5,800-character URL?

Over in this thread, I was trying to post a link to the new logo on the Dodge Hornet, and search results inlcuded this page, which features the H-like logo in an animated graphic. I right-clicked on the image of just the logo and the word “Hornet” in the search results, and opened the image in another tab. It displayed correctly (in Firefox).

But when I copied the link to paste it into the car thread, it didn’t insert the image, and to my surprise, the URL I had copied consisted of 5,800 apparently gibberish characters.

What possible significance can those 5,800 characters have, and why would Firefox display the image properly but Discourse not?

But my main question is, why would any URL have 5,800 characters?

The “?” and “#” parts of an URL can encode an indefinite amount of information. This can supplement or supplant cookies.

I’m not sure what’s going on with your example. It sounds like a browser bug.

I can’t seem to replicate what you did. Can you paste the whole 5800 chars?

Seems like perhaps you may have tried to paste the contents of an image file itself, and not a url to an image.

Is this the image you were trying to paste? https://mediaevents2023.com/allnewdodgehornet/_assets/images/hornet_badge_slashes.svg

In particular, it is possible to make a URL that goes to the page and highlights part of the text, in which case the url contains all of the highlighted text. For example:

https://boards.straightdope.com/t/5-800-character-url/1004007#:~:text=right%2Dclicked%20on%20the%20image%20of%20just%20the%20logo%20and%20the%20word%20%E2%80%9CHornet%E2%80%9D%20in%20the%20search%20results

Links to this page, but with part of your post highlighted.

When I encounter a freakishly-long URL that is usually where it is from.

Yes, that’s it exactly.

Here’s what I copied from the address window of the Firefox tab that displayed the cropped portion of that logo that appeared in the search result.

URL code

data:image/jpeg;base64,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

That is not an URL, it’s the image itself in encoded form.

You may have just discovered how to post an image on this board itself without linking to another site.

Interesting. I guess Firefox couldn’t lift a URL of the image from the site it was linking to, and just encoded the image itself. That also explains why the image is cropped, and not the full image.

Thanks for the explanation.

A further idle question: how is the image encoded into the data we see? JPEG is a raster format, right? So are the characters somehow indicating RGB values for each pixel? Are there “line breaks” indicating the beginning and end of rows?

It is “base 64” encoding. It isn’t looking at the image as an image at all, just as a sequence of bytes.

The purpose of that encoding is to take general binary data, and encode it in a way that only uses printable characters, so it can be passed through systems that normally only take text.

Possibly also of interest to you: the original logo image file on the webpage is in SVG format, which is a “vector” format (as opposed to a bitmap), so the original image is actually specified in plain text. It’s literally drawn on the fly based on the commands in the file:

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" viewBox="0 0 340 120">
  <defs>
    <style>
      .a {
        fill: #e93124;
        fill-rule: evenodd;
      }

