I was commenting about redirecting non-www to www urls, (on this question) and posted two urls in a comment, one with, and one without www, both including the protocol (http).

Both urls were parsed into links (fine) but the display of both was shortened to exclude both the protocol (fine), and the sub-domain (here's the problem) - although it was preserved in the href/target of the link.

I assume this is to save space in comments. I also know that Jeff doesn't like sub-domains on his own websites (http://stackoverflow.com for example), but most of the web still uses them, and they are relevant. Should/could url sub-domains be preserved in comments?

Edit: I just did a little experiment in the comments to this question. It seems "www" is removed, but any other sub-domain is preserved. This is good, but it still strikes me as a little aggressive, just to save 4 characters of space in the comments?


1 Answer 1


My guess is this was done to improve readability. Adding www in the front of a domain doesn't really obscure the intended location of the link. Not only does it shorten the comment, it also makes it easier to read.

If you need the sub domain, this should work as a workaround - [http://www.facebook.com](http://www.facebook.com).

  • What's wrong with facebook.com? Is the content in the link obscured?
    – jjnguy
    Dec 22, 2010 at 15:17
  • 1
    nothing wrong with facebook.com until you try to contrast it to facebook.com WRT to readability, Would you say it's a marginal thing? Is www(dot)facebook.com /significantly/ harder to read?
    – Andrew M
    Dec 22, 2010 at 15:20
  • @Andrew, I doubt there are many cases where the first link is supposed to have different behavior from the second link. I just think that the www is unnecessary.
    – jjnguy
    Dec 22, 2010 at 15:27
  • True, and I can see why it's been done that way, and If it was me, I'd be reluctant to disable that feature after going to the trouble of writing it in the first place. Unfortunately, on stack overflow (and I'd expect Serverfault and occasionally even Super user) sub-domains are sometimes under discussion, and can be very relevant. (It happened to me just now, hence this question).
    – Andrew M
    Dec 22, 2010 at 15:39
  • 2
    @Andrew, if you need the sub domain, this should work as a workaround - [http://www.facebook.com](http://www.facebook.com) http://www.facebook.com
    – jjnguy
    Dec 22, 2010 at 15:47
  • @jjnguy - Ahh - yup that would work. Could you edit that into your answer for an upvote, and I guess an accept too?
    – Andrew M
    Dec 22, 2010 at 15:54
  • @Andrew, added.
    – jjnguy
    Dec 22, 2010 at 15:59

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