There are two of seven links which the SE Android app (ver 1.0.89) will not follow, but on Windows 10, both Firefox and Chrome do. They are in the Cool References section, numbered 3 and 4. See my answer to: Why does the Commodore C128 perform poorly when running CP/M?

My smartphone is a OnePlus 3 with Android version 7, OxygenOS version 4.0.3.

Item #3 is pretty complex, to a certain post from the usenet at Google Groups:

@AndrewT. provided working URL for this. The one I used was based on a search, but Andrew's link works fine in Android:

Item #4 is a lot simpler, but it's an FTP:

I do not know if these are bugs in the SE app or Android's net linkage. There is no problem accessing the PDF file linked near the top of my answer.

  • 1
    How you expect a smartphone to handle FTP exactly? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Feb 28 '17 at 7:45
  • Anyway, to test if it's on SE app side or not, try opening the same question in a browser on your device, e.g. Chrome, and try tapping the links in there. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Feb 28 '17 at 7:46
  • @ShadowWizard In the Android Chrome browser, the FTP link works, but the Google Groups link partially fails in the same way SE app does (you do get to Google Groups, but to your home page there, not the specific post). So the GG link is not SE app's fault, but the ftp link is. // I expect a smartphone app to treat an ftp link exactly the same as a browser does, download-only, as if executing an FTP get command. – RichF Feb 28 '17 at 8:30
  • Well, the app is not a browser, so implementing this might mean long hours/days/weeks of development which won't be worth the cost. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Feb 28 '17 at 8:38
  • @ShadowWizard I understand. There is no way in the Android environment for an app to forward a link to Chrome? That's actually what I thought you were doing. For example, the long PDF file displays fine from the app, and I'm pretty sure the app doesn't include its own Acrobat® reader. – RichF Feb 28 '17 at 8:48
  • Not sure how the app is built technically, it does use some Chrome inline-viewer to show links. But most likely FTP is different matter, and not as simple to handle. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Feb 28 '17 at 9:01
  • SE app uses Android WebView, which doesn't support ftp:// links by default. As for the Google Group's link, it's the problem with mobile redirection (not SE nor Android problem, it happens on all mobile browser) – Meta Andrew T. Feb 28 '17 at 10:25
  • @qwer Thank you for the info. AndrewT. provided a direct link to the Google Groups post, and it works. The one I found was based on a search and had a much messier URL. Only the ftp:// issue remains, which is apparently WebView's limitation. Not sure what you meant with by default. Is there an option one can activate to enable FTP links for WebView? – RichF Feb 28 '17 at 10:45
  • @qwer think that's worthy of an answer. :) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Feb 28 '17 at 10:53
  • I stand corrected. I shouldn't add "by default". It;s WebView's limitation as you mentioned. – Meta Andrew T. Feb 28 '17 at 10:54

The original Google Group link doesn't work in mobile due to mobile-site redirection:

  1. Trying to open https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/bill$20herd$20z80$2Fcpm/comp.sys.cbm/xVv2cnfkbFQ/WWuyFOtSINsJ
  2. Redirected to https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!search/bill$20herd$20z80$2Fcpm/comp.sys.cbm/xVv2cnfkbFQ/WWuyFOtSINsJ (note the added m/ after forum/)
  3. Finally redirected to https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!overview, the mobile homepage, due to non-existent page on 2nd link.

It's not SE app nor Android bug. To mitigate this, use its direct link instead: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/comp.sys.cbm/xVv2cnfkbFQ/WWuyFOtSINsJ

The link will be handled properly even on mobile.

As for the FTP links, SE app uses Android WebView (albeit heavily customized) to show the content of the posts. However, Android WebView doesn't support FTP, though there's a solution for that: check and open FTP link in browser app.

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  • I just visited the developer documentation for WebView. The page provides code for both using WebView and to "invoke the browser application". In my ignorance of the SE app, I'll ask -- couldn't it check for an ftp:// protocol in the URL? If so, invoke browser, else WebView. – RichF Feb 28 '17 at 11:12
  • @RichF yes, you're right, it could. I believe the developers didn't think if a post would contain FTP link since it's a very rare occurrence. – Meta Andrew T. Feb 28 '17 at 11:19

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