Consider this scenario:

  1. John asks a question.
  2. Alice posts a comment on the question, John gets a notification.
  3. John replies to Alice's comment. Alice gets notified and replies.
  4. Jason comes over and posts a comment of his own to the question.
  5. John wants to reply to Jason's comment, so he presses @ and needs to think for a second... "Alice, or Jason?"
  6. The auto complete starts working only after typing the first letter. Having a blonde moment, John types A and notifies Alice instead of Jason.

Now my suggestion: when there are two or more other users who posted comments, have the @ auto fill the name of the last person who addressed you - Jason in the above scenario. Meant someone else? Just use backspace and type the proper name.

  • John type A and notify Alice instead of Jason. John needs to do more than type A to notify Alice, and if he fails to see that the name was autocompleted as @Alice he has more problems than just a "blonde moment". – yannis Apr 5 '12 at 8:26
  • Yannis - you know what I mean.. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 5 '12 at 8:28
  • Well I do, but still I think the scenario is extremely rare and that since you have more than one chances to see who you are replying to before you post, the feature isn't really helpful and potentially it can waste everyone's time - Meant someone else? Just use backspace and type the proper name.. Even if you get it wrong and post, you can still edit and change the @username, so I really think it takes a little more than a "blonde moment" to actually manage to send a notification to the wrong person. – yannis Apr 5 '12 at 8:34
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    -1 You should think before you write a comment. Furthermore you also proofread your comments. If there is a mistake you can edit it... – Lix Apr 5 '12 at 8:34
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    @Lix of course I should think. But if the system can think for me... won't it be a much better world? :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 5 '12 at 8:36
  • And what @Lix said (I run out of space in my previous comment). Most comments are crap as it is, no point in a feature that would allow people to think even less before posting them. – yannis Apr 5 '12 at 8:36
  • @sha - Having a system thinking for me is a great bonus - but it can't replace my thinking altogether. – Lix Apr 5 '12 at 8:38
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    @Lix wouldn't it be great if the system could post answers for you? :P – Manishearth Apr 5 '12 at 8:50
  • @man - we are all part of the system. You posted an answer - so - the system answered this question for me [status-completed] ;) – Lix Apr 5 '12 at 8:55
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    Oh well.. and here I am thinking people here are lazy enough to want such feature. :D – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 5 '12 at 8:56

This will be most probably--it just complicates stuff. Comments are ephermal anyways, we shouldn't waste time on improving the system--we're not supposed to hold long discussions in comments--so why a complicated auto-@reply scheme?

For you, here's a script that makes comment-replying easier.

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    You would have said the same for suggesting auto complete altogether when it was suggested.... but here we are now with auto complete in place. :) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 5 '12 at 8:41
  • @ShaDowWizArd: Autocomplete not equals complication. Smart autocomplete equals complication. Autocomplete is pretty necessary, since users have long names (there's that Panama guy), and names with Unicode (minitech eta, k(eta)ives, NullUserException (0_0)). – Manishearth Apr 5 '12 at 8:45
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    "that Panama guy" - HA! – Lix Apr 5 '12 at 8:47
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    @Lix typing AManAPlanACanalPanama is annoying on a mobile keyboard. :P – Manishearth Apr 5 '12 at 8:49
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    That's why you'll only ever get the first 3 characters from me :P – Lix Apr 5 '12 at 8:56
  • @Lix and what will you do if mani will come over and comment as well? – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 5 '12 at 8:58
  • @sha - In that case I wouldn't have to @ reply to ManishEarth - he is the OP and will receive a notification for any comment - I'd only @ reply to Mr.Mani.... Tried to catch me out ey? Strike 1 ;) – Lix Apr 5 '12 at 9:01
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    @Lix grr.. you're too smart! – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 5 '12 at 9:12
  • @sha - Lazy* ;) – Lix Apr 5 '12 at 9:21

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