This seems a bit odd to me, especially when, e.g., sharing a link with a long URL. More often than not you'd format the link inline to be human-readable, but the length of the URL itself is often outside the poster's control (and from what I understand, the usage of URL shortening services can be viewed as a controversial practice). Even without considering other formatting marks, from the perspective of potential URL lengths alone, you might not be able to even share a single link within a comment (600 limit vs ≤ ≈2,000), even despite the hypothetical poster's intent to perhaps only have the frontend output (±) a single word.

I'm curious if this functional limitation is intentional? Or perhaps it'd be very challenging to implement that type of evaluation on the backend? Or does the community simply not get bothered much by it?

  • 1
    I'm afraid we can't answer the "why" part because that's only possible for SE devs to answer it, but some users do get bothered by it: Discourage URL shorteners in comments: don't add link's href size to the total comment size
    – Andrew T. Mod
    Mar 27 '19 at 9:51
  • @AndrewT. I had a feeling maybe that was the case. On that subject, is there any resource that differentiates the "jurisdictions" (for lack of a better word at the moment) between SE and its individual communities (e.g., Venn-style infographic, etc)? I guess in this case, I should have assumed a feature like "commenting" should be common to all of SE, but actually I have no idea how the sites' management gets structured and what types of features are universal or community-specific, etc; e.g., minimum reputation requirement to comment seems to be set per-community, not universal.
    – Arctiic
    Mar 27 '19 at 10:43

Disclaimer: I am not a SE developer, so this whole answer is based on my own experiences.

From the official SEDE schema and Jeff Atwood's old response, comments are rendered into HTML from source when rendering the page. Consequently, the raw content of your comment is stored in the database, instead of any rendered HTML. This very well explains why the length limit is instated on "raw comment", rather than how it actually looks, IMO.

If you need to post super long comments, I'd recommend instead reviewing if you really need that content. Comments on SE are meant to be light-weighed, so generally content that's too long should be polished and put together as an answer. There's no limitation that you can't submit two contents when necessary, though.

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