Sometimes I need to share a long URL in an e-mail or document with the purpose of making it clear, rather than making it clickable. When I need to do this, I'll rewrite the URL by add newlines and whitespace to ? and & characters and URL-decode parameter values. That turns this:
http://www.google.com/url? sa=t& rct=j& q=& esrc=s& source=web& cd=1& cad=rja& ved=0CCwQFjAA& url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editor_war& ei=k9ktUuz2Kvaj4APCmoGIBw& usg=AFQjCNGrgP7q1TYCPmuQnkgcfMIJKpFHOg& sig2=a6GUXFARKXj6r1JyiNkQ8w& bvm=bv.51773540,d.dmg
This format makes discussing or catching issues with individual URL parameters much easier.
For years I've used a created-on-the-fly emacs macro to help speed up the above conversion. And while I love keyboard macros I was many years overdue in turning this into an elisp function. Last week I finally corrected this oversight. Here's the code:
(defun url-humanify () "Take the URL at point and make it human readable." (interactive) (let* ((area (bounds-of-thing-at-point 'url)) (num-params (count-occurances-in-region "&" (car area) (cdr area))) (i 0)) (beginning-of-thing 'url) (when (search-forward "?" (cdr area) t nil) (insert "\n ") (while (< i num-params) (search-forward "&" nil t nil) (insert "\n ") (save-excursion (previous-line) (beginning-of-line) (let ((start (search-forward "=")) (end (search-forward "&"))) (url-decode-region start end))) (setq i (+ i 1)))))) (defun url-decode-region (start end) "Replace a region with the same contents, only URL decoded." (interactive "r") (let ((text (url-unhex-string (buffer-substring start end)))) (delete-region start end) (insert text))) (defun count-occurances-in-region (needle start end) (save-excursion (let ((found 0)) (goto-char start) (while (search-forward needle end t nil) (setq found (+ found 1))) found)))
(The usual disclaimers apply: url-humanify is not the most efficient elisp implementation, but it should reliably work. That (set i (+ i 1)) code shows I was thinking PHP instead of lisp; but so be it. At least I depend on thing-at-point to do the URL parsing. Oh, and I've included url-decode-region as a bonus. It's another function I use all the time.)
Now, whenever I have an ugly URL, I just need to execute M-x url-humanify and it all becomes clear.
Hope this saves you some typing.
Update: D'oh - forgot to include the count-occurances-in-region. As @anonymous pointed out, I should probably be using count-matches.