Systematically going back through posts and making every link inline does not necessarily improve the wiki. There are a couple of instances where it has the opposite effect:

  • where the link is in a block of text and replacing the full link, eg., https://wiki.archlinux.org/tmux with this means that the link can get "buried" and the target is obscured.
  • where the link is standalone and points to an obvious location so there is no need to mouse over the link to determine the destination (see above example).


Editorial: Additionally, if your edits are being rejected, please pause and reflect before continuing on your relentless path of delinkification...

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Hyperlinking is an art not be taken lightly. –  Herman Torjussen Feb 4 '13 at 19:16
    

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I very much agree. This is a technical site, and we have a technical audience. Replacing the link text with something other than the URL should only happen if there's a significant improvement in readability/flow and if the text provides more information than the bare link. For links to wikis, bug trackers, and top-level sites (say, for example, http://unix.stackexchange.com/), the bare URL often is more informative than a concise description would be.

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How do we stop a rogue delinker? I keep rejecting the edits and they just keep on coming... –  jasonwryan Feb 1 '13 at 20:06
    
After a certain number of rejects, they'll get a timeout on making edits..... –  mattdm Feb 1 '13 at 20:12
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They're not actually getting rejected; jasonwryan votes to reject them and two other people vote to accept them –  Michael Mrozek Feb 1 '13 at 20:15

In most cases I prefer that the links be converted to text too; I'd rather see:

I followed the instructions on the Arch Linux wiki

than:

I followed the instructions on https://wiki.archlinux.org/

I certainly don't see a problem with it; if you really want the URL you can mouse-over it, but it's usually clear where it's leading. On the other hand, converting it to just "here" isn't very helpful

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A lot of the edits in question are in between these cases, for example changing the link to a specific bug id to the word report. In the Arch Linux wiki example, one is still given enough information to find the page even if there were no link. With the other type of edit, though, the link isn't just extra information, it is the information, now hidden. –  mattdm Feb 1 '13 at 20:25
    
The problem is where information is unecessarily obscured; so if in your first example the link actually points to wiki.archlinux.org/pulseaudio - that removes information from the page... –  jasonwryan Feb 1 '13 at 20:25
    
@jasonwryan It's usually clear from the context. If we're talking about installing Pulseaudio and I see a link to "instructions on the Arch Linux wiki", it's probably to the Pulseaudio article. And it's not like the information is lost, he's not actually removing the URL from the post, he's just changing what text is displayed in the link. There are a couple cases that are bad, but most of them I would probably approve –  Michael Mrozek Feb 1 '13 at 20:32
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I'm happy to have you look at my rejections today; my sense is that for almost all of them, there is less information on the page in the proposed edit--sometimes to the point that the post is difficult to understand, like this –  jasonwryan Feb 1 '13 at 20:42
    
I agree with jasonwryan; I've been rejecting a lot of Martín's edits. –  Gilles Feb 1 '13 at 23:36

I prefer to put my links in bold, I feel it does help them stand out a little more.

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