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I used WSIWYG mode in the new editor and it made all the links inline when I made a minor edit.

Of less concern, it also removed the optional trailing #s on headers and escaped a bunch of brackets that were part of the link text.

It's revision 26. While I personally don't care about what format the links are in, some people prefer the other style. It's also unexpected that a six character edit would rewrite so much in the post, making it look like I'm actively promoting a style. And it was very confusing for me because I was using the reference numbers to help navigate the post while I was editing and was wondering why it suddenly got so hard to find any.

In fact, I believe that if I just viewed the post in the WYSIWYG editor, then saved it without typing a single character, this would still have happened.

Furthermore, the post I edited was a Community Wiki, which means I could have become the primary author of the post. Whoever made most of the edits before now has a lot less credit.

Can it not?

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    It's also possible to specify custom labels for footer links instead of the default "1", "2", etc. Those custom labels get wiped away with the new editor. Jan 6 at 2:11
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    If you ask me converting link lists automatically to inline will destroy tons of work done by copy-editors over the years, there are objective gains in maintainability and readability to using link lists. I think the "new norm" was announced to save development costs, or decided on by failing to see why every major publication uses bibliographic lists.
    – bad_coder
    Jan 6 at 3:23
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    Notes: Null edits (solely to convert the style) are invalid and could be rolled back. The inlining was probably (Dev must answer, I can not) done so this nightmare didn't reoccur (is it code (an index) or a link).
    – Rob
    Jan 6 at 10:27
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It's also unexpected that a six character edit would rewrite so much in the post, making it look like I'm actively promoting a style.

From the original editor announcement:

Inline text and image links are the norm

The image and link tools will now add images and links inline rather than in the bibliography format. While the latter will still work, you’ll have to create it manually. Right now, images don’t have their image plus link formatting but we’re working on getting that added in a future release.

I think this is the most upvoted feature request (at +19 score as of this writing) about inline links being the "new norm", and from what I read it's the only post focusing on that specific issue.

What I did miss entirely was any rationale being given to justify the "new norm" and any broader debate about it. Likely because the nature of the announcement post was more focused on bugs than discussing the impact and possible drawbacks of link list removal being the default.

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    Makyen's comment below that answer deserves repeating, since it's so crucial: "Regardless of which format is used by the editor to create links using the "link" button, changing back and forth between the Markdown view and the Rich Text view should never override the valid Markdown format which the user has chosen." This is, by far, the biggest flaw in the new editor in my book.
    – zcoop98
    Jan 6 at 15:58
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    @zcoop98 I dislike the inline links so much I'm inclined to stop editing because of it. Most users who've done a lot of editing will tell you posts with link lists are a lot easier to maintain, this will make the copy editor's work a lot harder and become a problem multiplier on an unprecedented scale. Years in the future they'll run a SEDE query and ask: "why have users stopped editing other people's posts?" I leave the answer to that question right here in this comment.
    – bad_coder
    Jan 6 at 16:40
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    I miss the old add link behavior, since it was an easy way to add links in reference style whereas I just have typing muscle memory for inline links. However, the announcement makes it seem like the button behavior change is the extent of what's changing. Arbitrary automatic reformatting — often breaking things — is not a feature.
    – Laurel
    Jan 6 at 18:11

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