Start a topic by pasting a link (like Reddit)

I fixed permission to use featured links with uncategorized topics. You control it the same way as other categories.


I still think having some checkbox or other indicator that transparently shows whether the link will be featured is worth considering and might help for this scenario.

Oops. What I meant was the other way round. When a category doesn’t allow a topic link, the URL stays in the title even after you select a category that allows it.

Confusingly, when clicking “New Topic” from the homepage, I don’t get the option to paste a featured link. But I do if I choose a category. I haven’t changed any settings except to globally enable featured links. Is this a bug?

Hmm, that’s a case where your site doesn’t allow topics without a category. You’re being prompted to “Select a category…”, and form doesn’t know if featured links are allowed. In that case it should be fine to allow pasting a link.

Yeah makes sense that the composer should try to handle that case.

I love this feature!

I’ve written a browser plugin that allows users to click a toolbar button while browsing to share the page’s URL in a new Discourse topic. Unfortunately, it does not work when creating a pre-filled topic via URL.


Fix this case today. You can paste a link before choosing the category and get the onebox behaviour.

Added support for this today.


Does this work for any link?
I’m trying to make a new post with this link [
] and nothing happens. Linking to youtube homepage doesn’t work either, but links to a video works.

Is it possible to edit/revise an existing topic so that it behaves in this Reddit-like fashion (i.e., so that it displays the external link in the topic list)?

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I just tried with a link to this topic and, like you describe, nothing happens. I copied:
into “Create a new topic” and it seemed to be ignored. Other links worked as expected and were oneboxed fine.

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I’ve also found that it doesn’t work for all links. For links that aren’t supported, the user ought to get some feedback rather than no response.


Hmm where did you try this?

I tested on and it worked ok

@codinghorror This feature does not seem to work if there is a template defined for the category. Pasting a link to topic title field does nothing.

The same link works in a category that does not have a template.

Hmm, does this conflict with templates @neil?

It doesn’t work with category topic templates. The body of the composer has something in it. Should the onebox happen and replace the body?

Maybe prepend? Replacing can be a bad surprise :smile:


Edit: When I tried a Youtube link on the same site it worked fine:

When I try pasting this URL into the title bar, it doesn’t get automatically pushed down:

And it’s not recognised as a link:

Same for, and What makes a good community? – Sage Sharp.

This one has no HTML <head> neither OpenGraph nor oEmbed support.

Facebook does the heavy lift for you, by using the first <h1> as a title, and a random content inside the firsts <p> as the description. It would also use the first <img> as the image, but this page has none.

I would love for Onebox to do the same, but I’m not sure if the risks (more resource use, more attack vectors) are worth it :thinking:.

This works for me.

This returns a 404 error with content, that’s crazy.

This one also doesn’t support OpenGraph, so it’s the same case as the first, we would need to do extra work.


Regardless of whether we’re able to onebox the link (or otherwise get some metadata) or not though, we should definitely

  1. push it over to the editor field
  2. still display it as an outgoing link in the topic index.