      .b {
        fill: url(#a);
      }

      .c {
        fill: url(#b);
      }

      .d {
        fill: url(#c);
      }

      .e {
        fill: url(#d);
      }

      .f {
        fill: url(#e);
      }

      .g {
        fill: url(#f);
      }
    </style>
    <linearGradient id="a" x1="149.17" y1="88.61" x2="149.17" y2="110.81" gradientUnits="userSpaceOnUse">
      <stop offset="0" stop-color="#b3b3b3"/>
      <stop offset="1" stop-color="#4d4d4d"/>
    </linearGradient>
    <linearGradient id="b" x1="42.27" y1="85.29" x2="42.27" y2="110.39" xlink:href="#a"/>
    <linearGradient id="c" x1="201.33" y1="88.57" x2="201.33" y2="110.39" xlink:href="#a"/>
    <linearGradient id="d" x1="98.27" y1="88.26" x2="98.27" y2="110.83" xlink:href="#a"/>
    <linearGradient id="e" x1="253.5" y1="88.57" x2="253.5" y2="110.4" xlink:href="#a"/>
    <linearGradient id="f" x1="308.99" y1="88.58" x2="308.99" y2="110.82" xlink:href="#a"/>
  </defs>
  <g>
    <g>
      <polyline class="a" points="165.65 9.98 192.43 10.03 137.67 73.51 110.79 73.51 165.65 9.98"/>
      <polyline class="a" points="203.54 9.98 230.32 10.03 175.56 73.51 148.68 73.51 203.54 9.98"/>
    </g>
    <g>
      <path class="b" d="M171.67,101.3A12.31,12.31,0,0,0,177,97c1.84-2.85,3.47-8.35-4.82-8.35l-38.38.07a.26.26,0,0,0-.21.12L119.89,110a.24.24,0,0,0,.21.37h12.16a.26.26,0,0,0,.21-.11l8.92-13.82a.24.24,0,0,0-.13-.37L137,94.41c-.27-.09-.28-.52.32-.51l24.3.06c6,0,2.34,6.1-3.23,6.1h-16.3a.24.24,0,0,0-.06.48l15.55,3c1.44.3,1.24,1.23.37,2.56s-2.42,3.76-2.79,4.3a.25.25,0,0,0,.2.39h12.28a.23.23,0,0,0,.2-.11l3.65-5.62a2.84,2.84,0,0,0,0-3.43A.24.24,0,0,1,171.67,101.3Z"/>
      <path class="c" d="M78.79,85.29H66.58a.25.25,0,0,0-.21.11L60.22,95a.26.26,0,0,1-.21.11l-23.19,0a.24.24,0,0,1-.2-.38l5.82-9a.24.24,0,0,0-.2-.38H29.67a.23.23,0,0,0-.2.11l-6.29,9.81a.23.23,0,0,1-.2.11H6.28c-1.06,0-.91.61-.31.72L20.4,98.88a.25.25,0,0,1,.14.37L13.65,110a.24.24,0,0,0,.21.37h12.5a.23.23,0,0,0,.2-.11l4-6.2a8.41,8.41,0,0,1,7.37-3.65H56.26a.24.24,0,0,1,.2.37l-6,9.25a.24.24,0,0,0,.21.37H62.93a.23.23,0,0,0,.2-.11L79,85.66A.24.24,0,0,0,78.79,85.29Z"/>
      <path class="d" d="M216.56,88.57l-29.95.12a.25.25,0,0,0-.2.12L172.72,110a.24.24,0,0,0,.21.37h12.18a.23.23,0,0,0,.2-.11l8.92-13.82a.24.24,0,0,0-.14-.36l-3.85-1.57a.32.32,0,0,1,.14-.63h20.44c4.92,0,5.39,3.18,4,5.43S209,108.55,208.1,110a.24.24,0,0,0,.21.37h12.3a.25.25,0,0,0,.21-.11l7-10.93C231.07,94.31,232.82,88.57,216.56,88.57Z"/>
      <path class="e" d="M123.17,99.17c3.26-5,3.31-10.81-11.24-10.81l-5.79-.1-7.87.1c-15,0-20.79,6-24.3,10.81-4.17,5.78-4.25,11.65,11.25,11.65H98.88C113,110.82,119.91,104.19,123.17,99.17Zm-32.53-3L87,94.58c-.27-.09-.33-.47.08-.5l5.85,0h14.77c7.22,0,1.93,11.35-8.08,11.35h-11C83.57,105.45,84.48,98.55,90.64,96.15Z"/>
      <path class="f" d="M239.52,88.57a.23.23,0,0,0-.2.11l-13.78,21.39c-.11.16,0,.33.2.33l43.64,0a.25.25,0,0,0,.21-.11l2.93-4.7a.25.25,0,0,0-.21-.38h-24c-1.83,0-2.88-.26-6.7-1.7l-2-.72a.32.32,0,0,1,.11-.63h29a.19.19,0,0,0,.17-.09l3-4.92a.2.2,0,0,0-.17-.31h-18c-1.83,0-3-.18-6.84-1.61l-2.27-.8a.32.32,0,0,1,.11-.63h33.51a.25.25,0,0,0,.21-.12L281.47,89a.25.25,0,0,0-.21-.38Z"/>
      <path class="g" d="M335.37,88.58H285.71a.23.23,0,0,0-.2.11l-3.1,4.79a.25.25,0,0,0,.21.38h19.05a.24.24,0,0,1,.21.37l-10.45,16.23a.24.24,0,0,0,.21.37h14.47a.26.26,0,0,0,.21-.11l9.26-14.37a.24.24,0,0,0-.12-.36l-4-1.58c-.35-.1-.41-.66.25-.63h20.58a.26.26,0,0,0,.21-.11l3-4.71A.24.24,0,0,0,335.37,88.58Z"/>
    </g>
  </g>
</svg>

If you save this file on your computer and open it in your web browser, you’ll not only see the logo, but you can also modify the logo’s shapes and colors by futzing with the commands and numbers in the above text. (Want a green hue on the Hornet name? Change the hex codes that bound the color gradient from #b3b3b3 and #4d4d4d to (say) #a0b3a0 and #005500. But you can change the curves of the letters, the slopes of the red slashes, etc. In practice, such edits are better done in graphics design software that can directly output SVG descriptions of the smooth shapes, but you can directly edit it by playing with the text.)

[Moderating]
I’ve put the long URL code into [details] tags, so it’s not taking up so much screen space.

Yeah, I’ve done that several times, and for a recent project even created a Google Sheets doc to produce an SVG file. What can I say, I like having an image format where I can specify the fine nitty-gritty details to six decimal places.