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What's up with this error?

Oops! Your edit couldn't be submitted because:

Your post contains a link to the invalid host '192.168.1.1'. Please correct it by specifying a non numeric domain or wrapping it in a code block.

This is not because I typed a link to the address [192.168.1.1](http://192.168.1.1) (though that should be acceptable, too). This is because I typed the bare IP address 192.168.1.1 and it was auto-converted to a link and then the auto-link was rejected.

If you don't want this bare URL converted to a link, why don't you just... not convert it to a link? It seems silly to reject my post and make me wrap it in a code block manually when the software could just ignore it at the rendering stage.

Update:

The auto-link has been fixed: 192.168.1.1

But it still rejects links of the type [192.168.1.1](http://192.168.1.1), which is inconvenient when trying to tell people how to configure their router, web server, etc.

share|improve this question
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It's in an IP block reserved for use in private networks. That IP is the router at two different locations I control, for instance. –  Andrew Barber Jun 1 '12 at 14:46
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@AndrewBarber: Yeah, so why is it an "invalid host"? –  endolith Jun 1 '12 at 14:49
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Because it's a link that people on the Internet can't click on and have resolved (in a way that is expected). –  Scott Wilson Jun 1 '12 at 14:49
    
Have a read of: tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1918 –  The Anti-Santa Jun 1 '12 at 14:50
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@ScottWilson: So don't make it into a link that people on the Internet can click on. –  endolith Jun 1 '12 at 14:51
    
@endolith Because I'm betting the vast majority of times people try to post such a link, they don't know it's an invalid link. –  Andrew Barber Jun 1 '12 at 14:53
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@AndrewBarber - I'd take that bet (not with real money, though, I'm a broke college student). Have a read of these 796 posts containing: http://localhost/ and consider how many of those posts actually intend to link to localhost. I'd say it's all of them. –  Kevin Vermeer Jun 1 '12 at 15:44
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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

This comment is caused by a tool called the . It's new, and still in development. You can see some development effort at http://stackoverflow.com/review/broken-links; but all the buttons cause a 'dev only not implemented yet' error.

Your error is caused by the link validator assuming that all links should point to non-redirected live websites on the global internet. Yours does not. As a subset of this assumption, the link validator (author) identified a common problem: IP address links are broken quite often. For these reasons, the link validator does not allow your link to be posted.

I disagree with these assumptions. It's obvious to anyone with computer experience that 192.168.1.1 is an invalid host. However, if you're writing about a local server running at this address, it makes sense. At work, we have an Ethernet-based development board which has a hard-coded IP address of 10.0.0.1, and many of our internal wikis contain links to this IP address: Clicking on a link, assuming that the reader has this configuration, will do something useful. Similarly, Stack Overflow has ostensibly broken links to http://localhost/ (834 posts) and http://localhost:8080/ (393 posts). They're the two most common 'broken links' on the site. In the first 10 instances I looked at, they were intentionally links - Someone attempting to follow the steps in an answer or reproduce the problem described in a question would be expected to want to click on these links.

This is, I believe, an instance of the link validator being overzealous.


edit:
grumble grumble....

Oops! Your answer couldn't be submitted because:

  • Your post contains a link to the invalid domain 'localhost'.
    Please correct it by specifying a full domain or wrapping it in a code block.
  • Your post contains a link to the invalid domain 'localhost'.
    Please correct it by specifying a full domain or wrapping it in a code block.
share|improve this answer

Because 192.168.1.1 is an internal IP address, and if someone were to click it, chances are they would get a 404.

To fix, wrap your URL in the inline code block key `, and the editor will accept it.

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8  
Why should I do something that could be done automatically in software? –  endolith Jun 1 '12 at 15:08
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@endolith god forbid you have to type an extra two keys. And besides, it's an error on your part to try to post a link to an invalid host, and not something the computer should clean up for you. –  Richard J. Ross III Jun 1 '12 at 15:10
    
Well, at home I would get the web interface to my cable modem... –  dmckee Jun 1 '12 at 15:14
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Posting 192.168.1.1 is not the same as posting [192.168.1.1](192.168.1.1) or any other form of link, nor is it necessarily an error. And if the computer shouldn't need to clean it up, then why does it need to detect it? The detection is the hard part, not linking it is easy. –  Matthew Read Jun 1 '12 at 15:24
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@RichardJ.RossIII - It's not necessarily an error to try to post a link to an invalid host. What if Endolith was writing an answer about setting up dmckee's cable modem? (or, knowing Endolith, setting up some embedded development board...) It's reasonable to expect that he'd want to link to an internal IP, and that readers following the answer would want to click on it. A warning might be nice, but the site doesn't need to and can't assume that he wants to link to an external, always-valid link. –  Kevin Vermeer Jun 1 '12 at 15:45
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@RichardJ.RossIII: God forbid software does what the user wants, instead of rudely forcing them to jump through hoops to do what it wants. –  endolith Jun 1 '12 at 18:43

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