The Problem

In comments, when someone's username is mentioned in comments (e.g., @applemonkey496), it does not seem to give any indication that the mention worked, and that the user was notified. Furthermore, if someone's username is spelled incorrectly and therefore doesn't work, there is no indication of that either. For example, "@applemonkey495" will be styled the same as "@applemonkey496" even though one of them works and the other does not.

Proposed Solution

When a user is mentioned, the name could be written in bold or even linking to the user's profile:

@applemonkey496 or @applemonkey496

Related question

  • 2
    One issue is that an @mention can hit 0..n users... and - since usernames change over time - the knowledge which users were hit is lost as soon as soon as their pings arrive. Still, wrapping all @\w+s in a classy span, and slapping some style onto it, shouldn't be hard. May 18 '20 at 18:53
  • The solution is to just use the autocomplete. Type the first few letters of the person you are going to mention and press tab. This won't work for post owners unless they already commented, but in that case they already get a ping because there is a comment on their post, mentioning them or not.
    – Luuklag
    May 18 '20 at 18:55
  • Just for the sake of mentioning another related post: essentially the same thing has been proposed 11 years ago, but declined: @<name> comments should link to the named person’s profile (like Twitter). “[…] linking to the user’s profile” — wouldn’t linking to a specific comment make more sense? And if this gets implemented at some point in the future, this probably won’t be automatically applied to all comments retroactively, because this would likely involve the performance overhead of automatically formatting all comments in the database. May 18 '20 at 21:59

It's worth noting that something like this is already implemented in Stack Overflow for Teams, so it shouldn't be too difficult to implement it on the main sites as well.

screenshot showing linked usernames in comment @replies on Stack Overflow for Teams

In addition, when you're writing a comment, it'll show you if a ping will notify the person by highlighting the ping when you write the comment.

screenshot showing a comment writing box, with one example of "@terdon" highlighted, indicating that it will notify the user, and another instance of "@terdon" as plain text, which will not notify the user

This could be useful on the main site for knowing whether or not your ping worked.

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