Links (revisited)

The fact that the new forum does not automatically detect URLs and make them into active links was mentioned in a previous thread. Also with the old forum software if somehow the URL was not automatically detected all you had to do was highlight the URL and press the 'link' button to activate it. In either case you wound up with displayed text that was in fact the actual URL. You could either 'click' the text to go to the link location or you could 'copy and paste' the text to put it into another document.

I find the new forum software to be a little more convoluted to use when following my personal workflow but it does give the opportunity to create a link that has displayed text that is different from that of the actual URL. Although this may look nicer there is a real problem when the part of the post containing the link is quoted in another post. The only the displayed text will appear in the quote, the actual link is lost. One must determine where the quote came from and navigate back to that post in order to actually follow the quoted link.

So what we have gained is the ability to create a pretty link, one that has displayed text that is different from the URL.

What we have lost is the ability to have active links created automatically and we have also lost the ability to effectively quote material that contains a link.

The first of these losses is especially evident when you look at links provided by newcomers seeking help. In the past they were typically active due to the automatic feature and now they are typically just plain text because the newcomers don't know about the ability to create active links.

Don

floresta:
The fact that the new forum does not automatically detect URLs and make them into active links was mentioned in a previous thread.
. . .

I thought this would be an illustration of the loss of the ability to effectively quote material that contains a link. It looks like it is working now.

Don

The fact that the new forum does not automatically detect URLs and make them into active links was mentioned in a previous thread.

OK - I figured it out.

In the first case I used the 'Quote' button to quote the entire post and then I deleted all but the first sentence. This propagated the link correctly.

In this case I copied the sentence containing the link, pasted the sentence into the 'Quick Reply' box, highlighted that sentence, and then pressed the 'Insert a Quote' icon. I am pretty sure that the link was properly propagated using the old forum software but it is definitely lost here.

Don

Addendum (maybe a new problem): For both reply #1 and reply #2 I am almost positive that I pressed the [Preview] button but in both cases the effect was a [Save].

This time the preview worked, but maybe that's because I did this addendum using 'Modify' instead of 'Quick Edit'. AARRGGHH

So what we have gained is the ability to create a pretty link, one that has displayed text that is different from the URL.

We always used to be able to do that by using the URL tag manually. Or even, as I recall, hitting the "Make hyperlink" button. Since URL creation was automated most people didn't need to learn how to use that, if they didn't mind the displayed name being the same as the link.

I used the old "Make hyperlink" button differently. I typed in the address, highlighted the text, and then pressed the button. It never occurred to me to use it the way it was apparently intended to be used.

I suppose that if they had actually provided instructions I might have found a lot more features I didn't know about.

Don

To be honest I've worked out how the forum works by trial and error, and also Googling instructions about SMF forums in general. There are not many instructions on this site.

floresta:
In this case I copied the sentence containing the link, pasted the sentence into the 'Quick Reply' box, highlighted that sentence, and then pressed the 'Insert a Quote' icon. I am pretty sure that the link was properly propagated using the old forum software but it is definitely lost here.

We spoke about this before.

Not, it wasn't. It cannot be as cut-and-paste picks up font mark-up (much of the time if you are lucky), but not HTML.

Now, as to marking links, it really is dead easy to do it in the basic fashion - just (carefully) highlight the link text, click on the chain icon and click "OK" twice.

Caveat: The link text must be a http:// link.

Not, it wasn't. It cannot be as cut-and-paste picks up font mark-up (much of the time if you are lucky), but not HTML.

Paul - I understand this. My statement about the link being properly propagated using the old forum software was incorrect in the sense that the resultant link was not clickable but correct in the sense that the required URL information was present.

Here is a rephrased version of the problem in light of the additional information posted by Nick in reply #3:

When the displayed text is different than the underlying URL then, a copy/paste will give you only the displayed text and there is no way to determine the actual URL.

When the displayed text is the same as the underlying URL then a copy/paste will give the URL information even though it is not in the form of a clickable link.

My point is that in the old forum it seems that few users knew how to make a link with displayed text different than the underlying URL so no matter what technique was used to create the quote the URL information was included.

In the new forum the technique to make a link with displayed text different than the underlying URL is more apparent so more links are presented this way and the resultant quotes more frequently lose the URL information.

So the summary in my last two paragraphs of the original post remains essentially the same. With the new forum software we have lost the 'automatic link' feature and we have made it easier to create quotes containing links that do not include the required URL information.

Don