This is small, but is strange to me and I think there are others, who thinks similarly.

Take a look at comments to this answer. If I'm not blind, the only people to discuss here are answer's author (brainjam) and OP (shogun).

It seems, that at some point shogun became ioSamurai (if I'm not mistaken). All his (or her) questions, answers and comments became updated with his (her) new screen name, but every reference in comments, marked with @ remains unchanged.

So we have a "talk" / "chat" like this:

  • Question in comment – ioSamurai
  • @shogun, Reply to above – brainjam
  • Following topic – ioSamurai
  • @shogun, Another reply – brainjam

Don't you find it a little bit odd, that ioSamurai (after name change) is "talking" in discussion, and user who replies him (or her) actually reffers to @shogun (original, old name).

I do find this really weird.


That's because comments are just text; there is no database relationship between the comment and the mentioned name. A name change would require a full search through all comments still visible to do a replace the old name with the new. That's not going to happen.

This is almost certainly , not a bug.

Comments are second-rate citizens here on the Stack Exchange, it'd be too much effort.

  • 7 seconds faster than me :D Congratulations. And it's worth to mention full scan would need to resolve duplicated names. There are some on SE network, and I've seen meta posts about bugs that happen when both post in the same question.
    – Mołot
    Sep 26 '13 at 6:46
  • @Mołot: That's much less work compared to the full scan. There is an algorithm in place that picks whom to poke in case of duplicate names. What is going to bite more is that partial names are allowed. People can poke me with @Martijn too. So if I changed my name, a search would have to be done for all posts where I could be poked in comments, determine what comments would have poked me based on my old name, then replace that with my new. That's a lot of places by now. Sep 26 '13 at 6:52
  • I only meant it as one of the computational costs. Anyway, this algorithm would be even more costly than I seen at first glance. Fun problem in the theory of optimization field, not something worth implementation :D
    – Mołot
    Sep 26 '13 at 6:54
  • Thank you for a detailed answer. If comments are just text, then I agree, that issuing any solution, that would require full search through all comments is madness. I was thinking rather about something split into chunks like CRON or when displaying post, randomly checking, if @ marks for particular post are OK.
    – trejder
    Sep 26 '13 at 7:56
  • 1
    @Mołot: I guess the search isn't that arduous, your profile can list comment replies. It is just not worth it to scan what can be a considerable number of comments for possible (partial) @ mentions. Sep 26 '13 at 8:36

Comments are second class citizens here ;)

having that said, @ mark is not a real, database-reflected relation. It's just some string that system uses at the moment of posting to notify user. It is relevant only in that brief moment, and then it's current. Updating it serves no real purpose as any meaningful information should be edited into question or answer as soon as possible anyway.

  • Thank you for a detailed answer, though only seven seconds later! :]
    – trejder
    Sep 26 '13 at 7:57

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