A question about the URL= command

Why is it necessary to include the http:// in a link to a website? If you don’t, it defaults a bunch of boards.straightdope.com garbage. Is this a bug? Or is that the way it’s supposed to be?

It’s not a bug. If you don’t include the “http://” part, the vB software assumed it is a relative URL instead of an absolute one. The same rule applies to writing regular HTML. If you are doing an absolute URL you have to include the “http://”

Using HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) in a link tells the browser that the document being linked to is a HTML document. HTTP indicates the protocol to be used to access the target. It’s generally good practice to specify the protocol to avoid confusion; hence, for example, using FTP or TELNET where appropriate instead of HTTP.

You’re right that just http://www.xyz.com should be enough.
The majority of boards, and almost all email software, will convert that into a live link (absolute and not relative).
So, while it’s not exactly a bug to require http, it is non-standard.

Hey, maybe you should check that again.

In the post above I had typed www**.xyz**.com
and it converted it correctly to http://www.xyz.com

Yes, “ww_w.straightdope.com” will become http://www.straightdope.com

However, if we put it in the fancier [form, it becomes [url=“www.straightdope.com”]The Coolest Site On The Web](www.straightdope}Coolest Site On The Web[/url). Click it. It won’t work. It needs the “http:\” in front of the web address.

Ummmm…sorry, Jasper, you caught the same thing I did with your link. How about that?

oh, like you said. It won’t work. Duh!

Incidentally, to write tags that look correct, break them up with other tags. To get [****url=“http://www.straightdope.com”] to appear, type [[[sup][/sup]b][[sup][/sup]/b]url=“http://www.straightdope.com”].

Thanks. Smartass. :wink: