Let's say you have this URL :


The only solution I found to include it in an answer was to use an URL shortener. The /*/ (probably half of it, really) seems to confuse the markdown parser.

Note that you can include the link in HTML (fiddle here) but that this HTML gets broken too when you include it in a SO answer.

Is there a solution which doesn't involve using a third party and masking the URL to SO ? Is that a bug ?

  • Using proper markdown works...kind of. For some reason it keeps redirecting me to the current site, even though the link is shown as absolute. But that smells like a bug in Firefox. It looks like both, the colon, the asterisk and the double-slash seem to break something...but that doesn't look like a problem of SE. – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 4 '13 at 14:15
  • It doesn't seem to work to me : it breaks it into two links. – Denys Séguret Jun 4 '13 at 14:21
  • That's why I said "using proper markdown". Dumping a link into the post and expecting it to become a link is not "using proper markdown". – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 4 '13 at 14:27
  • Can you give an example of proper markdown working for this link ? I tried (for example using [text](url)) and couldn't find one. – Denys Séguret Jun 4 '13 at 14:30
  • See the link the the sandbox-post I provided. – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 4 '13 at 14:31
  • None of the link goes to the right page (the one you get if you past the URL from my question here to the url input of your browser). – Denys Séguret Jun 4 '13 at 14:32
  • Yeah, that's what I said. But that seems to be a browser-problem, the links in the post are correct as far as I can see it. – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 4 '13 at 14:34
  • I don't think it's a browser problem as you can easily include the link in HTML outside of SO (see link to fiddle in my question here). – Denys Séguret Jun 4 '13 at 14:36
  • Yeah, that's odd. But I can't see a difference between the two links (HTML-wise). – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 4 '13 at 14:38
  • 1
    I tried my own fiddle. The links there work, even that one C&P from the Sandbox post. So there is something fishy going on, but I don't think it is Stack Exchange, or at least not entirely. – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 4 '13 at 14:55

As long as you explicitly say "this is a link" (by using the [foo](http://bar) syntax, or by, as you tried, explicitly inserting HTML), this works fine now. Simply pasting the URL into the text by itself will not work correctly; auto-recognition of linkable URLs is intentionally limited and will stop on the asterisk.

  • For some weird reason, this SmokeDetector message not only included a link to the post, but also to the spam (hover over the spamlink.com part). Is this a bug, or by design? It appears have something to do with recent changes, as this message is fine. – hichris123 Oct 10 '14 at 10:50
  • That has nothing to do with recent changes. Those messages are not identical (one has http://, one doesn't). Also note that it's only broken in the transcript (which is traditionally pretty broken when it comes to auto-linking); it works fine in the live chat. – balpha Oct 10 '14 at 11:07

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