Apparently if I try to mention the author of a post explicitly in a comment, the mention gets stripped away.

So far so good, but, by doing so, the number of characters in the actual message is lower than the one displayed and this can cause the comment to be unexpectedly rejected as too short.

enter image description here

As you can see I entered 20 characters, but the first 10 (@MartinR,) are being stripped away, lowering the actual count to 10 and having my comment rejected, apparently for the wrong reason.

This clearly happens only when the mention is being stripped away, but I cannot find the details of when it occurs.

However, I think it's kind of confusing, can the word count reflect the actual number of characters that will be submitted?

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    fofoofoooo is, perhaps, not the best comment to use when making the case that this needs to be fixed. – JDB Nov 24 '13 at 18:49
  • @MartinR, fofoofoooo – Josh Crozier Nov 24 '13 at 18:49
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    @GabrielePetronella – Amal Murali Nov 24 '13 at 18:50
  • @JoshC - You have to comment to the OP (on a post with no other comments), in which case the @name gets stripped from the message. – JDB Nov 24 '13 at 18:51
  • @GabrielePetronella too late, it won't strip it now that you've commented – psubsee2003 Nov 24 '13 at 18:51
  • @psubsee2003 oh so that's how it works. Thanks for clarifying it. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 24 '13 at 18:52
  • Related (maybe duplicate): Comment formatting FAQ does not mention notification-stripping – JDB Nov 24 '13 at 18:54
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    @GabrielePetronella it's slightly more complicated. It strips automatically when the @ notification is unnecessary. If you tried to reply to me after my initial (now deleted) comment, it would have stripped the @ since you could only be replying to me... and it would still ping me. Likewise, if the comment thread continued with just you and me, it would strip since we could only be replying to each other. The @ notification only works once you have a 3rd person involved. – psubsee2003 Nov 24 '13 at 18:56
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    @JDB definitely related, even though I consider it as a (minor) bug. The other question was a feature request proposing a documentation improvement. I support that feature request, but I think the interface should also be fixed. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 24 '13 at 18:57
  • I've never directly observed this but it would not surprise me if this is true. The character count is likely a literal maximumLength - commentLength calculation, where the message is based on the parsed comment. To make the character's left count correct, you'd have to parse the comment after every character typed (or deleted) and I'm not patient enough to deal with that when typing comments – psubsee2003 Nov 24 '13 at 18:59
  • @psubsee2003, thanks for the explanation. Is this documented somewhere? – Gabriele Petronella Nov 24 '13 at 18:59
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    Personally, I think the word count should always ignore @ mentions – JDB Nov 24 '13 at 19:00
  • @GabrielePetronella probably. I've just picked it up through observation and random meta posts. I'll see if I can find a good reference – psubsee2003 Nov 24 '13 at 19:00
  • @JDB that would definitely a sensible behavior. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 24 '13 at 19:02
  • I wonder what do downvotes on a bug report mean? You don't... agree? :| – Gabriele Petronella Nov 25 '13 at 0:49

This only happens if the OP has not commented on the post, yet. If there are more than two comments, the @ mentions won't get stripped.

For example, say you answered a question and someone commented below your answer. If you try to @-notify the user in your comment, it will be stripped off. There are only two comments, so there isn't a need for @ notification. The other user will get notified regardless. However, when there are multiple commenters, the @ reply won't be removed.

However, I think it's kind of confusing, can the word count reflect the actual number of characters that will be submitted?

I agree. It's a bit confusing. The help text for comments could be improved to reflect this fact.

  • thanks for clarifying how it works. Still I think the word count should be consistent. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 24 '13 at 18:58

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