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Thanks to @Mr.Wizard I have recently learned that Stack Exchange currently supports Magic Links in comments. Magic Links translate short markups to long links, for example

[main], [meta], [edit], [help], [help/on-topic], [help/dont-ask], [help/behavior], [tour], [about], [ask], [answer], [mathematica.se], [chat]

That is very useful because comments are limited to 600 characters, including any formatting and URL links. Carefully crafted comments such as welcoming messages for new users may require extensive references to documentation available.

I submit for your consideration two ideas

  1. To extend the use of Magic Links to questions and answers.
  2. To expand the list of available Magic Links to reference.wolfram.com

An example of the last point would be to let [rw:InputForm] be a shortcut to ['InputForm'](http://reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/menuitem/InputForm.html)

This would not only allow better crafted comments and encourage richer content but will also have the desirable consequence of making questions and answers more readable when editing.

ShortURLs have been discussed, but here I'm talking about a limited list of URLs only to "reference.wolfram.com" and " mathematica.stackexchange.com" domains.

  • 2
    possible duplicate of URL shorteners - yes or no? – m_goldberg Sep 6 '15 at 13:53
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    I agree that it would probably be nice, but the answer from StackExchange is always "comments are second class citizens blah blah [no justification given], so we won't bother to change anything". From a broader perspective, it would be helpful if the character limit for comments were raised, and then these tricks would not be necessary. It won't happen, but look on the bright side: at least you get to practice concise writing. – Oleksandr R. Sep 6 '15 at 15:59
  • I have edited the question as a consequence of the duplicated claim. I submit to you that a generalized URL shortening have a whole set of problems that a markup system that points only to two specific domains will not have. – rhermans Sep 6 '15 at 16:09
  • The following welcome message crams quite a bit in, and uses some short urls. – bbgodfrey Sep 7 '15 at 1:37
  • Welcome to Mathematica.SE! I hope you will become a regular contributor. To get started, 1) take the introductory Tour now, 2) when you see good questions and answers, vote them up by clicking the gray triangles, because the credibility of the system is based on the reputation gained by users sharing their knowledge, 3) remember to accept the answer, if any, that solves your problem, by clicking the checkmark sign, and 4) give help too, by answering questions in your areas of expertise. – bbgodfrey Sep 7 '15 at 1:37
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    [tour] formats as tour -- this is already implemented; see: (94000) So you are asking for additional "magic links" I believe. Please rewrite your question accordingly. :-) – Mr.Wizard Sep 7 '15 at 7:54
  • Ohhh! "magic links", that is exactly what I wanted! Thanks @Mr.Wizard. – rhermans Sep 7 '15 at 8:23

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