In the comments to the original linking syntax request, ghoppe said:

Thanks for the card links. As the guy who whipped up the jsfiddle, I admit I lifted the tooltip function (which is open source) to speed the creation of the popup. But there is an API to retrieve just the images from gatherer — any popup script could be used. e.g. The Cheese Stands Alone I completely understand the stance of not wanting to use undocumented APIs, so I'll take what we can get. ;) – ghoppe May 3 at 1:13

Kevin Montrose's answer there says

Do note that the AutoCard feature only seems to document opening new windows, that nifty hover affect is something else. I'll do some digging to see if that is documented anywhere, but if not we can't copy that particular behavior.

Like many of us, I'm a programmer of some experience myself. My question is: why shouldn't we implement this anyway, even if the image service is undocumented?

Reasons to implement:

  1. It's very easy: http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?type=card&name=The%20Cheese%20Stands%20Alone
  2. The original blog post uses the tool-tip hover as the first example, implicitly endorsing it, even though it doesn't provide the code in the article text.
  3. The original blog post was written in 2002. This API has been around, and been stable, for 10 years! Do we have any reason to think it will change?
  4. It's very low-impact. This is not critical, site-breaking functionality. Nothing depends on it. If the API changes, we don't see pop-ups anymore. Oh well. That would mean... we wouldn't see pop-ups! Which is what we (don't) have, right now.
  5. It would be very slick, and would present a much more 'pro' image to the MTG crowd.

What are the counter-arguments? It would be nice to have a chance to discuss the issue as a community, and hear the issues.

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Point #2 is highly relevant. I didn't notice it earlier, but that page does literally say "Do you want to do this? You totes can!" –  Alex P Aug 21 '12 at 23:32
    
Yes, that's not even just an implicit endorsement, it's explicit. –  cdeszaq Aug 24 '12 at 13:32
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agreed and upvoted :) –  Michel Daviot Aug 25 '12 at 23:33
    
I've contacted Wizards of the Coast directly about this issue. Depending on their response, I'll have a better answer for you all. –  Aarthi Sep 24 '12 at 19:08
    
Update! I was put in contact with the WOTC Assistant Brand Manager. Hopefully this keeps working its way up the chain. –  Aarthi Oct 25 '12 at 22:52
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Update: Redux -- after a long radio silence, I've started the contact process anew. –  Aarthi Jan 23 '13 at 22:41

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