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I checked my Stack Exchange Inbox (drop down list) just now and it mentioned three messages for me. Two were legit - the last was this one on The Tavern which was another Mark.

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Let's put it this way: If you're at a party, and someone yells "Hey Mark!", you'd turn around. That's the principle chat replies are modeled after. – balpha Oct 1 '10 at 10:00
@balpha - I'm surprised it is implemented that way but you've made a great analogy - thanks. – Wikis Oct 1 '10 at 10:36
Did somebody call me? – Mark C Oct 12 '10 at 1:22
@Marc C - you too? This question is becoming a @Mark / @Marc convention... – Wikis Oct 12 '10 at 7:51
up vote 2 down vote accepted

That follows the standard rules of @blah conflicts, I'm afraid. You would also have got a highlight inside chat for that.

That was a reply; if they had just used the explicit reply (rather than adding the @Mark), it would have known who it meant, but that @Mark was ambiguous so all the "Mark*" who had been active in the room were included.

Usually, auto-complete on the name would have given a less ambiguous match... but they are just "Mark".

You'd get the same problem if you'd both been talking in comments on SOFU. I don't propose there is much we can do about it.

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You'd get the same problem if you'd both been talking in comments - I thought that only the most-recent matched commenter gets notified, or is that wrong? – Tim Stone Oct 1 '10 at 9:57
@Tim - hmmm... it seems you are correct. But I think balpha hits the nail on the head with his comment above. – Marc Gravell Oct 1 '10 at 10:21
@Marc - thanks. So I guess that, if multiple Marcs (with a C) had contributed to this page they'd all get this post in their inbox, right? – Wikis Oct 1 '10 at 10:37
@Marc: Yeah, that makes sense, especially given the more fluid nature of the chat. :) The only counterpoint I might make in this case is that the OP's lack of activity in that room (it seems he has no posts/hasn't been in chat for at least 18 days?) makes him unlikely enough of a candidate that he doesn't need a system-wide notification. At the same time though, it's impossible to know for sure, so I suppose it's a better safe than sorry sort of situation. – Tim Stone Oct 1 '10 at 10:56
@Tim - 18 days? Hmmm... I suspect that should probably indeed rule them out. Let me try to tweak that... – Marc Gravell Oct 1 '10 at 10:59
@Mark - no, time corrected me; in comments it is only the most recent; I'm changing chat to only look at people who've been in the room in the last week - seem like a fair compromise? – Marc Gravell Oct 1 '10 at 11:12
@Marc - sounds great. I don't know if one week is the appropriate time interval - I'll trust you have a better idea of that. Thanks. – Wikis Oct 1 '10 at 11:31
@marc one week seems like an absurdly large window for name mentions. Two days seems more sane to me.. – Jeff Atwood Oct 12 '10 at 9:52
@Jeff - will reduce – Marc Gravell Oct 12 '10 at 11:00
@Jeff @Marc - thanks. – Wikis Oct 12 '10 at 11:38
@Marc, if there's only 1 match, are you going to ignore the time window? Thinking about chats that have less activity. ALso, what if the 2 days eliminates all matches? – Rebecca Chernoff Oct 12 '10 at 12:35
I think it is way too sensitive. I have never really participated in the chat yet. I poke the rooms every once in a while just to see what it's all about. I haven't viewed the meta chat rooms for a while now (over a week or so) and I received a notification for a message clearly directed to Mr. @Atwood. If reducing the window is not an option, it should at least be only for people who have actually participated within this time. – Jeff Mercado Nov 5 '10 at 6:40
@JeffM - I can see exactly 1 instance of this looking at Oct/Nov: this one - but I will investigate. Fortunately, it logs everything... – Marc Gravell Nov 5 '10 at 6:48
@Marc: Ok thanks. I just thought it was odd to get notified for it when I never really participated. – Jeff Mercado Nov 5 '10 at 6:54
@JeffM - in this case, since it wasn't an exact match, there is a 2-day limit. You entered that room "2010-11-03 06:57:34.093", that reply was "2010-11-05 05:27:18.807", which is within 2 days. I see you have some matches in September too, but that pre-dates the changes. So in short, since we changed the rules, there has been only 1 false positive, and that from a room that you had visited recently... You might disagree, but to me it sounds like it is working fine...? – Marc Gravell Nov 5 '10 at 6:59

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