Both MSDN and Wikipedia are very referenced documentation resources.

Would be possible to automatically replace not formated links, like:


with the page title:

RegexOptions Enumeration (System.Text.RegularExpressions)

or you're only implementing this on SE sites because all it requires is a database query instead of scraping the title?

I'm in doubts about if this is allowed in MSDN or Wikipedia, but that's not for evil purposes, totally the opposite.

I've seen many questions linking MSDN / Wikipedia without formatting the link, like:

Of course, I'm refering to the post editor, and not about comments, because as Jeff said in Replace links with the current question title in comments, comments are processed on the fly.


5 Answers 5


I totally second this.

Manuals I would like to see benefit from this (in addition to MSDN and Wikipedia):

  • The jQuery docs

  • The mySQL docs

  • MDC

  • @Pekka I just included Wikipedia or MSDN, but as I said in the title, it is valid for most linked sources. Commented May 16, 2011 at 20:16
  • 1
    @Oscar I think there will need to be a whitelist due to possible misuse. If they pick up on the suggestion, it might be worth suggesting reliable sources here
    – Pekka
    Commented May 16, 2011 at 20:17
  • @Pekka Agreed! :) Commented May 16, 2011 at 22:13
  • I thought including links to any other SE post will already have the title replace the link URL as the anchor text automatically?
    – Yi Jiang
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 12:36
  • @YiJiang ah, you're right. I thought it was just for the current site
    – Pekka
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 12:37
  • @Yi, @‍Pekka: On Meta.SO I have no trouble automagically linking to meta.tex.sx. Conversely, linking automagically from meta.tex.sx to Meta.SO does not work (just tested). Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 11:06

Ooh, ooh, w3schools!

Who says Meta isn't funny anymore?

  • 3
    You apparently said it, going by the sequence of characters present on your answer here.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 16, 2011 at 20:35
  • 2
    It will be me but... I don't get the joke... :-s
    – fretje
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 8:08
  • @fretje There's a backlash against w3schools because it's very widely used but there are a few mistakes. I don't know, seems a useful resource to me still - no documentation's going to be perfect.
    – Rup
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 12:45
  • How about lmgtfy.com ?
    – MarkJ
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 12:45
  • @Rup: Jep, I know about the backlash... still don't get the joke though...
    – fretje
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 13:17
  • @fretje, based on some of the comments I've heard about w3schools (on and off SO), I think a minor riot would break out if the team made w3schools one of the "official documentation sources."
    – Pops
    Commented May 18, 2011 at 14:11

Great idea.

There are many reference pages (not only listed), and it would be great to show just the header, instead of full link, which can be very long.

Some of the links I keep on seeing :


I like this idea, but I see an issue: there are lots and lots and lots of sites out there. You have your most commonly linked sites, I have mine. Ok, everyone will agree on Wikipedia. I don't think I've ever linked to MSDN, but I link to Ubuntu man pages almost every day. And to Debian, FreeBSD, OSX, etc, plus the POSIX specs and a couple others (guess which site I'm most active on). And on another site (Science fiction and fantasy), I don't care about all them computer stuff, but I'd want IMDB and ISFDB.

The issue is, with so many sites involved, to cope with the sheer number of candidate sites.

On the plus side, there's a precedent: chat oneboxing.


I totally agree! I miss this feature.

In general it should be easy to dynamically analyze which domains are most commonly linked and add them to auto-resolving list without human interaction. This way nobody has to neither maintain nor monitor frequently used resources. Because it is just a matter of downloading the page and reading <title> tag, most of the time the same code could effectively handle most of the sites.

When performance comes into play, there are several ways to tackle this: caching and scrapping in background so that the resolved title appears after some time.

P.S.: And I would add JavaDoc to the mix...

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