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Posting URLs or Links

 
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:33 am    Post subject: Posting URLs or Links Reply with quote

To include a URL (a link to a web page), simply paste or type it into your message as-is. That's all you need to do. The URL will automatically become a clickable link, like this:

http://www.hummernetwork.com

This applies to most URLs or links. There are, however, some special cases which may require some special handling. Those are discussed further down in this topic.

The "URL" button is used ONLY to make a word or phrase clickable. For example:

Code:

[url=http://www.hummernetwork.com]Hummer Network Home Page[/url]


will produce this:

Hummer Network Home Page

This should only be used if you know what you're doing. Don't use the "URL" button to "embed" a link into a message. It's not necessary. Don't use HTML to post links.

Typing or pasting the URL into the message is sufficient. If you surround a link with URL tags, it will have no effect. The link will work simply because it appears in the message.

Long URLs are automatically shortened, but they still work just fine. You cannot, however, copy and paste a shortened (truncated) URL into a forum post in its shortened form. It will not work. You need to click on the truncated URL to go to the web page to which it links, then paste the full URL into your forum post. You can recognize a shortened (truncated) link by the three dots (...) which replace characters that have been omitted in the process of truncating. If you see a link containing three dots (...), it is a truncated link.

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Last edited by Hummer Network on Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:53 am; edited 9 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The forum will automatically parse a URL into a clickable link, but only if it is the form of a URL. It must start with "http://" or "www". Otherwise, it's just a string of characters.

There needs to be a blank space or return before and after a URL. If any characters are added to a URL, like putting a period at the end, it becomes part of the URL and it will not work properly. The forum software is just that, software, and cannot intuitively "know" that a character is not intended to be part of a URL.

Like any software which parses links, the forum software will parse it starting with "http" or "www." (provided there are no other characters immediately preceding it) and go until it encounters a blank space. If a link contains a blank space, it will not fully parse. If you wish to post a URL that contains a blank space, you can replace the blank space with "%20" (without the quotation marks), which is the ASCII character for a blank space. The URL should then work and parse properly.

If in doubt or you get stuck, you can always go to www.tinyurl.com and paste in the URL you want to post, then use the result. This service is specifically designed to take long and oddball URLs and turn them into usable ones.

Some examples:

humvee.net is not in the form of a URL.

www.humvee.net is.

http://www.humvee.net is.

Also, don't use boldface, italics or other enhancements on URLs. That will make them not clickable links. For example:

www.humvee.net is clickable. No text enhancements are used.

www.humvee.net is not. Boldface used.

www.humvee.net is not. Italics used.

www.humvee.net is not. Underline used.

There will also be a problem if a link immediately follows other characters without a space or return in between. If that is done, the URL will not parse properly. For example:

gotohttp://www.humvee.net

This URL will not work because there are other characters before it. It will work if done like this instead:

goto http://www.humvee.net

This will also happen if a link immediately follows a BBCode tag such as a quote tag:

Code:
[/quote]http://www.humvee.net


will not work properly. Just leave a space before the URL and it will.

A link will not parse properly if it is posted within parentheses. That adds extra characters:

(http://www.humee.net)

is not clickable. If you need to enclose a link in parentheses, you'll need to add blank spaces before and after the URL:

( http://www.humee.net )

The opposite can also be a problem. That is, if other characters immediately follow a URL without a space or return in between, the link will not work properly. In this case, the software will continue to parse the character string as a link until it encounters a blank space. For example:

www.humvee.netis the best web site for Hummers.

You can see that the word "is" has become part of the link because there was no space between the URL and the text that follows it. It will not work properly this way. Try it.

www.humvee.net is the best web site for Hummers.

With a space after the URL, it works as it should. A URL should be preceded AND followed by either a blank space or a return.

In short, a posted URL needs to be in the form of a URL and stand alone without extra characters before and/or after it. It's really much simpler than it sounds. Don't complicate it.

TIP: Preview your post before submitting it. You can test links in preview mode to make sure they work the way you intend.

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Last edited by Hummer Network on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes, on a web site, you might see an option to e-mail a link, send a link or to generate a link for copying and pasting. This can produce the link within a bunch of unneeded code. This kind of link will not work well in a forum post. The code may be seen as text by the forum software and displayed as such.

Again, don't complicate it.

Simply copy the link from the location window in the top center of your web browser. That's the space that tells you where you are, the URL of the web page you are viewing at the time. This will result in a link that can simply be pasted into a forum post. To copy the URL, highlight it in the location window (depending on the web browser you're using, that might take just a single click on it, or you may have to click and drag across it from left to right, beginning to end) and choose "copy" under "Edit" in the top row of options or hit control-C (command-C on a Mac).

If you are viewing a page on a Flash site, you may not be able to copy and paste a URL to an individual page within the site. For example, www.hummer.com is a Flash site. If you navigate that site to a particular page, you will find there is no way to determine the URL to that specific page. This is one of the many drawbacks of Flash. If you want to direct forum users to such a web page, you'll have to post a link to the site in general, along with directions to that particular page.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another problem which has come up is with web sites which use computer programs to generate the web pages. Those URLs may contain code pertaining to a particular "session" or inputs from what you have done to navigate to a certain web page. These URLs can be very lengthy and contain many characters. Sometimes these URLs will not work if copied and pasted in general, including into a forum post.

Some URLs may contain "special characters" that the forum software may not recognize. Such URLs may need to be made usable by using a service like TinyURL.com.

If in doubt, try the link first before posting it to the forum. You can test it in Preview mode. See if you get the same web page you had before. If you do not, then the link is not a good one.

If something like this does happen, it is not the fault of the forum software. It is just the nature of the way some web sites are constructed. If a link is no good in general, it won't be good on this forum. You would not be able to copy and paste that kind of link into an e-mail and have it work correctly either.

I'm sorry that I cannot provide a general rule of thumb for posting links to such web sites because this situation varies from one web site to another. My only suggestion would be to post a link to the site in general along with how you got to the section or page you wish to share (what you clicked or searched).

It is ALWAYS a good idea to PREVIEW YOUR POST BEFORE SUBMITTING IT. You can also test a link in preview mode.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, please don't try to embed a Youtube video into a post. Just post a link to it.

Again, don't try to complicate it.

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