Can we please also get Google Plus style mentions on the Stack Exchange network?

It's purely a matter of convenience for me, and I'm sure I'll get over it, but using Google+ has taught my finger muscles that the plus sign means mention.


I'm just asking for support for +Moshe in addition to @Moshe. If I spend some time on Google Plus and then hop over to SO, I'll be in "plus mode". Makes my life easier. I've accidentally plussed people more than once by mistake.

I do understand if people disagree. I figured it was worth asking.

  • 15
    You've been here for 22 months and suddenly Google+ has broken your ability to use @ in a reply? Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 18:27
  • but no users match the name starting with "1" (or so the search roughly tells me, I'm sure there are plenty that do) so it wouldn't be able to alert anyone :p
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 18:31
  • @MichaelMrozek Nope, but sometimes I come over directly from G Plus. I've accidentally plussed people more than once here.
    – Moshe
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 18:34
  • 1
    I have edited the title to make it a little clearer. Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 18:42
  • 3
    @downvoters, is it really that bad to avoid notifications being lost when some accidentally uses +downvoters instead? If so, then maybe +mention could even be changed into @mention? We're even changing ! into ? here!
    – Arjan
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 19:00
  • "If I spend some time on Google Plus " ... no longer an issue. R.I.P. Google Plus.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 5:25

3 Answers 3


And they should support the :commentId format in comments just like the :messageId in chat.

And if the Apple Steve Jobs Commemorative iSocial iNetwork©™® comes out with the username syntax, they should add that!

Hmm, now the programmer in me has seen 3 cases and wants to refactor. Maybe any symbol should be allowed to start? %username and so on!

But what about combinations of symbols? Phrases (e.g., reply to username)? They should be allowed too! This would make it super easy to implement: Any mention of a name anywhere in the comment should generate an inbox message to that user!

Seriously though: @ means something ("at"). It's older than Facebook, older than Twitter, and you'll see used and abused even in commenting systems with no method of direct replies. Just like you learned to use it in the first place, you can learn to use it only when appropriate. And if not, just get a user script to convert your + into @ and vice-versa.

  • 1
    Well put. Thanks. I think that a userscript is in order, for my own convenience... :-)
    – Moshe
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 20:52
  • 2
    I never got used to the @ in @username being on the wrong side of the username. It ought to have been !username instead.
    – sarnold
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 0:03

Google+ already supports @user syntax. The solution to your problem is to use @user everywhere which already works and is semantically meaningful, not to add the silly +user syntax to Stack Overflow. + doesn't convey the same semantics as @ at all, and it's only shoehorned into Google+ to keep with their dumb "+1" thing.


I agree there's a case for either warning the users that they're using the wrong syntax, or for automatically replacing +mention with @mention.

However: both would need the system to recognize usernames and I'm not sure how easy that is. Already, multiple @mentions are rejected, but I'm not sure if that just looks for the @ character, or really tries to find matches? Also, support for hitting Tab after typing +... might make finding the erroneous use a bit easier?

Anyway, a simple query from the Data Explorer shows examples like:

+rep? do you mean a vote up?
+This is correct.  The array is NOT empty or nil, so the else gets evald [...]
+Santosh Thanks for your reply.  However I created a policy file already.
+Peter Thanks again. However how can you set the size of the young [...]
+Peter Thanks for your answer. these options are set to the following [...]
+Lawrey I'll do it. Thanks for your advice :)
+Lawrey Thanks for your answer and I understand your point of view. However [...]
+AlexR Lool, I am talking about 35.7 MB of JARs.
+Joonas Thanks for your answer. You are right, but ProGuard can handle [...]
+iApple, no difference.
+Nekto, I guess it will do nothing. And I doubt it's relevant to the crash I see.
+JVersty Thanks for the tool! I think it will solve my problem. :)
+many for this. This is the only correct answer, because it can indeed be [...]
+reload means that you are calling some static method. make sure you are [...]
+Edit: found http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.version-control.git/112575 [...]

Simple as in: not covering all cases. Basically just looking for comments starting with a plus.

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