Should questions and answers be edited to make links more readable, or is this not really seen as productive?
- you think the post will be better overall by collapsing a link into text, and
- the text is easily found and clicked on, and
- the text (or the context) is sufficiently detailed that it's clear what someone would be going to by clicking on it
...then I think you should submit the edit, even if it's the only thing about the post that you're changing.
With that said:
- If the benefit is small, you might consider not submitting it if your edits have to go through review, because edits that are minor (that is, minor in effect) shouldn't be pushed into the queue.
- If the benefit is very small, you might not want to do the edit even if your edits don't have to go through review.
- As with editing in general, it's best to look at the whole post and see what else you can improve. I've edited a lot of URL's into compact, readable text, and only rarely have I not found other things to make better (or at least other URLs).
Many times you can go too simple on the links, for example -
Read this article for more information:
Is a bit too long, but if you edit it to -
Visit this article for more information.
You have lost all the context for where the article is from, or about. So edit to include at the least information about what the link is. Example:
For more informaiton about community created phone apps see this OMG!Ubuntu article.
This includes the basic information of why you should click, even though the site can be viewed by mouse-over. Why should I click here ?
If I'm editing something and the opportunity presents itself to also do that, I do.
Otherwise, I don't think it's worth it JUST to take the url out.
I think a special case should be made for URL's that are themselves interesting. For instance, if I have a manual I link to, sure, but if I say "I get redirected to http://www.example.com if I do this", the actual URL itself is important and should be remained readable.
Apart from that I believe it is a formatting update and it can be both essential or too minor, depending on each case. If it improves a post enough, sure. If it doesn't, meh. Infuriating is a bad word for it, and should not be the reason to edit. Unreadable? edit. Just a simple link? too minor.