Currently we have the future to create card links to magic card using the following format[mtg: Card name] and this should be used instead of creating a link to the gatherer yourself, but should we edit all the gatherer links in older posts to links using the current mtg: format.

I know this will take a lot of time to edit, but I am sure some people will help me with it.

  • 2
    You really should wait longer then 10 or so hours so more people have a chance to see the question and weigh in before editing and bumping so many old posts to the front page. All the posts you have edited recently and bumped to the front page are really not that much better. Honestly it seems like you where just looking for an answer that supports you doing mass edits and really don't care what others may have to say.
    – Joe W
    Apr 22, 2017 at 17:50
  • Moderators are not the only people who's opinion matters on this site. Also as of right now there are only 12 views for this question so very few people have seen it. I would also argue that from what I read in his question editing a post where the only change is the gather link isn't something that is really needed. Especially on dead questions
    – Joe W
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:00
  • @JoeW I read it as preventing them from breaking in the future, but I will let it rest for a few days. Thanks for the feedback Apr 22, 2017 at 18:02
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    @IvardeBruin The answer says to not bump more than a few questions at a time with edits. Most of the front page is currently your edits. The answer also says to fix other things when editing the question. In many cases, you didn't do that.
    – murgatroid99 Mod
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:03
  • @murgatroid99 alright point taken, my bad read it wrong Apr 22, 2017 at 18:05
  • Break in the future? When both links go to the same place I don't think that is likely to happen. Since they are linking to the official site and changes that would break the old link would break links across the web I don't see that happening soon.
    – Joe W
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:05
  • @JoeW the diffrence is updating the mtg: ai or all the links if something changes Apr 22, 2017 at 18:07
  • As for your comment on reputation, you should check out the user base closer and you might see that there are not a lot of high reputation users here. My rep might be low when compared to a lot of other sites but is enough to place me at 32 in terms of overall reputation on this site.
    – Joe W
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:08
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    If they where to break it would become quickly known and then we can ask for developer help to get them fixed.
    – Joe W
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:09
  • You have 1k reputation on this site and nothing but the association bonus on other sites so wouldn't that mean you know even less? The point is that more people matter then just moderators on a site. The community as a whole is in charge of how it runs and currently you have 28 edits on the front page most of which are pointless and did not make the posts better or easier to read. I would also point out that my reputation is a lot closer to 5k then then 4k that you keep claiming I have.
    – Joe W
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:15
  • @JoeW Well, Ivar didn't exactly listen to me either (I said "only a few") so I don't think this was really a matter of listening to a moderator over you.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:40
  • @Jefromi I see few as under 10 you see it as 3 or so I guess. I learned something and you learned that using numbers instead of a few is better in these cases Apr 22, 2017 at 18:44
  • While I also do definitely agree that if you're unsure about the correct way to go, it'd be good to wait longer on your meta post, this is also something that if done correctly doesn't require a meta post: anyone with the editing privilege is totally free to edit a few questions a day, whether it's disconnected general improvements, or focusing on fixing a common issue, as long as they do their best to improve everything they can in each edit. I don't want people to feel they need to ask permission to do that.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:45
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    @IvardeBruin The context is the front page, not the number to fix. The whole point is not to overwhelm the front page, and "less than 10" is still enough to fill everything you can see without scrolling on the front page, and a good fraction of the total. Go have a look at it and see whether it looks reasonable.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:48
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    Just so you know when it comes to updating direct links to using out autocard there are sill some bugs/issues with the autocard that require the use of direct links. One recent one is Platinum Angel seems to just not work for as far as I can tell no reason. And if you want to link Sun Titan it will display a search results page with it and Sundering Titan. In the past any name with an apostrophe also would not work, but this issue has been fixed.
    – diego
    Apr 24, 2017 at 13:52

3 Answers 3


It's okay to do mass editing projects as long as you do it carefully:

  • Make sure your plan is clearly an improvement before you start.
  • Don't bump more than a few (let's say 3) to the front page at any given time. (Editing all answers on a question at the same time still only bumps one question.)
  • Be sure to fix other things in the posts as you're editing.

I think this seems like a small but reasonable improvement, if done carefully. There are a couple concerns:

  • Some links may deliberately point at an older printing of a card, while the automatic link always points at the newest.
  • Some auto links don't actually work, including apparently card names that are substrings of another card's name. Make sure the new link actually works.

Outside of those corner cases, I don't think old gatherer links have broken in general, but replacing them with [mtg:...] links does prevent breakage in the future. It also standardizes the way the links are presented.

So I'd say go for it if you want, with the above things in mind. The slow rate means that organizing help isn't exactly necessary, but encouraging people to change links if they're already editing something else seems good. Or if it all seems like too much trouble at that point, just forget about mass editing and only edit the posts you come across otherwise.

