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When I want to address a specific users in the comment section for a question I use @username, sometimes after typing first letters of the username it shows up an autocomplete box but sometimes it doesn't show it up for another user.

I don't know the reason of these different behaviors! and whatever the reason is I think shouldn't be related to auto-complete feature because I just think this is a bug

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    @Anna Lear My question is different, I asked about the behavior of the system. the way it suggests autocomplete for some users and doesn't for others was question for me – Ahmad Oct 6 '14 at 7:27
  • My goal here was to link you to the post that describes in painful, gory details how comment notifications work. I did, however, miss that Reto already did that in their answer. – Adam Lear Oct 6 '14 at 14:54
  • Yes it was very painful and I skipped it. But my critic is about the vague behavior of system and have suggestion for it, I think its better when i use @x.. system suggest me an autocomplete option; just it. this way i get sure the user will be auto-notified, I don't care when system do it if I forgot that, isn't that better? – Ahmad Oct 6 '14 at 16:02
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The @ operator is used to notify a particular user about your comment. If this user is among those, who are already auto-notified (i.e. question / answer author etc.) you won't see autocomplete list at all or you won't see that user on autocomplete list.

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  • You mean when it doesn't autocomplete I don't need to address him by @ operator? and he will get auto-notified without it? – Ahmad Oct 5 '14 at 19:29
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    Exactly! SE take care to remove from your comment, what is not necessary there. – trejder Oct 5 '14 at 19:30
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Generally, the name should auto-complete for people who both:

  • Can be notified. These are the users who commented on the same post.
  • Are not notified by default. The author of the post is notified by default.

Also, you can have only one explicit notification in your comment. So if a name does not auto-complete, this normally means that either:

  • They are the author of the post, and get notified by default.
  • They cannot be notified because they did not comment before you.
  • You are trying to notify more than one user.

If it does not behave that way for you, you might have encountered a real problem.

There is an interesting exception to the above. Users who edited the post you're commenting on can be notified, are not notified by default, but their name does not auto-complete.

There are some other subtle aspects, e.g. in the case where the author of a post responds to a comment on his/her own post. For the full glorious details, see the answer to this question:

How do comment @replies work?

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  • suppose this comment for your answer, you mean for you there is no need to use @ to address me if you want to answer my comment? because I am the only person who commented here? I guess you should add this item to the items when the person is auto-notified, when he is the only person in the list? – Ahmad Oct 6 '14 at 7:34
  • Yes, I believe this will notify you automatically. This is what I referred to in the last paragraph about the author responding to a comment on their own post. I didn't want to repeat everything that was already in the extensive answer I linked to. This was closed as a duplicate anyway. – Reto Koradi Oct 6 '14 at 14:05
  • That article was very painful and I skipped it. But my critic is about the vague behavior of the system and have suggestion for it, I think its better when i use @x.. system suggest me an autocomplete option; just it. this way i get sure the user will be auto-notified, if system can't auto-notify a person because of items you said warn me about that. I don't care when system do it if I forgot that, isn't that better? – Ahmad Oct 6 '14 at 16:05

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