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Whenever the following characters appear in an URL in a link of the form [foo][1] … [1]: http://..., the server won't parse it as URL:

  • ^, {, }, \

and the following won't work in preview:

  • $, ^, *, [, ], {, }, \, ', "

This causes great trouble when copying links from the URL bar. Browsers seldom escape every character, e.g. in Firefox ~!^*_-{}|[]\. in a query string will not be escaped, while in Chrome `~!$^*()_-{}|[]\:;',./ won't be escaped. For example, all 3 Wolfram Alpha links by this user fails to appear because of ^, { and }. Fixing these links are annoying.

Therefore, I propose that when one creates a link or image through the toolbar (Ctrl+L / Ctrl+G), the system should be able to escape at least the above mentioned characters.

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A temporary workaround is to use something like this – Larry Wang Aug 10 '10 at 16:08
Minor detail: a trailing asterisk indeed does not work in preview, but not in the end result either, not even when using Ctrl-L or when explicitly using the angle brackets syntax like <*> (Maybe a clash with the Markdown for italic?) – Arjan Dec 8 '10 at 20:27
up vote 6 down vote accepted

When entering a link via the dialog, we now make sure to encode "nasty" characters, so the resulting link definition is actually usable.

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yay! – Adam Davis Mar 11 '11 at 14:30
Am I right that the underscore is no longer escaped to be %5F? That is good, as Firefox treats an escaped underscore differently than Chrome, which might mess up when the server is not configured correctly. Like try in both browsers, and in Firefox note the URL in the 404 message. If indeed the underscore is no longer escaped by design, then I guess the ancient Link with underscore does not work is actually status-completed by now! :-) – Arjan Dec 24 '11 at 11:26

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