I recently answered a question and in my answer I linked to an external site. I left the link as is because I think it's fairly descriptive, for example:


I could have formatted the link as:

WGET for Windows

Or, I could have formatted it as:

WGET for Windows (SourceForge)

The third format provides a hint as to the link destination without moving the mouse over the link.

What's the preferred link format for the Stack Overflow trilogy of sites?


I prefer either the second or third options.

  • 1
    I agree. It makes the link look better, I find the first to look unprofessional, and gives the impression the OP didn't try very hard. – BinaryMisfit Sep 18 '09 at 15:09
  • +1: They are especially good because they are usually shorter, and thus create less clutter. – gnostradamus Sep 18 '09 at 15:09

Fully agree with Bill the lizard's answer, but it needs an addition:

Add additional text behind the link describing what it points to, especially when changing the bare URL to text disguises information:

In the question example:

WGET for Windows (sourceforge).

Or when the link does not go to a HTML page (which people usually expect): (pdf).
Or, on a site like Skeptics.SE where references are important: (NY Times, 29 November 2018)

In addition to readability, we should also strive for maximum information.


Anyone for /. style?

Wget for Windows [sourceforge.net]

  • 5
    I think the reason that Slashdot went with that was to prevent people from linking to bad, disgusting things in disguise. I don't see that being a problem here on Stack Overflow, especially with the fast response of users and moderators to problem postings. – Thomas Owens Oct 6 '09 at 13:47
  • Yes, I agree with you; the question's 3rd suggested format reminded me of it though. Just thought I'd throw it out there. – Alex Barrett Oct 6 '09 at 13:50
  • 3
    @Thomas Owens, @Alex Barret: but given that this would not be enforced by SO, but rather by the poster, you could do something like <a href='goiatze.cx'>My little Pony</a>[nicepony.com], thus defeating the reason. Add tinyurl.com and you have Gtzcx hell. I always hover links and look at the status bar anyway :P – perbert Oct 6 '09 at 14:38
  • @free voyager: The link would then show as My litte Pony [goiatze.cx] [nicepony.com] – Alex Barrett Dec 27 '09 at 2:36

I usually give a name to the link. That way it is easier to maintain the post.


I have a POD document. Now, I want to convert that POD to a parsed section like usage/description and get it in a string.

Why not [`pod2usage`][pod2usage]?

This doesn't help me to get the output in string but in STDOUT/file. I am stressing on the point "getting it in string", because I want to display the POD in "pages" if the length exceeds screen length. [`pod2usage`][pod2usage] doesn't print them in pages :(

Can somebody tell me which module to use for this purpose?

[pod2usage]: http://perldoc.perl.org/pod2usage.html

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