Today I was in a need to post a comment, which I start with
@user as usuall. Also it was necessary to add another
@user string in the context. SO shows up the block with the followin text:
Only one additional @user can be notified; the post owner will always be notified
Ok, I know this. I clicked the box to dismiss it, but system did not allow me to submit the post.
My question is: why this message is implemented in so restrictive way? It should be a warning imho, and let decide the poster if he/she really wants to write another @user-like string in his/her message.
I feel I need to clarify. This is not about notification of many users. This is about writing a text which should include
@user string. For example, I want to write "@Username, don't forget to mention @user tag in your comments". Right now it can not be posted.
I'm positng this update to answer some comments. I believe usability is very important factor for SE sites. In the context of posting texts here, it is important to provide extended tools such as specific markup codes, but it is more important that the codes should be optinal, not interfering with attempts to write in natural language, without a need to even know these markup codes.
When you're writing an SQL query and RDMS stops you in the middle pointing out a syntax error ("Hey, you're an idiot, correct your wording here") this is normal, because this is a special query language intended for usage with proper markup only. But in the case of the web-sites (some of them are not even related to programming), it would be very user-unfriendly to require people learn a special "query language" to post their thoughts. (I'm not a new user here, yet I don't know all syntax "tricks". Am I supposed to finish some SE "university" before I can start to work with the sites? I think it would be disaster for everybody).
Another example is HTML. You can provide an arbitrary non-standard attribute in each html-tag, and browser will show the page without a problem, just ignoring those unknown attributes. SE should behave in similar way: if it "sees" a special code adhering to extended syntax - use it in a predefined way, otherwise it should skip it and treat just as a text. Of course, SE can show warning messages, explaining questionnable situations, and thus teaching users, but should not block.
The bottom line. The SE sites would benefit from accepting posts (and comments) in natural language with seamless, unobtrusive detection and interpretation of special codes.