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On the meta question What does everyone mean by "insufficient research effort"?, in the third note below the question, user Chris White says

Explicit mobile links (e.g. en.m.wikipedia.org) are a scourge on the internet and should be fixed.

Later, in the comments, user Emilio Pisanty says

Good point on explicit mobile links. 7.6k of them! In the tens of percent of all Wikipedia links, too. Is that something we should fix? That's a pretty sizable project there, something like fifteen Copy Editor badges.

So, my question is, should I go through the linked list and edit them so the links aren't explicit? It seems like it would be a good thing to do, but I want to make sure.

I assume if it was to be done it would be done only a couple question/answers at a time, so as to not mess with the "active" question list.

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  • $\begingroup$ 1. You doing all that in one go will flood the active page with those edits and drown out everything else. Do it in small batches. 2. I'm not sure what happened here - you edited a closed post and just moved the mobile Wiki link to the bottom instead of replacing it. I'm not sure I see the value in fixing such links in closed years-old questions to begin with, but you didn't even fix the link. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 31 '16 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind, 1. I know, that's why I only did a few. I'll do it again later (unless you think I should stop - I can also do less at a time). 2. It appears to me as fixed (the link isn't at the bottom, but replaced, as I look at it). $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ Just look at the revision history I linked: You moved the location of the link in the source code to the bottom, but the link is still en.**m**.wikipedia.com. Are you trying to do this from a mobile device? (That's probably an impractical idea) $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 31 '16 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ Please define "explicit link". And "mobile explicit link". $\endgroup$ – Peter Mortensen Jul 31 '16 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ explicit link: wikipedia.org not explicit link: wikipedia $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind, if you are talking about the side-by-side markdown view, yes, there is a link at the bottom, but it only appears when you are editing...it has to have the link somewhere. Or am I missing something? $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not complaining you moved the link to the bottom, I'm complaining it's still a mobile link! $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 31 '16 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind, Oh! Gotcha, I just figured out what happened. I fixed that. Sorry! $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @heather: Thanks. It also goes by the name naked link (though most readers wouldn't know that term either). $\endgroup$ – Peter Mortensen Jul 31 '16 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ I have a feeling you neither understand what a mobile link is nor why it is bad. You changed it from a HTTP to a HTTPS link in your latest edit, but it is still a mobile link that sends a desktop user to the mobile version of Wikipedia. To be precise, there's an m between en. and .wikipedia in the URL that is responsible for that. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 31 '16 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind, I went to wikipedia in a new tab, searched for the page, got the correct page, then copy and pasted over the link. I thought it was strange it wasn't very different, but I figured it was right. But yeah, you are probably right in that I don't really know why it is bad (though I seem to recall you telling me it's a pain in the neck for people on normal computers...) $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ If you're doing this on a phone or tablet, the links you copy-paste will almost always be mobile links. Those lead to versions of the target site that look good on your phone/tablet, but don't look good for people on desktop computers and may also lack functionality the desktop version of the site has. If you click a desktop link on your phone, you will usually automatically be sent to the mobile version, but that doesn't usually work in the other direction - clicking a mobile link doesn't automatically send the user to the desktop version. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 31 '16 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind, interestingly, though, I'm not on a mobile device. Which is why I thought I was good copy-pasting the link over. $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 12:57
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    $\begingroup$ But ChrisWhite and EmilioPisanty are talking about mobile, not about naked links in what you quote (just look at the google search Emilio did - it searches for all links starting with en.m.wikipedia, and Chris' mention of "e.g. en.m.wikipedia.com"). There's nothing wrong with naked links (although they always seem to me a bit lazy), they lead to the same target, after all. $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Jul 31 '16 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind, well, that was stupid on my part. I went back and re-fixed those...when I do the edits in the future I will make sure I take care of that as well. $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 13:11
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So, my question is, should I go through the linked list and edit them so the links aren't explicit? It seems like it would be a good thing to do, but I want to make sure.

Just to be clear, the change we're talking about is changing en.m.wikipedia.org to en.wikipedia.org, and similarly for other mobile-optimized URLs. That's a fine change to make but it seems quite minor to me, and I'd shy away from making an edit which only makes that change and nothing else. However, if you fix other problems with the post at the same time, it's fine.

Other people may have different opinions on whether an edit which makes that change and no other would be appropriate.

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  • $\begingroup$ Okay; I'll make sure when I do those edits I'll 1. spread them out, so as not to drown the active feed and 2. to make other edits as well. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – heather Jul 31 '16 at 13:20

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