Posted 8/5/2010 4:01 PM (#634) Subject: Creating links to another Thread or Post
Location: USA: GA, Lawrenceville
One of the TradeTight Forum's primary goals is to provide a useful knowledgebase for the TradeTight Members and also for the Nirvana community at large (in the non-confidential sections ;~).
The starting point for this is the highly-structured tiered organization of Sections and Rooms, which is designed to cover just about everything having to do with the use of Nirvana products, and many broader areas of Trading. Occasionally a new Room might be added ... but hopefully that will be a rare event. It's important for all users to get familiar with the Table of Contents in the TradeTight Introduction section > Organization & Content room (click here).
One important aspect to a knowledgebase is its "intra-article links" ... that is, if you are making a post that relates to one in a different Thread (or Room), then it's very helpful if you will include a "link" to that information so that the reader can "jump" to it quickly. Later on, we will add the ability to embed a "message number" in the text, but for now, it's almost as easy
1. You have to find out where the other post is - no way around that. You can manually use the navigation bar (under the TradeTight logo) to find it, or you might want to use Search (top left). Since usually you will already be in the middle of typing a post when you do this, first, OPEN A NEW BROWSER PANE by right-clicking on either Search or somewhere in the navigation bar, and select "Open in New Tab" or "Open in New Window". That way you can wander around, and find your "target" location, without interrupting your post or losing where you are right now.
2. Once you have your "target" displayed on the screen, highlight and copy the URL (Ctrl+C) that you see in the address bar at the top of your Browser window. I'll explain the format of that URL to you in a minute. Just make sure you copy the whole string. Leave the extra pane open for now, since you might want to use it to search out some MORE links to make your post truly robust and useful for others.
3.a. Go back to the browser pane where you are composing your new post and immediately paste (Ctrl+V) the URL into your text, so you won't accidentally "lose" it ;~) If you want to, you can just leave it as-is, in the flow of your text ... often best to put it on a separate line for readability. If you do this, it will show up in the Email notifications that others might get.
... OR ... 3.b. If you prefer to make your link available in a more "sophisticated" fashion, you can use the "URL=" Formatting code (to see the full list, click "View Formatting Codes" in the bottom left of the Posting/Edit window). You can see a colorful example of this and other cool codes in action, by clicking here.
OK that's all you really need to know. The rest of this is for folks that "just gotta know stuff". The following four paragraphs show the "structure" of the URL used to get to various places in the Forum. Sometimes there are alternative methods. You will notice that none of them include the clause "&posts=x" that is sometimes in the URL ... afaik that's informative but not functional. As I mentioned earlier, we do plan (eventually) to make this whole thing a little cleaner and tighter using just the Message Number with a new formatting code, but it might be awhile ...
To build a link to a Post or to a Thread:
The beginning of a thread-URL will always look the same - you'll tack more info on to the end of it: http://tradetight.org/forums/thread-view.asp?
The first thing you need to know is how to identify the Thread that contains the target-post. The Forum has a database that assigns numbers to Threads as they are created ... it's sequential and there's no way you'll be able to "guess" the number ... you need to find it using step 1 & 2 above. You need to add this format-string to include the Thread ID in the URL: &thread=123 This is required, and has no alternative format.
Beyond that ... it's really helpful to provide a pointer to a specific Post ... maybe it's in the middle of the Thread ... so the reader does not have to "search" for your post by date and time or author or just reading along. There are two ways to do this ... one, by identifying SEQUENTIALLY which post it is in the Thread ... ie starting with the first (chronological) post as #1, just count down the thread-view to find your target. Maybe it's #37 ... think how much searching-time you've saved the reader by specifying it for them! The format that you would add to the URL (after the &thread=123 chunk) is: &start=37
This is only necessary if you want to point to a specific Post, sequentially. The first post in the Thread is &start=1, obviously, but if you want to go there, you can leave out this clause.
ALTERNATIVELY, you can use the "message number" for that post, which is in the tiny, faint-blue print at the VERY top of the post, in parentheses right after the "Posted" date and time. The message number always has the form "#M123" ... if it's not the first one in the thread, it will tell you what earlier message-number this was "in reply" to ... ignore that number ... use the first one. To use this message-ID number, add to the URL (after the &thread=123 chunk): #M123 ... note that the M must be capitalized for this to work.
OK ... that covers 98% of the cases ... but maybe for some reason you want to point the link to the list of Threads in a Room. I'll just show the format here ... basically you have to GO to that view and look at the URL to find out the catlock=# and the &fid=# values ... so you can just copy the URL-link directly to your post. Here are relevant examples:
Posted 1/7/2012 1:53 PM (#3288 - in reply to #634) Subject: Creating links to another Thread or Post
Location: USA: GA, Lawrenceville
You can create "clean, hidden" links to other places in this forum ... or any URL in the web ... by using a metacommand to enclose the URL in formatting brackets. You've seen this elsewhere in the forum when I add the "Click here" notes to a sentence. If you click on one of those underlined phrases, it jumps to to a different URL location.
This not only cleans up the appearance, but more significantly, it allows you to use REALLY LONG links without them being chopped up by the editor and display engine. That's important ... if you post a link that wraps to an extra line or two, then it's very likely that no one will be able to use it.
So, here's the method:
1. Go to the web page that you want to link to, and highlight the full address in the address bar, and press Ctrl-C to copy it into the buffer.
2. Create your new post in this forum, and press Ctrl-V to paste the address into the post.
3. Immediately, before doing anything else, put a closing square bracket "]" at the end of the URL you just pasted in.
4. Now move to the front of the URL you pasted, and add four characters just before it ... a "[" followed by "url=" (no quotation marks).
5. Following the final "]" that you typed in step 3, type in some text that will serve as the visible "link handle" ... typically I just use "click here".
6. Finally, after the link handle text, type in "[" then "/url" then "]". I'm writing it out that way so that it won't be invisible to you as you read this :~)