature for StackOverflow Markdown: documentation links. There are a couple problems with adding documentation links right now:
- Links can die, leaving them almost useless for people visiting old questions.
- People often post locale-specific documentation. A link to the German documentation for PHP's
urlencode(), for example, isn't as useful to me. This is especially the case with PHP, and it can easily be solved by being non-specific and using
http://php.net/<function-name>as the link address.
- It's time-consuming to go look up the right documentation on a reputable site and copy the URL.
So here's my proposed syntax:
See the [documentation for <something> at <site>] for more information.
<something> is a fully-qualified class name, method name, or whatever will fit in the URL and
<site> could be a site name or possibly a language, whatever's better. For example:
- msdn/vb.net, c# (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/<name>.aspx, locale-nonspecific)
- php.net/php (http://php.net/<name>, perfect and easy)
etcetera. This would really encourage people to link to the documentation, which is always helpful, and would help to avoid certain poor online resources that people keep posting in answers and comments.
Good idea? Not good idea?