Two of the features that historically have been high on the noding public's wish list but never made it onto the administration's list of priorities have now been implemented:


  1. You can now add external links to writeups by linking URLs as if they were node titles. They should be clearly marked as external links; if you don't see that, you might need to force refresh or switch to a less deprecated theme.
    We're expecting to use their common sense with links. Don't link to sites that are going to get people in trouble with their work or their grandmothers without warning them first. Don't start treating Everything2 as a link directory. Generally, just don't be an idiot. Here's an example URL:
  2. Tables are now allowed in writeups. We'd discourage you for using them for anything much besides tabular data. Note that if you post an ill-formed table, it'll just show your HTML with ugly boxes around it to help you figure out where you went wrong, thanks to call's ingenious validation code.

Both features have at one point or the other been on the "nuh-uh, not in a million years" list. The argument against tables has generally been that they are really easy to get wrong. Which is true. On the other hand, I think we've been underestimating a userbase that put up with the need for hand-crafted HTML for years after it went out of style. The staff have been asked to brush up on their table knowledge and be prepared to jump in a bit more than usual. In allowing tables we've gone a step beyond many other sites with user-contributed content so this might turn out to be a bit of a bold move. We shall see.

External links have been the subject of debate for... well, for as long as I've been around. Persuasive arguments have been made on both sides. While this may be thought of as a radical departure from E2 custom, perhaps E2's no-link policy was more of a radical departure from the norm than is now necessary and useful. The administration recognises now more than ever that no site is an island and perhaps that no site like this should continue to try and be one. E2 is returning to the web from whence it came.

The code behind links is a collaborative deal. Oolong implemented them with contributions from Swap and rootbeer277, and the effort was based on code contributed a long time ago by ascorbic, while the edev cast of dozens pitched in, too. We are initially permitting the linking of HTTP and HTTPS URIs. The list may be expanded in the future. The link icon is, as you may have noticed, lifted from The Other Place and may change. The point is that links are clearly marked as such and there is no surreptitious external linking. As always, your feedback on both new features is appreciated.