Sigh the appears to be damned if you do, and damned if you don't
SO I will be damned... I have removed the encoding to handle non-allowed items in a URL (specifically the space character).
We have 4 actors with their hands in the pie.
First we have the specification RFC 3986 which updates 1738 and obsoletes 3 other RFC specifications.
Second we have http servers such as Apache and others that take the html etc and respond to ...
Third the web browsers.. IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera , etc.
And fourth we have PHP coding rules.
When you click on the link...
the Apache server here at Warcraftrealms.com sends the URL back to your browser with the coding that says the browser needs to act on that URL.
Your browser will do something with the link... but the vendors handle the URL differently.
the wr page produced has
52/Deadwolfen/advanced" target="_blank">Armory Profile
clicking on that link in Firefox puts the same on the address bar.. but actually sends to us.battle.net the following
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/A ... a/advanced
whereas IE handles it as follows
address bar: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/A ... a/advanced
url requested: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/A ... a/advanced
So firefox displays what it was given but requests per standard
IE modifies to standard the display and the request.
At some point in time I think Rollie ran into a browser that wasn't working with the space -> % 20 standard... instead it was using the space -> + variant.. which is what PHP also used as standard under the older standards.