  • How many do you think is best to do at the same time Apr 22, 2017 at 17:00
  • If the only change in the post is changing the links from the standard link format to the mtg popup style? We are now getting a few bumps to the front page where the only change was to fix one link in the post.
    – Joe W
    Apr 22, 2017 at 17:54
  • @IvardeBruin A few. Looks like you bumped 8 just now, that's not a few.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:35
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    @JoeW Yes, it's fine to just fix a link if the other conditions are met: there is absolutely nothing else to fix in the post, and only a few posts are being bumped. I definitely did not intend to support the mass bumping that just happened for such a small improvement, but if things like this are done in moderation, well, any improvement is an improvement. We'd encourage people to fix scattered misspellings too.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 22, 2017 at 18:38
  • I would add: Be sure the answer does not rely on a specific printing of the card. As another user helped me realize today, the auto generated links always take you to the latest printing of a card. If an answer discusses a change in terminology that occurred in 2009, then the author might intentionally link to the 2009 printing of a card on the Gatherer. Changing the link to an auto card tag would be detrimental. This could maybe be a sub-bullet under your first bullet?
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 1, 2017 at 17:02
  • Sorry for the back to back comments, but I also just realized: Don't use auto card tags if the card's name is a subset of another card's name. For some reason I thought we solved this issue a while back, but I guess I'm misremembering. You can see the problem in action on a new post here: boardgames.stackexchange.com/posts/38304/revisions
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 1, 2017 at 17:32

No, you shouldn't edit all the older posts that are using different links to the cards as that is a trivial edit and would unnecessarily bump the post to the front page.

If you run across a link during normal use of the site I don't see a problem with editing the post to correct the link. But to mass edit posts that have working links just to change the format and to flood the front page with old posts doesn't make sense.

You need to remember that any edit to a post, even to add a single character bumps it to the front page which for older posts isn't really needed.


No. Use [mtg] to save time while posting, not to create more work after the fact.

Look at the difference between [mtg] and "hard-coded" Gatherer URLs.

  • From a reader-facing perspective, they're almost always identical. Click a link, see a card.

    • When they aren't, it's usually because [mtg] has introduced some quirk. E.g. [mtg:Sun Titan] sending you to a disambiguation page.
  • [mtg] is, chiefly, a convenience for writing questions and answers. It reduces workload and errors when you're linking to 20 different cards in a single post. If someone's already done that work, however, and it's free of errors, then going back in and changing it doesn't save any work retroactively.

    • Your updates can easily introduce new errors! E.g. for a long time, apostrophes were broken. (Somehow, they're still broken, but only in old posts?) So when you tried to "streamline" a card link with an apostrophe, you'd just break it instead. Pretty sure a few more minor quirks like that still remain.
  • What about "future-proofing?"

    1. You're not actually saying any work. If the old links ever break, it's not hard to do the work then: automate a search to find all Gatherer URLs, and we still have the card names in the link text to help us update them. Planning for how to avoid information loss now (while we have all the information) is important; doing more than that is wasted effort since you don't know exactly what form that possible future breakage will take.

    2. As it stands right now, [mtg] links are actually less stable: WotC can break a few of them at a time by introducing a new set. (See the [mtg:Sun Titan] problem, above.) So you're actually increasing the possibility that a perfectly-formed answer will get more cruft because of future sets.

In summary, [mtg] is actually a little bit less stable and reliable than "hard-coded" Gatherer URLs, but we accept that because it saves tons of time and effort when writing answers.

As a mass editing project, this is either value-neutral or strictly value-negative: you actually risk introducing a lot of new errors and degraded functionality unless you very carefully check all your links and include manual workarounds for the ones you break.

  • 2
    This answer might be a little outdated. Maybe they used to be identical back in the day, but now, the auto card link opens a little window in front of the page, whereas direct links actually take the user to that page (and away from stack exchange).
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 6, 2017 at 15:40
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    Also, if the Gatherer ever makes a change that breaks all links across the board, then you are saving work by using the auto card tag. A single update to the mechanism that generates the links could fix every auto tag on the entire site, without even bumping the posts (so no first page spam, no mass notifications to the authors, etc.). On the other hand, all of the direct links would have to be edited individually. I understand your point about not planning for a specific breakage, but we can certainly benefit by planning for an entire category of breakages.
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 6, 2017 at 15:45
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    The Sun Titan vs Sundering Titan problem has been resolved. You can test this out in the site chat.
    – Rainbolt
    Sep 6, 2017 at 15:48
  • I generally agree with Rainbolt here; I don't know if vanilla Gatherer links will break, but I would not be at all surprised if they do at some future point. Wizards isn't always exactly the best at web sites. So it'd be nice if the solution at that point were "fix the [mtg:...] implementation" rather than "mass-edit all the manual links".
    – Cascabel
    Oct 2, 2017 at 22:02
  • @Rainbolt Perhaps targeting a new window should be an option for all links? An identifier like ! for images that renders the html differently. Also issues like Sun Titan still happen, I got it for Fling still in a question just a week or so ago.
    – Andrew
    Jan 15, 2018 at 18:10

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