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I have recently posted a comment which linked to a Google Ngrams search of some word uses.

[Ngrams](https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=caught+flu%2Ccaught+the+flu%2Ccaught+measles%2Ccaught+the+measles%2Ccaught+plague%2Ccaught+the+plague%2Ccaught+influenza%2Ccaught+the+influenza&year_start=1900&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ccaught%20flu%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20flu%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20measles%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20measles%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20plague%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20plague%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20influenza%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20influenza%3B%2Cc0)
(572 characters)

This link took up 95.3% of my comment and left me with 28 characters to use as an explanation. Google does not provide a link shortening service along with Ngrams and it's too time-consuming to go and get it shortened.

As Jeff said here, this is not a technical issue but a cosmetic one:

shortening is cosmetic, not actually written to the [database]

My example is an extreme case but if you want to link to several things, your comment is taken up by your links.

If you put in a non-magic link with less than 24 characters then the link is excluded from the count( see here) what about extending this to mini-markdown's "magic links" as well?

Why are long links penalised in this way?


† Just in case anyone was going to blame Ngrams, StackExchange is guilty too; my link in this question amount to 158 characters, over a quarter of the comment word limit.

[see here](https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8382/nitpick-comment-character-length-limit-is-less-than-600-when-you-include-a-url/8386#comment15100_8382)
(158 characters)
  • Shortening is cosmetic - so the comment has the full URL. So they have to store that string - so this makes perfect sense to me. Otherwise you'd have to raise the comment length... – Rory Alsop Nov 26 '16 at 17:58
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    @RoryAlsop Sorry, I thought that what Jeff was saying was that the limit of 600 characters "is cosmetic, not actually written to the db". No? Also, the comment I link to shows that the 600 character limit is not a database thing. – BladorthinTheGrey Nov 26 '16 at 18:00
  • I am aware that this could provide a weakness whereby which people could type in a massively long URL and clog the database. For the sake of that, if the database is a problem, I propose a 1000 or 1500 character limit including links. – BladorthinTheGrey Nov 26 '16 at 18:06
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    @BladorthinTheGrey That specific question was talking about how when displaying the comment, we chop off the "http://" and the comment is displayed as less than 600 characters, even though it is stored as 600 characters in the database. That was just pretty poor wording on Jeff's part. – animuson Nov 26 '16 at 18:07
  • @animuson Fair enough. Could the database limit not be changed, though? – BladorthinTheGrey Nov 26 '16 at 18:11
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    Your example for your meta link is a bit artificial. It will work with http://meta.stackexchange.com/q/8382 – rene Nov 26 '16 at 18:15
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    @rene: In fact, it will work without the protocol and domain name, like /q/8382. Relative links are kind of cheating, though. – Nathan Tuggy Nov 26 '16 at 23:42
  • @NathanTuggy you win, collect your hat in a couple of weeks ... – rene Nov 27 '16 at 8:09

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