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Background

This feature request is strongly related to Formatting should not count towards the character limit on comments, but the underlying intentions – as well as the specific request – are different.

The bug report Nitpick: Comment character length limit is less than 600 when you include a URL longer than 24 characters only addresses automatically generated links, not links using Markdown syntax.

Motivation

The character limits are in place to prevent users from posting comments that are either too short or too long. But the length of a comment, for most practical purposes, depends on the amount of text that's being displayed.

As it is, the following comments are too long:

To add insult to injury, the following comments are valid:

  • This is a huge wall of text, possibly from a user rambling about something he should have either said in an answer of his own or kept quiet altogether. Since there are so many words – and you can't use paragraphs in comments – it separates 1) different points 2) in several 3) sequentially numbered 4) but equally obnoxious 5) list items. By now, you probably have lost interest and stopped reading, or you're silently hoping for the audio version narrated by Jeremy Irons, the soothing voice of Scar from The Lion King. Lion King? Hyenas? Wasn't there a song? Must stay focused and finish reading...

  • +1

The 600 character maximum is too restrictive when posting links (let alone links with title attributes).

@Shog9 suggested in this answer to simply increase that maximum, but the current maximum already allows almost unbearable walls of text.

Also, the link syntax might only one of the many ways to circumvent the 15 character minimum, but it's probably the most widely known. Users should at least learn proper Unicode to be able to do that!

Request / TL;DR

In comments, when posting links using the [text](URL) or [text](URL "title") syntax, don't make the URL and title count towards the existing character limits (both maximum and minimum).

To prevent potential abuse of this feature, limit the overall count of characters to 1500.

share|improve this question
    
I can see URL but why do you want the Title to not count –  Some Helpful Commenter Jun 21 '12 at 4:06
    
Because it doesn't get displayed unless the link is hovered, so it doesn't contribute to the wall of text. Just URL would be fine though. That's a much more common problem. –  sudo Jun 21 '12 at 4:09
    
Just edit their question/answer if you have to comment that much. Otherwise, vote to close the question or downvote the answer. Something is wrong! –  user7116 Jun 21 '12 at 4:36
1  
@sixlettervariables: To be fair, the limit bothers me mostly on Meta. –  sudo Jun 21 '12 at 4:39
    
It bothers me on Meta mostly too, but that's probably as I don't interact a lot on the other sites. If I would, I can surely imagine having the same problems there when adding 3 or 4 descriptive references in a comment to a post. –  Arjan Jun 21 '12 at 5:57
    
+1. I was about to post the same request. See my "British vs American" short comment here for an example (if you can get to the comment source - how?). The visible comment text had to be very short (almost cryptic) because the URL for the Ngram was so long. Making users use multiple comments (aka comment "continuations") is primitive and silly. I imagine that fixing this might not be simple, but the need is there, IMO. –  Drew Sep 10 at 16:37

1 Answer 1

Your first example (602 characters) can be shortened to this (489 characters):

This is a comment linking to a lot of meta posts, help pages, Stack Overflow searches and Google queries. Some of the URLs are rather long.

The difference is the Google Url, from which I removed all of the garbage that Google appends to it, leaving this wonder of brevity:

https://www.google.com/#q=What+is+a+unicorn

And the Meta link, for which I substituted the canonical permalink:

FAQ for Stack Exchange sites

Six hundred characters isn't enough to include your content plus formatting? That Should Be Enough For Anyone™. -- Jeff Atwood

share|improve this answer
1  
Point well taken. But if you append a reasonable amount of text to it, a handful of links still exceed the character limit. 600 characters for content plus formatting – much like 640 KiB RAM – is not enough. –  sudo Jun 21 '12 at 4:20
    
Then simply add another comment with the additional links/text. –  Robert Harvey Jun 21 '12 at 4:21
1  
That's what I'm doing. For some strange reason, the second comment never gets as much upvotes as the first. Looks nice when some of the comments are hidden... –  sudo Jun 21 '12 at 4:23
1  
@Dennis You really shouldn't be optimizing for comment upvotes. If there's content that's important enough such that everyone needs to see it, it should make its way into an answer. –  user149432 Jun 21 '12 at 4:50
    
I truly dislike the short http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/7931 URLs for internal linking. Whenever I need to shorten the URLs (quite often, especially here on Meta trying to include references), I even try to remove just a few characters, to make mouse hover still show a useful URL. And FAQ for Stack Exchange Sites is just slightly shorter than FAQ‌​, but in references like you can use Cmd-K both –  Arjan Jun 21 '12 at 5:10
    
the text and URL need some characters. –  Arjan Jun 21 '12 at 5:11
    
@Mark, not saying that my above comments are important, but how could I have put those into an answer? They are related to Robert's post. –  Arjan Jun 21 '12 at 5:21
1  
This is all well and good to know. But S.E. should not require users to know how to edit URLs in this way. This is workaround info (good to know), but the problem remains. –  Drew Sep 10 at 16:40

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