When you hover a link to a question in a comment, you get the title sanitized, the same way as in the question URL. (Test case.)

Here, have some freehand circles:

Can the tooltip reflect the actual question title, unsanitized?

  • Your URL contains the very title of the question, hidden by the ellipsis.
    – Antony
    May 30, 2013 at 11:52
  • No it doesn't. Notice the missing sharp sign and how it is all lowertext. May 30, 2013 at 11:53
  • Yes. That's where it draws the hover text from. No sharp sign, all lowercase.
    – Antony
    May 30, 2013 at 11:54
  • Can't it draw the proper title? That's my reason for reporting this as a bug. May 30, 2013 at 12:02
  • Then that's a feature request.
    – Antony
    May 30, 2013 at 12:04
  • Not sure if it's bug or by design, anyway I have rewritten the question to make it more clear. May 30, 2013 at 12:08
  • It's very much intentional, for the reasons outlined in Jeff's answer about converting the link text (where getting the proper value for the tooltip would be the same from the processing side of things).
    – Tim Stone
    May 30, 2013 at 14:11
  • 1
    Jeff's answer is irrelevant, as his main point of accessing the database again is nullified by the bit that I underlined in the image. May 30, 2013 at 14:23
  • @Tim interesting, didn't notice that. @newIntance - this is relevant, think I better explain in an answer. May 30, 2013 at 14:27
  • That's only true if the linked questions list goes against the database each time.
    – Tim Stone
    May 30, 2013 at 14:49
  • I don't get tooltip on your link...
    – ɥʇǝS
    Jun 7, 2013 at 17:16
  • @Seth It seems like the comment has been edited out. Just look at the comments here and hover over any of them. Jun 7, 2013 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


As Jeff explains here:

comments are processed on the fly

What does it mean? It means that the code parsing comments just look for pattern like this:

https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/[number here]/[text here]

And put the [text here] part of the link as the tooltip. It does not go to the database to get the real title.

If you put link in other format or just something like https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/182339 there will be no tooltip.

This is also proved by my fake link in this comment:

I do agree with Jeff: suppose page with lots of comments, and for example 50 comments having links to questions. 50 queries are a lot for each view, after all those are just comments. Of course it can be cached, but still... don't think it's worth the effort.

To sum it up: to bring the actual title, trip to the database must be made for each link. That trip is too expansive to be worth the effort.

  • Did you see the part that I underlined in the image? It already requests the title. May 30, 2013 at 14:39
  • 1
    @newStackExchangeInstance no, it's not. It just take the title from the text posted by the comment author, see my test comment above. Added screenshot to hopefully make it more clear. :-) May 30, 2013 at 14:40
  • 1
    No, the part that says linked on my image. May 30, 2013 at 15:10
  • @newStackExchangeInstance it's not relevant, this data is stored elsewhere but still not part of the comments. It will still be trip to the database, just to different table. And the "linked" and "related" lists are both cached i.e. no trip for each view just once in a while when the cache expires. May 30, 2013 at 19:49
  • Can't you just use that instead? May 30, 2013 at 19:58
  • @newStackExchangeInstance with enough time and efforts everything is possible, but doing such thing for comments is not worth the effort. I don't work for Stack Exchange and has no say in the matter, just explaining how things currently work. You made your request; the team might act upon it. But if you ask me, it won't happen due to everything I said. May 30, 2013 at 20:02

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