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In a recent question I was answering, I had used localhost and your.domain.tld as examples for a user with regards to RWW and OWA. However, I had to obfuscate the URL (think I put brackets around the colon) as I had exceeded the number of links permitted for my current rank.

Could we modify the parser to have a "whitelist" of URLs like 'localhost' or '' and possibly anything ending in .local?

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As they're not real links I think they should be excluded. – ChrisF Jul 16 '09 at 12:43
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Maybe "", (and, example.local, etc) since that's the domain that's actually reserved for this purpose.

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maybe the .local TLD as well... – Rowland Shaw Jul 16 '09 at 12:44
Is it really reserved? By whom? IEEE? Or do you mean just at SF/SO. Curious... – gravyface Jul 16 '09 at 12:44
Wow, I just went to and have never seen that before. That's great. I thought for sure some squatters owned that. – gravyface Jul 16 '09 at 12:46
Yep, there's actually an RFC about this. – Pops Dec 17 '11 at 22:40

Try formatting them as code using backticks, e.g. http://localhost.

In addition to not counting against the link limit, it also prevents them from rendering as links in the first place, which is nice (they wouldn't link to anywhere useful anyway).

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I disagree that they aren't useful. When a user is developing locally, and using a development server, being able to provide them with a link that actually goes to their page is useful. – Matthew Schinckel Jun 20 '12 at 5:42

I disagree with this. There are lots of times where we want the person to be able to click on a link to localhost, where she is running a dev server on her machine.

For instance, I just attempted to answer this question, and could not enter a link to localhost for this user to use: instead it needs to be marked as code.

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