So I’ve noticed for a while if you have a URL whose last character is a close parenthesis, and don’t code it yourself as a url but let the board auto-URL it, it will leave that last character out of the URL, presumably thinking that it’s punctuation and not part of the URL. This makes sense with a lot of punctuation that can be used in text that might adjoin a URL, and very rarely is punctuation going to be part of the URL. But there’s the problem that URLS can contain parentheses, Wikipedia uses them quite a lot for disambiguation, and Wikipedia is pretty common to be cited here. I don’t know how many URLs I’ve seen broken, and I just had to manually fix one after posting.
Is it really that hard to program the URL parser to look to see if there’s an unclosed open parenthesis in what it already knows is part of the URL in order to determine whether the close parenthesis should be considered part of the URL or extraneous punctuation?
Maybe this belongs in the Pit given the likelihood that anyone is ever going to do a meaningful upgrade to the board software, especially for such a minor thing. But it definitely is about the message board.
We feel your pain, but we’re not the ones who wrote the message board software, and we’re certainly not going to be the ones to re-write it. If it matters that much, take it up with the folks at vBulletin.
vBulletin had to make a choice, whether to assume the closing parenthesis either is or is not part of the URL. The most common case is the latter, as most URLs do not use parentheses at all. You actually just mentioned the one main exception.
I would expect a fix to just make an exception for Wikipedia–though a complicated fix would be possible that checks for unmatched open parentheses in the URL. Still, going to the trouble to fix it seems pointless, as you can easily use one strategy for all URLs: click the link button and past the URL into the box.