Ran across the "Only one additional @user can be notified; the post owner will always be notified (click on this box to dismiss)" message for the first time today and somewhat to my surprise, when I clicked to dismiss the comment didn't go through and I was forced to edit it to actually have it go though. While I can understand there might be some technical reasons (and spam prevention reasons) for this design decision, I do think that we really shouldn't have to edit our comments to have them go through. Perhaps a "Click to post anyway" message can be added so things go through and only the first person in the list gets notified?

To clarify the use case a bit, this was actually over on money.stackexchange.com where two different users both commented on my question and the same answer addressed them both.

@userOne, @userTwo - Correct, ....

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    See also Don't block comments with two @lerts if one of them is @postowner, where I proposed similarly that the popup should contain some "I know what I'm doing, submit the comment nonetheless". – Hendrik Vogt Aug 23 '11 at 17:23
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    @Hendrik - Your question is similar to the situation that popped up for me, but it looks like it is its own use case. – rjzii Aug 23 '11 at 17:35
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    The thing is the system only ever notified (i.e. sent a message to their inbox) the first named @user. The second never knew you'd replied unless they happened to come back to the question/answer. – ChrisF Aug 23 '11 at 17:35
  • @ChrisF - I understand that which is why this is a different use case as there are situations where you want both users to get the message. Likewise, either a) the system is broken in that you should be able to notify more than one person with your reply or b) the system is broken in that is forcing me to edit my comment to get it to go though (i.e. "That's fine, let me post it anyway"). – rjzii Aug 23 '11 at 17:41
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    I understand the logic of wanting to use two @user entries to address two different people - I've often wanted to do this myself - but it's pointless within the system to use it as only the first named is notified. If you want all @user mentions to notify then that's a different question. – ChrisF Aug 23 '11 at 17:44
  • @ChrisF - Well, that's why I'm inclined to lean towards there being a design flaw as I can understand why it's not done from a social stand point (i.e. prevent spam) but from a technical standpoint it doesn't make much sense not to do it and you would expect it be the default behavior of the system. This is why I said that if there is a reason it's not being done I should still be able to push the comment through (i.e. "Don't tell me how to write") on the assumption that the user can make the proper call once they are informed of the situation. – rjzii Aug 23 '11 at 17:48
  • @ChrisF: Sometimes I refer to one user while commenting to another. The system should notify the FIRST referenced person. I'm okay with a notification that the others won't get a notice, just let me go ahead. – NotMe Aug 30 '11 at 15:10

Basically you are being asked to remove the extra @user(s).

Since you provided multiple @user's, the system doesn't know which one you want to remove, and leaving extra @user(s) that will never notify creates a broken system.

  • I might need to clarify my "question" a bit, but I know what is being asked by the system but what I'm saying is that the system should not be forcing me remove anything from my comment (I'm the human and I'm smarter than the computer). Likewise, since it was my question that two people commented on, I actually wanted them to both be notified of my response. – rjzii Aug 23 '11 at 17:31
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    One note I will make, should anybody see it and care, is that the 15 second window between comment posting becomes a hindrance in this case, since you so often have your full comment typed out, get the message and so proceed: cut/post/paste/post/declined/wait (you eager bunny!)/post/wait/post. – Grant Thomas Aug 23 '11 at 17:56
  • What is the rationale for only allowing one user to be notified? – corsiKa Aug 23 '11 at 22:06
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    @glowcoder "Spam" control. Limiting the amount of notifications any one person can make. Plus, it probably makes the system faster, because you only have to search for the first .@user. – Robert Harvey Aug 23 '11 at 22:07
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    Allow me to rephrase. What is the rationale for limiting the amount of notifications any one person can make? It doesn't seem like there would be any significant downside to allowing more than one @ in a comment. In fact, my preference would be that all users who have commented on a post would be notified any time there is a new comment on said post, but that's just me. – corsiKa Aug 23 '11 at 22:12
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    @glowcoder: What is the use case for having a conversation with two or more people in comments? The folks at SE probably feel that such a scenario is best handled in chat. – Robert Harvey Aug 23 '11 at 22:15
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    For starters, when you want to respond to two people regarding two different things in the same comment so you don't have to wait 15 seconds between them. For example: @First Yes, the foo has to bar the baz. @Second I'm not aware of any xyzzy in my foo, but that's an excellent point! – corsiKa Aug 23 '11 at 22:20
  • @Robert - Spam control can be resolved via user reputation: new users can't use multiple at replies in a comment. Likewise, the the performance difference is likely negligible in that the code is already likely a regular expression to get the first name and .NET exposes an enumerator that you can use to traverse all of the returns. The database inserts for the notifications are likely going to be more of a hit than the actual processing and even then it is negligible. – rjzii Aug 24 '11 at 2:22
  • Re: Spam Control: As you stated, just find the first @ reference and send to them. If there are others you can let the person know it won't go out but give them the option to go ahead and let the comment stick. – NotMe Aug 30 '11 at 15:12

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