Fundamentally, I want to create this link in a comment and have it go to the right place: String(byte[],Charset)



Two issues emerge:

  1. The actual link strips the square brackets (presumably because they're improperly encoded), this is livable but undesirable, I can url-encode them myself
  2. Comments incorrectly fail to escape the brackets, leading to a messy rendering of:


Without the code format I recognize it's possible to escape the slashes, rendering correctly as String(byte[],Charset)

However, with inline code formatting and escaped slashes, I simply see the slashes:


  • e.g. String(byte[],Charset) Jul 7, 2011 at 3:25
  • Note that it isn't switched to a link but rather a [name] next to an link.
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:30
  • I wish there was some way to count the number of people who have just tried to replicate (in these comments) your bug...
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:31
  • 1
    @M.: Lance tried at least 4 times, I saw 3 other alerts since then. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:32
  • Note: they should be encoded according to this question.
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:35
  • @M.: Unfortunately Google is failing to encode them =/ Jul 7, 2011 at 3:37
  • So in other words, this: String(byte\[\],Charset) still fails.
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:52
  • @M.: precisely. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:53

3 Answers 3


You cannot escape anything in code spans (because you shouldn't have to), with one exception: If the code span is delimited by single backticks, you can escape backticks (for historical reasons). If it's enclosed by multiple backticks, e.g. ``here is a backtick: ` <-- see?``, you can't (and don't have to) escape anything anymore. See this answer for more.

The fact that the closing bracket broke stuff was merely a bug; that's fixed in the next build. Your original version will then work, except for – as you noted – the requirement to url-encode brackets in the link.

  • You are fast!!!
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 7:16
  • @balpha: The escaping of backticks ` in inline code in comments is not purely for historical reasons. How else could I produce `? Jul 7, 2011 at 9:06
  • @HendrikVogt: By enclosing the code in multiple backticks (like my example above). Until the change from the answer I linked to (on your question), multiple backtick blocks were not supported in comments, so back then the only way to have a backtick in code was escaping, and for historical reasons (call it backwards-compatibility if you will) we left that in. Try it in a post -- real Markdown doesn't have that escaping thing.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jul 7, 2011 at 9:27
  • @balpha: Try it yourself: `` ` `` gives `` ` ``. Jul 7, 2011 at 9:29
  • @balpha: And ````` gives `````. The problem is that spaces are no longer allowed at the start and end of inline code in comments. (I wonder why!) Jul 7, 2011 at 9:30
  • @HendrikVogt: Well yeah, but that's nothing new -- I'm also mentioning that in my answer. That's certainly not the reason for leaving backslash-escaping in.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jul 7, 2011 at 9:38
  • @balpha: No, indeed not new. So I'm even more puzzled why you write "By enclosing the code in multiple backticks" as an answer to my question "How else could I produce `?". (Ah, maybe this wasn't clear to you: I meant producing this very inline code `, consisting of a single backtick. See, yesterday I was asked how one does this on meta.math.sx!) Jul 7, 2011 at 9:43

You can, but there's a couple things with your link. The square brackets can be escaped with a \, but the link should also really be encoded properly. I will add a comment on this answer using the following, (note the \[\]):

[String(byte\[\],Charset)](http://developer.android.com/reference/java/lang/String.html#String(byte%5b%5d, java.nio.charset.Charset))

After OP's edit:

Comments are parsed with mini-markdown, which intentionally supports a subset of the markdown syntax. This is very much intentional, as comments are just for quick things and should not need the full formatting that markdown in posts use.

  • 2
    String(byte[],Charset) Jul 7, 2011 at 3:39
  • Your link fails to go to the right place, the square brackets are dropped from the actual href. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:41
  • Further, escaping fails when using inline code ticks: String(byte\[\],Charset) Jul 7, 2011 at 3:41
  • @Rebecca, your link strips out the []. I think you need to encode the [] to %5b%5d (But only in the actual link)
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:42
  • @MarkElliot Meh, copy/paste error, but just encode the url correctly. I think you need to escape the code ticks too maybe? Comments use mini-markdown which is only a subset of the markdown syntax that posts use. They aren't meant for complicated formatting like this. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:43
  • Eh, I shouldn't need to escape my code ticks, I want to link code format, e.g.: String(byte<>,Charset) Jul 7, 2011 at 3:44
  • Sorry, I've partially invalidated your answer by refining my question to be more accurate and more concise. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:49
  • @MarkElliot, so...you've edited to be an exact dupe of stackoverflow.com/q/40568/181481? Jul 7, 2011 at 3:52
  • @Rebecca: nope, I've edited to indicate that I cannot both escape slashes and use inline code formatting for links. My actual link contains the url-encoded square brackets, the issue is in the label. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:53
  • @MarkElliot, you edited after my comment again. I've now edited my answer to match...I think. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:57

So to get this to work, as @RebeccaChernoff noted, you must escape the [] in the link text and encode them in the link itself. Check out this page on URL Encoding.

Update: So what you want is achieved by this:

[`String(byte`\[\]`,Charset)`](http://developer.android.com/reference/java/lang/String.html#String(byte%5b%5d,%20java.nio.charset.Charset))  note the double '`'

Update 2:


Will get you the opening bracket but not the closing one. See below in comments. (After experimenting for 30 minutes, this is the closest I can get. See my last comment)

  • 1
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:44
  • Yeah, that was a copy/paste fail on my part. I edited. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:45
  • My word. Eight tries for me to get that link right!!. eek.
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:46
  • Unfortunately this doesn't resolve the problem as I'd like to use inline code formatting, too. (edited question to be more precise) Jul 7, 2011 at 3:50
  • String(byte[],Charset)
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:54
  • That's close, but I want code formatted square brackets. Seeing as the behavior is unexpected I'd still call this a bug -- though maybe this is a (poor?) workaround. Jul 7, 2011 at 3:56
  • So you want [String(byte[],Charset)] to link as above. I can't get it to work.
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 3:58
  • String(byte[],Charset)
    – M. Tibbits
    Jul 7, 2011 at 4:06

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