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Background

I know that @replying to more than one user in a comment is not allowed as explained in this answer. I've always hated that and thought that there are valid use-cases for mentioning two users in one comment but I also know that requests to remove this restriction have been shut down over the years*. So, that's not what I'm requesting here.

The problem

In a lot of situations, I need to type some user's name in a comment for reasons other than having them notified. For example:

Hey @User1, please do X and also consider Y as per User2's suggestion if you want Z.

Now, because I mentioned @User1, the autocomplete stops working for User2 even if preceded by an @. To type User2's name, I'm stuck with one of the following options:

  • Type it manually
    Should be pretty simple. However, in many situations, it's not. Some usernames are long and complicated, possibly with non-ASCII characters, or the name is just not familiar and (if you don't like getting names wrong like me,) you have to be extra careful.

  • Copy and paste it
    Again, simple in theory but one has to use the mouse and cannot even double click to select the name because it's a hyperlink.

  • Use a workaround
    A workaround that I've been using is to press Ctrl+Home then Del to delete the first @, jump to End to type the second user's name, then back to the beginning to restore the @. Believe it or not, this is faster than the previous two options in many cases. Still not ideal though.

My suggestion

If you're not going to allow us to mention (@reply to) multiple users in one comment, can you at least enable autocomplete for the second (and above) @'s and automatically convert @User2 to User2 when the Tab button is pressed (so that the comment only contains one @)?


* Surprisingly, I couldn't find any of those posts at the moment but I didn't do a lot of research anyway because it's not exactly relevant.

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  • 1
    Sounds nice, I do have some hesitation that it might confuse people.... like when you use an @reply to the author of a post at the beginning of a comment, and it's automatically removed, this is something that could confuse newer users. "I put an @ in front of it, but now it's gone and if I add it again I get this error when I try to post my comment"... – Tinkeringbell Apr 19 at 8:16
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    @Tinkeringbell When the user tries again, they will get the same error message that is currently being used and it will explain to them that they can't use @ with two users. They should then understand why it was removed (in case they didn't notice it at first). I really hope the restrictions around the @ feature get lifted (including the issue with removing @author as you indicated) but unfortunately, such requests seem to always get shut down. Hence, why I posted this alternative request. – 41686d6564 Apr 19 at 8:45
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    @41686d6564 If I do as you describe, I often use the format _@username_ for the final rendering. It might be nice that the list appears for that 2nd or any mention if you type _@, and use that format for completion. What do you think? @tinker – πάντα ῥεῖ Apr 19 at 11:05

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