Problems with Links September 21, 2001 6:25 PM   Subscribe

I can never include a link in my comments. I go through the motions and the appropriate window appears but then, when I preview or post the comment, it either comes out as gobbledygook or disappears.
Why is this? Subliminally it also makes me post more than I would feel like - because URL links are so effectively rendered when you post one to the front-page- so this is a real problem.
What can the matter be?

posted by MiguelCardoso to Bugs at 6:25 PM (18 comments total)

"Window appears"? What are you doing to create the link?

You can either manually code the link(ie: posted by Su at 6:27 PM on September 21, 2001

Oops...I should have seen that coming.

You can either code the link by manually inserting the A tag, or use the ctrl-shift-a shortcut listed below the textbox, and all that does is stick a pair of opening and closing tags in for you. I've never seen anything involving a window.
posted by Su at 6:29 PM on September 21, 2001

He might be talking about the "link window" that appears when you hit ctrl-shift-a.

Don't be offended by me asking this, but are you typing something between the open [a href...] tag and the [/a] tag in the MeFi edit box? There have been a few times where I forget to type something there and the link seems to disappear.
posted by arco at 6:46 PM on September 21, 2001

The process goes like this:

Type the text you want for a link.

Sweep highlight it.

Press Control-Shift-A.

Enter the link URL in the popup window and hit return.

If you don't have any text swept out, the operation doesn't work.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:56 PM on September 21, 2001

Thanks, Su and arco for your patience. I shall now try to post a link by using the "link window":
I did that and clicked OK. What appears here in my comment box is as follows: .

Did the link appear?

I fear not.

Su - excuse my inexcusable ignorance, but what is the A tag? I wouldn't mind the most laborious method, if you're kind enough to explain it to me.

Bless you both!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:03 PM on September 21, 2001


Until it was brought up just now, that window has not been appearing for me anyting I hit the shortcut in recent memory, so I'll just go back to my corner and try to remember when I last took my meds.

In fact, I distinctly remember being rather irritated that whenever I did use the shortcut, I would get kicked back to the top left of the textbox and have to scroll down.
posted by Su at 7:03 PM on September 21, 2001

I typed out what was in my comment box, but not even that got through.
Should I kill myself? It's just so embarrassing...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:04 PM on September 21, 2001

The A (anchor) tag is one element of HTML, which is used to mark places in a document as anchors(read: a point to go back to), or to create links between documents, sometimes directly to a previously defined anchor point.

Go here for some tutorials and further information on HTML.

...and yes, I made that link with the pop-up box. I'm still confused.
posted by Su at 7:08 PM on September 21, 2001

This is what you posted:

I shall now try to post a link by using the "link window": <a href=""></a<

You need to make sure you have something in between the > and the </a>


posted by mkn at 7:10 PM on September 21, 2001


Hi and cheers. I am now going to follow your method(which sounds good beforehand but...).
To link to Metafilter I am typing and now going to highlight it. I clicked OK on the "link window" and am now going to preview.
Hey, Steven, it looks benignly yellow!
I'm posting now.


posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:11 PM on September 21, 2001

er: the ></a< should be ></a>
posted by mkn at 7:12 PM on September 21, 2001

It works!

posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:12 PM on September 21, 2001

Cheers mkn and all of you! Where else would total strangers take all this time off to teach someone like me? I'm truly touched and promise to do the same for future greenhorns when they appear.
Altruism like this, I thought, never existed...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:15 PM on September 21, 2001

I'm glad it worked for you! That's what I thought the problem was (and what I was trying to suggest in my first post), but I got distracted for a few minutes and the others took over the tutorial.

BTW, the bit about the [a] tags pretty much exhausts my knowledge of HTML, so don't look for any further assistance from me!
posted by arco at 7:22 PM on September 21, 2001

Miguel, usually the link text isn't a copy of the link URL, though it is permitted to be. The idea is that the text should be what it is and the URL point to it, viz: my home page.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:15 PM on September 21, 2001

Thanks again, Steven!
In case anyone else as dumb as me has the same problem what you do is:
1)write the word(s) you would like to appear in yellow that readers will click on to get to your link(Ex: "Steven Den Beste's homepage" or "USS Clueless website")
2)highlight this word/these words(this was what I wasn't doing)
3)click control+shift+a
4)a window appears in the upper left-hand corner. Fill in your link's URL(ex: aich tee tee pee://")
5)click OK
6)Presto! Click "Preview" just to make sure(and to impress yourself for such cleverness).
7)Thank the above Samaritans.
8)Finally, wonder how you can get @ into your email address on your profile and consider yourself one of us.

posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:59 AM on September 22, 2001

re: point 8)

the "@" symbol is removed from yr email address on yr profile so that spam engines won't read it as an email address. So it's actually a very decent favor mathowie does for us, so that the email addresses we provide don't get loaded into the databases of half a million marketing companies.

(Those HTML gurus are tricky devils, eh?)
posted by mattpfeff at 12:45 PM on September 22, 2001

Thanks, mattpfeff. My admiration grows with every passing post.
Now for a really difficult one. I posted my ICQ number in all good faith and I have been constantly spammed by porn sites.
Can mathowie and those HTML gurus render it equally useless to the half a million marketing companies?
Because it's very annoying to be always authorizing, etc, whenever a genuine message comes through.

Thought that would stump you...

Hell, it's a small price!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:10 PM on September 22, 2001

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