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I just came across this answer, which included a note that the URL they tried to use wasn't being recognized by the markdown engine.

I tried swapping the hyphens for %2D and suddenly the URL was recognized. When I clicked the link to confirm it worked properly, I noticed Wikipedia was performing a redirect from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model-view-controller gets redirected to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model–view–controller.

The difference is subtle, but the "proper" Wikipedia URL uses an ndash instead of a hyphen. As you can see from the links above, this is a breaking character for Markdown URLs.

I know that in this case switching with hyphens works, but should Markdown be updated to allow this character (and probably the mdash as well, for good measure - any others?) in case there are situations where it doesn't?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted


  1. press ctrl+l (or click the toolbar hyperlink button)

  2. paste URL

  3. press enter


[Model-View-Controller on Wikipedia][1]

  [1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model%E2%80%93view%E2%80%93controller
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To be fair, this auto-encoding wasn't available in November of 2009 when the original post was made. – balpha Mar 20 '11 at 7:13
Firefox has been my main browser for six years, yet I've never noticed this. Seems to only work when you paste the whole URL, not when you just replace a portion like I was doing last night. Thanks Lord President Atwood. – AgentConundrum Mar 20 '11 at 17:15
@jesse I prefer Galactic President Superstar McAwesomeville youtube.com/watch?v=Y5RQNBFKK30 – Jeff Atwood Mar 20 '11 at 21:28
Duly noted, though I took Lord President from Doctor Who, which is clearly superior to (the non-NPH parts of) HIMYM. – AgentConundrum Mar 21 '11 at 1:41

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