I've noticed a number of questions like this which link to config files or log files hosted elsewhere (PasteBin, GitHub Gist, Dropbox etc.). I've always been of the opinion external links should generally be discouraged unless necessary (Lots of people come to SE from search sites, finding a useful answer/question that has become useless because of external links annoys me to no end).

Should this be discouraged/edited to include the files inline or am I being fussy about something that doesn't really matter?

2 Answers 2


I generally discourage (and fix) questions/answers that link to external files/references -- The relevant bits should be included in the question/answer.

I don't mind a "Go here for more information" link, or a "see the man page for command (I do those all the time myself), but the question and answer should be able to stand on their own...


If someone posts a pastebin link, I grab it and wrap it in the code tags in an edit.

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