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It would be nice if SO automatically parsed all the internal links in posts and comments and tracked them centrally.

That way regardless of tagging we would be able to track bi-directional relations between questions.

So, for example, this question relates to: Automatically populate title in all internal links

Because I added this link the following should happen:

  1. The text should be parsed.
  2. It should infer that #34461 is somehow related to this question.
  3. This link should be bi-directional, so if I look at #34461 this question should show up in the related questions, regardless of tagging
  4. All internal links in all comments and responses on a question should be rolled up into a related-question list.

I have this kind of feature working fine on my community tracker, even though you could theoretically abuse it, in reality it is proving incredibly useful.

This also really helps deal with duplicates and build a smart user generated map of related topics.

You can see an actual implementation of such a feature here, the related links are all gathered and maintained by the system. They are all strongly relevant and when you navigate to any of them you can see that they link back.

share|improve this question
what should be parsed? comments? post body? titles? Where should the list of "referenced" questions be displayed, on the sidebar? Above or below the Related Questions? – Jeff Atwood Mar 31 '10 at 5:56
I parse comments and body for questions and answers, but if it gets noisy I would limit it to body only of Q&A. I would somehow integrate this into the Related Questions section and give a different visual queue for non-tag relations. – waffles Mar 31 '10 at 5:59
@Jeff - can you really include links in titles? – Dominic Rodger Mar 31 '10 at 6:06
up vote 10 down vote accepted

This is deployed experimentally to meta. Notice there is a new Linked Posts column on the right, above the existing Related Posts.

Linked posts are built by scanning the post body and comment body for strings matching\d+/

Once "linked", the links are visible on both sides.

share|improve this answer
nice one Jeff ! – waffles Apr 25 '10 at 17:32

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