Next to my (our) username(s) at the top of the page is a little envelope that glows delightfully orange when someone's answered a question of mine, or commented on an answer, or commented on a comment (I think). It's always quite exciting to see, and I'm always terribly disappointed to click on it and see. . oh. . . the answer I was just looking at. Surely this can be kept track of, and StackOverflow needn't waste it's (my) time suggesting I look at. . . what I'm looking at it. In fact, it seems like the ONLY way to restore my little envelope to white is to click on it. Which seems silly.


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    This is a dupe, and everybody seems to agree: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/762/… – Vinko Vrsalovic Oct 10 '09 at 20:58
  • yikes! didn't see that. – user135632 Oct 10 '09 at 21:04
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    although after reading it carefully, it really isn't quite an exact dupe is it? His is about the latency of the envelope, mine concerns its ignorance. – user135632 Oct 10 '09 at 21:05
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    Vinko: That question I posted is almost the exact opposite - it's about SO not informing me I have new replies (until I click on another page), whereas this one is about the envelope being a bit over-erager – dbr Oct 10 '09 at 23:38
  • I thought you meant to clear the list and start over once you've viewed it already. I have this happen a lot - the little envelope lights-up (after I've been to a couple pages); I go look at the resonses, and then see they have ones on there that are new (since the last time I loaded the response page), and ones that aren't (but still in the default time frame). I think the default time frame should be "since you last looked" rather than "today" – warren Oct 11 '09 at 5:07
  • @dbr: It's just a different manifestation of the same problem. The thing is it doesn't inform you when it should. Be it either because you have already read them (this q) or because you haven't read them (your q). – Vinko Vrsalovic Oct 11 '09 at 8:42
  • As of 23 Dec 2009, this is still broken. – RickNZ Dec 23 '09 at 6:33

I agree, the shining envelope is badly implemented. It has never worked for me, I've always seen the comments earlier. It seems to be related to the fact that it starts shining after some activity after an idle time, my activity after an idle time usually is going to check for previous comments/answers so I have no use for the envelope.

But I'm an addict, so it may work for others...

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How in the world would Stack Overflow know what you looked at?

You might just as well have read other answers to the question, not neccessarily the comments on your on answer. You might have just scanned your answer for typos, yet not have looked at the comment thread at all.

No way to know whether you really read your response.

But what we all know is this: As soon as the envelope doesn't light up because you have been on the page, so you should have seen the comment—well, someone will be coming to meta to complain about this change. Rightfully so, too.

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    Wouldn't "balpha visited this page" be a good enough approximation for "balpha read all the content addressed to him on this page"? – hyperslug Oct 10 '09 at 21:41
  • @hyperslug not on a question with a bunch of answers each of which has a bunch of comments. – Monica Cellio Mar 8 '18 at 15:26

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