On several occasions I have sent by email links to MO questions or answers. They appear just like this - say, https://mathoverflow.net/a/287214/41291

Is it difficult to achieve that such links in emails transform themselves into human-digestible information, at least in intelligent mail clients like gmail or thunderbird?

I mean something in the range of sophistication between just indication of question title, date, author, number of up/downvotes, etc. and youtube video links which automatically transform into clickable playable snapshots.

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    $\begingroup$ BTW I would consider link in this format https://mathoverflow.net/questions/282547/a-curiosity-on-complete-homomorphisms-of-boolean-algebras/287214#287214 slightly more human readable than simply https://mathoverflow.net/a/287214 or https://mathoverflow.net/q/282547#287214. As you can check, all of them link to the same answer: mathoverflow.net/questions/282547/…, mathoverflow.net/a/287214 and mathoverflow.net/q/282547#287214 $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2017 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Currently I am clicking on share and copy-paste what is produced there, under the assumption that this is the optimal way. Do you suggest to take the link from the address bar of the browser? $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2017 at 7:23
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    $\begingroup$ Well, it depends on what you want to achieve. Both formats have advantages - one is shorter but the longer one contains at least partially readable title. Of course, this is relevant only if you compose plaintext email. If you use HTML, nobody prevents you from formatting the link whichever way you want, for example: Manny Reyes' answer to "A curiosity on complete homomorphisms of boolean algebras". $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2017 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Sure, it is that (a) I am sometimes lazy to do it and (b) many people don't even know it can be done $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2017 at 7:29
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    $\begingroup$ Also note that the second number in your link (41291) is in fact your user ID, which is included in the "share" links for tracking purposes (one can obtain a badge for posting some amount of such links elsewhere). It can, and probably should, be safely deleted. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2017 at 11:47

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I suppose I am stating the obvious but: How some links are rendered in a specific email client depends on that client. So if you want some added functionality there, it would be a new feature for the specific client, I do not think that much can be done on the side of Stack Exchange.

As already mentioned in the comments, if you are sending HTML email then it is completely under your control what the name of the hyperlink is. So I assume we are talking about plain text emails.

You have already several links available:

  • The link mentioned in your question (obtained by clicking on share) https://mathoverflow.net/a/287214/41291 https://mathoverflow.net/a/287214/41291 is a link which contains your user id. This is important only only if you care about badges such as announcer, booster and publicist. If you do not need to include the information that link came from you, you can safely remove the last part.
  • Short links https://mathoverflow.net/a/287214 https://mathoverflow.net/a/287214 and https://mathoverflow.net/q/282547#287214 https://mathoverflow.net/q/282547#287214 both refer to the same answer.
  • You can use the "long version" - probably the easiest way to obtain it is from the address bar: https://mathoverflow.net/questions/282547/a-curiosity-on-complete-homomorphisms-of-boolean-algebras/287214#287214 A curiosity on complete homomorphisms of boolean algebras In this case the url contains some phrases from the title, which makes it more human-readable, at least for the titles which are not have on formulas. (As pointed out in Emil Jeřábek's comment you can manually edit the text and link will still be working - assuming you still keep it as syntatically correct URL and you keep the question id and answer id.)
  • If you want to have more detailed information, you can click cite, copy the text shown as "example citation" and edit it manually to get something you are satisfied with. In this specific case you get: Manny Reyes (https://mathoverflow.net/users/778/manny-reyes), A curiosity on complete homomorphisms of boolean algebras, URL (version: 2017-11-28): https://mathoverflow.net/q/287214 "Manny Reyes (https://mathoverflow.net/users/778/manny-reyes), A curiosity on complete homomorphisms of boolean algebras, URL (version: 2017-11-28): https://mathoverflow.net/q/287214"
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent answer, thanks! $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2017 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's worth pointing out that in the "long version", the textual part of the URL ("a-curiosity-on-complete-homomorphisms-of-boolean-algebras") is in fact ignored by the server. Thus, if you are not happy with it, you are free to modify it to make it read better (as long as it is still a syntactically correct URL). $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2017 at 10:08

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