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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 '12 at 21:34
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    It's a known bug in their design. – CodesInChaos Jan 24 '12 at 21:35
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    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. – Abhi Jan 24 '12 at 21:38
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    Put backticks around the code like @Transaction and that warning will go away. – Pollyanna Jan 24 '12 at 21:39
  • @Abhi I did not downvote; I was just trying to point out a helpful resource. – vcsjones Jan 24 '12 at 21:39
  • And that is another flaw... you don't know who downvoted and for what reason :) @vcsjones: Sorry ! no offense – Abhi Jan 24 '12 at 21:44
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    @AdamDavis, just because there's a workaround doesn't mean it isn't a bug. – Mark Ransom Jan 24 '12 at 21:46
  • ok now its symphony ... the workaround is itself a bug :) ghoshhhh ! – Abhi Jan 24 '12 at 21:50
  • Why has it to be a bug and not an intended feature? – Damien Pirsy Jan 24 '12 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. – Abhi Jan 24 '12 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 '12 at 21:57
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    @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 – Damien Pirsy Jan 24 '12 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. – Abhi Jan 24 '12 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 '12 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. – Damien Pirsy Jan 24 '12 at 23:44

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.
| improve this answer | |

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.

| improve this answer | |
  • in b4 by 24 seconds. NICE! – jcolebrand Jan 24 '12 at 22:06
  • Don't make me delete your answer :) – Jarrod Dixon Jan 24 '12 at 22:48
  • hahahahahaha, right? – jcolebrand Jan 25 '12 at 1:45

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