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The URL rules are too restrictive

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posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 08:32 PM
So I'm trying to create a post that points to the "", but in that URL are the characters '[' and ']'.

The URL is this (so you could actually read it here, I had to add a space before & after the domain so ATS wouldn't automatically hide it):

http:// /?date=2011-03-13T07:29:51.000Z&imageScale=4.8&imageLayers=[SDO,AIA,AIA,304,1,100]

The problem here is that since the URL has those '[' and ']' characters, I can't create a link that includes those characters. If I do, this is what ends up happening:

]Link to helioviewer

The ATS link script thinks that the first ']' it reads is where the URL ends, and the result is that the layers at the destination site aren't correct (it's dimmed out).

So in an attempt to bypass that, I thought I would use "" service website to create short links that would work, so everyone would be happy. But apparently ATS doesn't allow for that:

Link using

If you hover your mouse over that link, you'll see that even thought I entered the following code, ATS stripped out the phrase "" from the hyperlink, rendering the link completely useless (again, so you could read what I put in as the URL, I had to add spaces before & after the domain):

http:// /6ehrw84

My point to all of this is that at the end of the day, because of ATS's restrictive URL practices & poor hyperlink tool design, I can NOT post a correct hyperlink to a legitimate website.

My suggestion is that if you (ATS) are going to create a tool which creates hyperlinks, you shouldn't have that tool use characters which are ALLOWED in standard URL's (namely '[' and ']').

And why the heck do you block the website? It's such a standard website and people all over the web use it - why do you seem to be the only forum that blocks it??

posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 08:40 PM
reply to post by harrytuttle

Isn't it because ATS script uses the [ and ] to form quotes ?
I've had the problem before but accepted it was because ATS thinks I'm trying to format a quote and that messes it up..

posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 08:47 PM
They block Tinyurl because it is used to scam people or send them to a website they wouldn't otherwise go to. For instance, your Tinyurl link could lead to goatse for all I know.

posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 09:12 PM

Originally posted by PapillonSkeletons
For instance, your Tinyurl link could lead to goatse for all I know.

Then if you clicked on it, you'd feel like a silly goose. Or maybe a lucky devil, depending.

posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 09:14 PM
In my opinion ( I don't know the official owner reasons) it's because TinyUrl can sometimes be used to link to websites and content that ATS does not want on it's forums.

For instance pornography or extremely graphic material. It's also been used numerous times to scam members. Most things on the internet have more than one source, it's my opinion that you should be able to find any of that content on a seperate source and link it from there.

That's simply my opinion howeve, I don't expect the TinyURL rules to change anytime soon.

ATS Moderator

posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 10:57 PM
reply to post by harrytuttle

Though you're right about the hyperlink creator being clumsy with characters, the link tags "[]" are in fact invalid characters for URLs. The source of the discrepancy of copying the URL from the address-bar yet yielding an invalid URL lies in the fact that browsers like to show human-readable URLs. Characters that can't be used as-is are converted prior to sending them to the server, and vice-versa. This means that the end-user never gets to see proper (and ugly) URLs. Therefore, it doesn't matter which characters are chosen for the tags for images and links; if browsers simply show all characters in the address bar, then no character (or sequence of characters) can be used to consistently differentiate the end of the tag from a part of the URL. Of course, this should only be a problem when typing tags manually (as I prefer); the hyperlink tool should use Javascript's encodeURI function to ensure that URLs are valid. For details on URL encoding, see for example this random google result on URL encoding.

An immediate though slightly annoying solution lies in converting the URL from your address bar to a proper URL manually (i.e. before entering it in the hyperlink tool's prompt dialog). The page linked to above contains a tool at the bottom of the page which allows you to convert an address. Your browser itself is also capable of doing so, for example through Javascript. You can for instance create a bookmark* containing the following code: (remove the "_" in "_javascript")::

_javascript: alert ( encodeURI( prompt( "What is the URL you want to encode?" ) ) )

When you click this bookmark, a dialog will ask you for an URL, and hand you the encoded version in return.

Alternatively, you could make a bookmark out of this address:

_javascript: alert ( encodeURI( document.location ) )

This bookmark simply converts the URL currently in your address bar - skipping the dialog.

As an example, here is a link to the page in your OP: Helioviewer. The characters "[" and "]" have been replaced by "%5B" and "%5D", and the URL is now happily accepted.

There is not much we can do - I tried a number of times to suggest a specific change in Javascript code, but it's not at the top of the todo list, I believe
. I hope one of these methods pleases you!

* Javascript bookmarks are technically no different from normal bookmarks; however, depending on your browser, you may not be able to bookmark the code simply by entering it in the address-bar and bookmarking the page - even though you can execute the code simply by putting it in the address bar and hitting enter. In case you're using Firefox, you can add a _javascript bookmark by Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks; then select the category you want the bookmark to be placed in (for maximum ease, choose Bookmarks Toolbar); finally, right-click in the bookmark viewer (the area to the right), click "New Bookmark", enter the _javascript code as "Location:", and choose a name (I went with "URLify"). You should be ready to go!
Unfortunately, I don't know how to achieve the same for Internet Explorer, though I expect it to be at least as easy.
edit on 13-3-2011 by scraze because: code got stripped of alert's

edit on 13-3-2011 by scraze because: same problem

edit on 13-3-2011 by scraze because: still trying..

posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 11:19 PM

Originally posted by harrytuttle
My suggestion is that if you (ATS) are going to create a tool which creates hyperlinks, you shouldn't have that tool use characters which are ALLOWED in standard URL's (namely '[' and ']').

Simple solution I posted this in a thread I had the same issue with long google searched

Your link... leave out EVERYTHING after and including the & sign. All that data is irrelevant tracking data, evne has your browser in it

So just this part...

and it works fine
edit on 13-3-2011 by zorgon because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 13 2011 @ 11:27 PM
reply to post by scraze

Thanks to you and Zorgon for educating me on that [ ] tag issue. I now understand that the issue is with the source of that website which generates those "link" URLs, not ATS.

Learn something new every day.

posted on Mar, 14 2011 @ 05:28 AM
reply to post by harrytuttle

the " problem " as you see it is not's fault - as the [ url= < website > ] descrition [ /url] is the STANDARD code for forum sotware

the fault lies with the website you are attemting to link to - thiey are using [ ] in thier URL for no good reason

as for tiny URL - i never click on them either

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