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Wikitravel talk:External links/Hidden links

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I have a question. I've noticed that some editors have been changing explicit links (http://www.massport.com/logan/) to buried links (Logan International Airport). Doesn't this make the page less usable when printed?

Good question. I think I'm going to have to hack on the Printable version code for MediaWiki to take something that renders like
<a href="url">text</a>
and make it render like this
text (url)
I think that this is more of a technical problem than an editing problem, though. Let's keep doing the more readable links for now, where possible. -- Evan 11:54, 8 Nov 2003 (PST)
A URL in a printed guide is useful only if you're on the web, and if that's the case, then you can just go to the online Wikitravel (using the URL printed on all Wikitravel pages) and follow the link from there.
Of course this assumes that the URL on your printed version hasn't be removed in a newer on-line edition. On the other hand, the URL on your printout might be obsolete, but it's been updated online. -- Paul Richter 08:10, 7 May 2004 (EDT)


So.... does this policy page need to be edited to reflect a new consensus? I'm inclined to Paul's reasoning, though Huttite expresses an issue with doing this on User talk:Huttite. -- Colin 20:14, 21 May 2004 (EDT)

What new consensus? I'm lost. --Evan 20:39, 21 May 2004 (EDT)
I think the best way to do it is like this: use "readable" URL links in the External Links section with text next to them explaining them, for example:
In all other sections of the article, we should use "buried" links. For example: one of Europe's undiscovered tourism gems is The City of Tallinn. This way, the URLs won't muddle up the integrity of the text when used in a paragraph, yet they will be understandable when used in external links. By the way, I remember hearing or seeing some time ago that URLs actually get printed in brackets alongside the link. Is this a Mozilla feature or is it part of the MediaWiki printable version style? Ronline 21:09, 21 May 2004 (EDT)

Unpacking URLs

This conversation moved here from my talk page. -- Huttite 00:28, 22 May 2004 (EDT)

Regarding User_talk:Nzpcmad#Unpacking links:

Hidden links are automatically printed in the "Printable version". So in the on-line version, visible URLs just clutter things up, I think.

Also, Wikitravel:External_links#Unpack_links does not say that URLs should be explicitly included in article text. Rather, it's information such as addresses and phone numbers contained on the linked webpage that needs to unpacked.

Hidden links are fine on a webpage but useless on a printed page.

Any URL is useless on a printed page, until you type it into a computer connected to the web. In which case you can just go to the corresponding on-line Wikitravel article and follow the links from there. --Paul Richter 09:55, 21 May 2004 (EDT)

Thanks for pointing that out. - What I was objecting to was that User_talk:Nzpcmad had shown URLs behind the word here - i.e. here rather than Huttite's talk page. I was going off the Wikitravel:External links article, which I interpreted to mean that URL's should be shown explicitly. I had not realised that the printed version also shows the hidden URL printed in parenthesis following the hidden link. Having now looked at the printed version I realise the External links article is unclear and I misinterpreted it. Having now thought about it, I think it is even more important to write text so that the URL is able to be mentioned explicitly on the printed page.
I also contend that showing a URL is necessary on a printed page because there may be situations where Wikitravel is not available but the site in the URL can be accessed. E.g. Internet outage, Wikitravel server down, using a corporate intranet with restricted internet access. (I experience this latter issue at work, where access is confined to only relevant top level domains.) -- Huttite 19:29, 21 May 2004 (EDT)
OK, now I'm confused, The backpacker's link is explicit i.e you can see the http string on the page. The YHA is still hidden - you've simply "moved" it from under "here" to under "YHA". What's the difference? and which one is correct? --Nzpcmad 22:25, 21 May 2004 (EDT)
Perhaps I am confused too by the guidelines. After rereading them and trying to understand what was happening, I came to the following choices.
I chose to show the backpack link as a straight URL as it was not referring to a particular organisation or name that really fitted in the text, just a website URL that logically needed to be shown at that point.
I chose to hide the URL for the YHA under their name, as it would show as YHA (YHA website URL) on a printed page.
Here are the details: With the edit I made to New Zealand, I had a challenge. I had to rework the hidden links so the printed URL would show in an appropriate place.
The text I encountered was :
There are a number of '''Youth Hostels''' (62 in 2004 - information [http://yha.org.nz/ here]) and '''Backpackers''' (information [http://www.backpack.co.nz/ here]) accommodation around the country,
This prints as :
There are a number of Youth Hostels (62 in 2004 - information here (http://yha.org.nz/)) and Backpackers (information here (http://www.backpack.co.nz/)) accommodation around the country,
One can see that putting the hidden link under a word like "here" means it appears as here (URL) in printed text. On a printed page, that means that the text would not flow effectively as the URL would appear in an odd place. Also any reference to clicking on a word would not be logical in print as it could not be done.
I changed the text to :
There is a wide range of '''Backpackers''' accommodation (more information at http://www.backpack.co.nz/ ) around the country, including a network of '''Youth Hostels''' that are members of the [http://yha.org.nz/ Youth Hostel Association] (62 in 2004),
My revision now prints as :
There is a wide range of Backpackers accommodation (more information at http://www.backpack.co.nz/ ) around the country, including a network of Youth Hostels that are members of the Youth Hostel Association (http://yha.org.nz/) (62 in 2004),
I hope this is clearer now. I was confused by the intent of the Wikitravel:External links article as I initially understood it to mean that URLs should be shown explicitly and had not realised that they displayed when printed. This is not explained in the article. But it has implications for how external links should be hidden in article text. I think this guideline may need a rewrite to clearly state how external links should be formulated to minimise the impact of what happens to URLs when hidden links are printed. -- Huttite 00:28, 22 May 2004 (EDT)
No apology needed. I agree your change reads better. Maybe this page needs to be updated to reflect the official policy? Cjensen also asked this question!

--Nzpcmad 04:24, 22 May 2004 (EDT)

I added an explanation of buried links, trying to be as policy-neutral as possible. It seems like much of the misunderstanding is merely because people are unaware that buried links are printed. -- Paul Richter 08:02, 24 May 2004 (EDT)


Discussion continues in Wikitravel talk:External links/Links in listings.

Printing and external links[edit]

So, it's actually false that external links show the URL when printed. This only happens with the "printable version". If you do it with the regular version, the URL doesn't show up. Worth noting, I think. --Evan 15:54, 24 Aug 2004 (EDT)

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