Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Is it worth adding a feature to automatically synchronize @username in comment with the corresponding username even if the username changes?

This feature is useful to avoid confusion for other new readers when users participating in the discussion change their usernames.

I think Facebook has implemented this kind of feature.

share|improve this question
It's worth adding, like it is technically unprobable to get working. As I understand it, the notification feature is already tacked on. And the comments are just text strings, with inexactly matched usernames. It would require a resource wasting cron job to traverse all comments for text changes, and it would likely rename the wrong ones (due to ambigious user names, and people often writing them incorrectly). – mario May 29 '11 at 19:47


The only benefit coming from this would be that conversations can be more easily read later. It probably doesn't justify implementing a feature that would encounter some very complicated or even unsolvable edge cases - like two people with the same (or a similar) name being pinged with the first two letters of their name.

share|improve this answer
@Pekka: why? If we changes our usernames then the existing comments will be confusing for other readers. – xport May 29 '11 at 18:58
@xport but how often is this a real-life problem? I can't remember the last time I came across a conversation that was impossible to follow because of this. Plus, as said, the current comment system would have to be completely rebuilt. At the moment, I can address you using "@xp". Imagine a second user with the name "xpath" being present in the conversation. How can the system tell them apart in order to know how to rename the comment? It's impossible. – Pëkka May 29 '11 at 19:02
"xp" isn't enough, it has to be "xpo" (unless the user is called "xp sp1", i.e. starts with a two-letter word; that's the Singapore is now supported exception) – balpha May 29 '11 at 19:10
@Pekka: Facebook has implemented this feature. – xport May 29 '11 at 19:16
@balpha Singapore is now supported? O_o how times change. @xport the thing is that comment discussions aren't very high up the ladder in the team's view in the first place. I doubt they will move to accomodate this scenario (which is also extremely rare) – Pëkka May 29 '11 at 19:19
@Pekka, @polly is one example, @GEOCHET another, @Welwhateverheisnow too... I agree that it's probably impossible to do right, but I think that sometimes it is confusing in some comment threads. (But it's not the only thing that is confusing in comment threads: people or mods deleting some comments is also confusing). – Benjol May 29 '11 at 20:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .