I often write raw URLs when mentioning a site. Example:
You can see the latest at: http://this_is_the_latest.com/
You can see the latest here
This more closely resembles how traditional publishing references sources.
If someone prints the page or views it in a non-browser (eg, screenshot), no information is lost.
It violates the principle that things should be published in the simplest format possible to make it accessible to the largest number of people.
However, whenever I do that on stackexchange sites, someone edits my post to have a hyperlink.
Is this a general stack rule, open for discussion, or ???
Here is my sample use case:
A popular question has many answers (and comments), each with 5-10 links each.
The linktexts read something like "Sugar fried in lard is a healthy snack".
I don't want to hover over every single link to see which ones have good sources and which ones don't. Or, if I've printed this for offline reading (maybe just on my Kindle), I can't see where each link goes.
Instead, I want to see "Sugar fried in lard is a healthy snack (http://lard-and-sugar-growers.com/)" or "Sugar fried in lard is a healty snack (http://health.gov/lard)".
I claim that seeing these URLs without hovering helps me filter through the answers I want to read.
I won't vindictively downvote answers with unreliable sources (if offline, I can't do this), but I will focus on answers with good sources.
Having to hover over each link is an inefficient way to see which links are reliable and which are not.
Providing the raw URL tells me not only what is being said, but who is saying it.