This is a bit involved, so bear with me. I have to give a little background info here first. The "edit comment" feature where I can fix my own typos within 15 minutes after submitting a comment is fantastic. I am prone to typos so I use this thing all the time.
The "edit comment" feature does a great job even with comments containing links. As you are aware, hyperlinks in comments are turned into tiny URLs when the comment is submitted. The "edit comment" feature undoes the tiny URL and restores the full link when editing a comment. The link is then turned back into a tiny URL when the fixed comment is resubmitted. This allows me to fix words, sentences or entire paragraphs during the 15 minute grace period. Links are never mangled because tiny URLs are undone and redone seamlessly by "edit comment".
Unfortunately everything changes after the 15 minute grace period. At that point I must request a moderated edit to fix a typo. I understand the reason for requiring a moderator and have no issue with that. But there seems to be a problem with comments containing links. When I request a moderated edit for a comment containing a link, that link inevitably gets mangled. Most of time I simply want to fix a word or sentence and don't want any change to occur with the link. When I submit the edit request, the moderator faithfully fixes the word or sentence but all links are broken in the process.
I'm not sure why this happens. Perhaps the editing tools used by moderators are not as versatile as the "edit comment" feature available during the 15 minute grace period. Maybe the tiny URLs are not properly undone prior to editing and properly turned back into tiny URLs afterwards. Maybe the links remain tiny URLs during the edit and then get hashed again into bogus tiny URLs. Maybe there is a character set incompatibility across disparate systems that screws up the rehashing of links. Don't really know for sure about the details, but the bottom line is those links get totally hosed by the moderated edit.
Submitting a plea of caution along with fully expanded references of all URLs will sometimes yield good results. But expanding the URLs and noting their placement in the comment is laborious and unrelated to the actual edit request. Most of the time only a word or a sentence requires correction and the links just need to be preserved.
The additional complexity of specifying expanded URLs and their placement within the comment is unsatisfactory. Many times the request for caution goes unheeded. Words and sentences are properly edited but the links get broken anyways. Other times the links are preserved but the formatting gets messed up. I'm a bit of a stickler for details. Paragraphs should be properly delineated and each link should occupy a separate line. My use of linefeed is deliberate and not random. I also like double dashes and a space to precede links. Often times a short phrase in parenthesis immediately follows a link on the same line to describe it. Clarity of presentation goes hand in hand with clarity of thought.
All this stuff goes out the window if I request an edit of any comment containing a link. For a concrete example consider the comment linked below.
This comment was submitted a few days ago by me. I discovered a typo after the 15 minute grace period and have been weighing the risks of having it fixed by a moderator. The typo is minor except for the fact the comment contains two links. The links are preceded by double dashes and space, followed by descriptions in parenthesis, and occupy deliberately chosen positions between paragraphs. In short, this is a moderated edit request minefield just waiting to get screwed up.
All I want done to this comment is have the word "buys" replaced by the word "picks". The edit is technically trivial but contextually important. Cummins picked Ceres for a partnership, they didn't buy Ceres. My phrase next to the link needs fixing. Everything else in the comment is fine and should remain unchanged.
I was about ready to write off this regrettable typo. But then I thought about the great job you did fixing a problem I reported on September 19th. Maybe you can help me again.
At a minimum, please fix my comment typo as requested. More generally, it would be great if you could find out why links get broken by moderated edits and fix that problem. Moderators should be able to fix typos as effortlessly and flawlessly as I can via "edit comment". That seems like a reasonable capability for moderators.
Appreciate your consideration in this matter. Let me know. Thanks.
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