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Egosoft Interactive FAQ

Why does my posted link not work?

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Author Details
By: X2-Illuminatus
Edited: 23/03/16 13:32

Whenever you post an url starting with http:// (for example a link to another forum post or to an external website), the forum software will pick this up as a link. That means the text will be marked in a notably different colour than the rest of the text, your mouse cursor will change to a hand icon, when you hover over it, and you can click on the url text to be forwarded to the respective website, for example: http://thisisjustatest.
However, there are certain "reserved" characters which are not expected to be in an url by the forum software and will therefore cause the url to break, i.e. the url will only be displayed up until the first reserved character within the url making it impossible to be forwarded to the actual website. These characters include, but are not limited to: ! (exclamation mark), ' (single quotation mark), * (asterisk), () (parentheses), {} (curly brackets), Ä, ä, Ö, ö, Ü, ü (umlauts) and ß ("Eszett").

Now when you want to post a link containing either or more of these characters, you have two choices:
  1. You use a dedicated website to shorten the url, such as tinyurl. Please keep in mind that when using such a service, no one will be able to see where your url goes to (i.e. what website is opened), before they click on the link, which may raise security concerns. Additionally depending on the service, shortened urls may only be available for a limited time. Thus, if you need the link for a longer time, it's better to use the second option.

  2. You replace the reserved character(s) by percent-encoding. This basically means that you can replace any (reserved) character with a three character long sequence starting with a percent sign (%). The respective codes to replace the reserved characters named above are as follows:

    ! (exclamation mark)%21
    ' (single quotation mark)%27
    * (asterisk)%2a
    ( (opening parenthesis) %28
    ) (closing parenthesis)%29
    { (opening curly bracket)%7B
    } (closing curly bracket)%7D
    Ä (umlaut)%C4
    ä (umlaut)%D6
    Ö (umlaut)%C4
    ö (umlaut)%F6
    Ü (umlaut)%DC
    ü (umlaut)%FC
    ß ("Eszett")%DF


    Imagine you want to post an url like http://www.egosoft.com/thisis!justatest. When entering it in your forum post and submitting it or using the preview function, only the first part (everything up until to the first reserved character, in this case the '!') will be recognised as being part of the link though, thus the link is broken. This would look like the following: http://www.egosoft.com/thisis!justatest.
    To get the link fully working, you would have to replace the reserved character with its respective %-code. Looking in the list above, in this case this would be '%21': http://www.egosoft.com/thisis%21justatest. The link is fully working now and can be clicked on by any forum user to be forwarded to the respective website.

    (For more information about percent-encoding, please see this wikipedia article.)

Of course, none of the two solutions will help you, when someone else has posted a link including reserved characters, but did not follow the advice posted above. In this case, however, you can simply copy and paste the whole link from the forum post to the address bar of your browser and open it by pressing enter.

Please note: Whether or not you use url-tags to display links doesn't have any influence on the forum software breaking an url when reserved characters appear.

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