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Ok I hope I can express this well:

Often I see comments that tell the OP to e.g. improve the acceptance rate, use proper formatting and such, including a link to How does accepting an answer work? or the editing help or F.A.Q.

How about if the Markdown parser could be extended to include shortcuts like ~edit-help~ or ~accept-answer~ which would be automatically extended to the corresponding links. (Update: Or if the input could be pre-parsed and this shortcuts are turned into Markdown links).

This way, one who is eager to help the community would not have to search or bookmark all the links to the important sites ;)

The list of shortcuts could be editable by high rep users.

Would this be even possible or would this slow down the parsing process too much? Or is it not worth the effort?

What do you guys think?

Included from the comments to make my point more clear:

My point is that there are all kinds of problems new users might have and information or help can be found on different websites or questions on meta. Even if one has bookmarked the howtoask section one still has to copy and paste the link. I just think this is such a common task (for some of us), that it could be made easier for us by, e.g. just typing ~howtoask~ or ~howtoaccept~ and the link gets inserted automatically.

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I'm not sure I understood your question!! but, wouldn't that be the same effort as linking to the FAQ like this stackoverflow.com/faq#howtoask –  Trufa Feb 1 '11 at 12:32
    
@Trufa: My point is that there are all kinds of problems new users might have and information or help can be found on different websites or questions on meta. For example your link is different than the one about accepting answers. And even if you have bookmarked the howtoask section you still have to copy and past the link. I just think this is such a common task (for some of us), that it could be made easier for us by, e.g. just typing ~howtoask~ or ~howtoaccept~ and the link gets inserted automatically. And I'm sure there are other relevant meta questions I don't even know about. –  Felix Feb 1 '11 at 12:36
    
oh I hadn't got your point, +1, nice feature, but, if I'm not mistaken, that would be unavailable for users with no Javascript, right? (don't know if they are o lot or few) but wouldn't that be a problem/disadvantage? –  Trufa Feb 1 '11 at 12:40
    
@Trufa: I assume SO's (SE's) Markdown parser works on the server side so that should not be a problem (not sure if it is the same for comments though). –  Felix Feb 1 '11 at 12:44
    
I think you are right, sorry, think I got confused comments. I now officially support the idea ;) –  Trufa Feb 1 '11 at 12:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Completed in comments and chat only as

Add data.SE style "magic links" to comments

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Note that it's not just the Stack Exchange websites that need to understand the content: all third parties that rely on the API or data dump need to know about SE-specific Markdown enhancements too.

Like: spoiler text has been implemented in such a way that renderers that are oblivious about this enhancement can still show it. And tags such as [tag:tag-name] are kind of human readable too when not rendered in any special way?

When adding new things to Markdown, I'd rather see support for footnotes! :-)

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I see your point. It must not necessarily be an extension of the Markdown parser. It could be preparsed and turned into a Markdown link... :) (Footnotes would be cool too ;)) –  Felix Feb 1 '11 at 13:17

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