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Could the editor suggest the using of example.com for URL examples when it encounters URLs in a question that's being typed?

Not only would this help remedy inadvertent linking to legitimate websites like http://abc.com, http://domain.com, http://mysite.com, etc., it would also educate the users about the existence of http://example.com.

I know that this could be potentially annoying if it leads to a lot of false positives, but it could be really worth a shot.

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Though I propose http://localhost/ not bring up the annoyance. :) –  sarnold Feb 1 '12 at 11:11
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@sarnold - example.com is reserved in RFC 2606 explicitly for this purpose –  Flexo Feb 1 '12 at 11:24
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@awoodland: I know. I've even talked with the guys who ran the domain when I was curious about it ages ago. I just think that there's plenty of times when people put http://localhost:3000/blahblah/blort in a question, and we shouldn't suggest replacing them with example.com. I think it'd distract from the often-amazingly-useful fact that they're doing something on localhost. –  sarnold Feb 1 '12 at 11:25
    
@sarnold - I misread your comment the first time around then –  Flexo Feb 1 '12 at 11:26

1 Answer 1

I just checked the 20 most-recently posted questions on SO. Of the 20, 19 had no links. The one link is in Key as a variable for backbone.js model.set() and is a link to the model.set() documentation.

So, it (a) doesn't seem to be a huge problem; (b) the only link I quickly found, should definitely not be example.com.

I hit refresh and check another 14 new questions. This time, 2 links. How to change character set in Oracle 11g r2 Express edition links to Oracle documentation (again, not a candidate for example.com). How do I apply dependency injection to an abstract factory links to another question on StackOverflow.

Figuring, OK, maybe problematic links are tag-specific, I tried . Of the most-recent ten questions (including checking previous revisions on these), none had links (though PHP/MYSQL - checking user identification from DB info thought it wise to post his MySQL username and password).

Trying again, : There were four links in three questions (out of 10). Drop down navigation in fluid design, getting overflow when page resized linked to jsFiddle. GWT-suggestbox style linked to Google Web Toolkit docs. Linking Wufoo to an external stylesheet without SSL linked to support forums and documentation.

So, in summary, 7 out of 7 links I found should not be example.com. An example.com suggestion would have a very high false-positive rate.

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