Possible Duplicate:
How do comment @replies work?
Allow more than one @name notification per comment

I faced this issue today when I was replying to a comment posted which used @Transaction annotation.

@Trevor: @Transaction and ... @Transaction

When typing this comment, I got a warning.

  • See: How do comment @replies work?
    – vcsjones
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:34
  • 4
    It's a known bug in their design. Jan 24, 2012 at 21:35
  • 1
    Why was this question downvoted ? Its a design flaw and a rightful bug. @vcsjones don't expect user behaviour to change if the system cannot handle the same.
    – Liam
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:38
  • 7
    Put backticks around the code like @Transaction and that warning will go away.
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:39
  • @Abhi I did not downvote; I was just trying to point out a helpful resource.
    – vcsjones
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:39
  • And that is another flaw... you don't know who downvoted and for what reason :) @vcsjones: Sorry ! no offense
    – Liam
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:44
  • 1
    @AdamDavis, just because there's a workaround doesn't mean it isn't a bug. Jan 24, 2012 at 21:46
  • ok now its symphony ... the workaround is itself a bug :) ghoshhhh !
    – Liam
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:50
  • Why has it to be a bug and not an intended feature? Jan 24, 2012 at 21:51
  • Well an intended feature doesn't prohibit an user action which is apt. Its a bug because it prohibited an action which was meant to be correct from user perspective.
    – Liam
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:54
  • As far as I know it's not a bug, but an intended feature, in order to prevent users from using comments like chats.
    – Alenanno
    Jan 24, 2012 at 21:57
  • 2
    @Abhi you should go learn more the definition of "bug" in programming. I'm not justifing the feature, but calling it a "bug" is just wrong. Call it "annoying feature", "really bad feature", whatever, but if something is intended, it's simply not a bug. Especially if your intention is to use differently from how it was intended: is it for code? so it should be formatted as code Jan 24, 2012 at 21:59
  • @DamienPirsy you are right in the bookish sense of what is a bug but in real world I still say its a design flaw and when it comes to UX, its a bug.
    – Liam
    Jan 24, 2012 at 22:08
  • Incidentally, code in comments is pretty miserable to read for anything longer than about ten characters; consider editing the answer instead.
    – sarnold
    Jan 24, 2012 at 23:27
  • @Abhi well, then call it a "design flaw". One of the rules of communication is to agree on the meaning of the terms used. So, question is? you want to place as many @ as you want inside comments, because it happens to be used for code too. Ok, let it be code then. As for why not notifying more users, it wasn't in the scope of your initial question, but the answers provided are a very good explanation for that. Jan 24, 2012 at 23:44

2 Answers 2


Honestly, the only two occasions when you would need to use the @ symbol in a comment are:

  • Notifying someone of a message. Commonly called "@replying another user". May be used in the middle of a message to denote a particular user (and still notifies them).
  • Describing code.

To the second point: If you're discussing code in your comments, please use the ` <== backtick operator [below the ESC key on most Windows keyboards ... you fancy Mac people can get out ;-) ] around the block of code. That forces it to be a single width, making code easier to read, and on most sites those are differently colored than the surrounding block of text, and it conveniently bypasses the issue you're seeing.

For what it's worth, that comment code would look like this:

Hello @user, please note that the use of `@tranid` would cause your code to break

Which then looks like this:

Hello @user, please note that the use of @tranid would cause your code to break

The problem at hand, as pointed out before, is covered in: How do comment @replies work? and is summed up like this:

  • The first author of the question or answer will always be notified of any new comment.
  • You can explicitly notify one (1) other commenter, editor, or ♦ moderator who closed a question.
  • Use @name, where name is the username with all spaces removed.

As Adam Davis has pointed out, using backtick code notation for this situation would have bypassed the warning.

We've talked about having multiple replies in the past, but have declined.

  • in b4 by 24 seconds. NICE!
    – jcolebrand
    Jan 24, 2012 at 22:06
  • Don't make me delete your answer :) Jan 24, 2012 at 22:48
  • hahahahahaha, right?
    – jcolebrand
    Jan 25, 2012 at 1:45

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