In Blog posts it is possible to include hyperlinks, either by pasting them in: https://ion.icaew.com/technews/f/discussions or by using the Insert, Link menu option which allows you to set the URL and text to be displayed separately: Link to Discussions area
Commenting on any of the discussion topics works in a similar way, but when commenting on Blog posts, URLs pasted in are not automatically converted to hyperlinks and some seem, in fact, to be abbreviated so they can't even be copied and pasted into a browser. The Links option, and several other options, are also absent from the Link dropdown on the menu bar.
It can often be very useful to include links in Blog comments, often even more useful than inserting an emoticon or a horizontal line. Has anyone else found an easy way to do this? Am I missing something obvious?
This is an attempt to paste in a hyperlink from a Blog post: https://ion.icaew.com/technews/f/discussions.
This is a direct copy and paste from the FireFox URL bar: https://ion.icaew.com/technews/f/discussions
Neither seem to create live hyperlinks
It is not uncommon for the comments sections in discussion forums not to convert URLs to active links. This helps prevent what is called cross site scripting (XSS). Any text pasted into only forms is sanitised, the system will remove any form of application code that could potentially be executed by the system. If this is not done then a hacker may be able to insert application code into a website that could disrupt its normal operation or expose other data.
On some web browsers you are able to highlight the text, secondary mouse click after which you may be presented with a context menu that allows you to 'go to the address'. Here the web browser recognises the highlighted text and allows you to go directly to the selected URL. Certainly Safari does this on my Mac.
Another reason, to prevent URLs being made active, could be to prevent spammers inserting malicious links into comments. Unsuspecting readers may be tempted to click on them. The site owner would not wish to be responsible for the content of outbound links.
Thanks Mark - yes, I had just started wondering whether the discrepancy between the way comments worked was due to security issues. If this is indeed the case it would be good to know so that we can stop trying to find a way to include live links in Blog comments. As you mention, right-clicking on a text URL does give the opportunity to open as a link.