Which is the preferred way to format references in question and answer texts?
I have now seen 3 variations:
[visible text](url) [visible text][n] with n being a number and then at the bottom the actual reference: [n]: URL [visible text][linkref] with linkref being a text to the actual reference: [linkref]: URL (Visually but not technically different from the second format)
- I usually use the first format when editing because it lets me edit the raw text in place.
And anyone editing this always has the text and URL in view together.
- The second format is the more traditional 'reference' that we all know from footnotes/endnotes
- I came across the 3rd format in a suggested edit review and this interrupted my thought process: Wait, what's this - O, it's a link reference. I find this format unclear because the link text and link URL have no visual distinction other than their relative position.
- This is not a duplicate of What is the preferred link format in questions and answers?, because that is about the link text, not the link reference.
- This does not apply to same site links where you can just past in a URL and the system resolves it to the question title - as demonstrated in the first note ;-)