When somebody puts a @username reference to somebody, could the system find either (in this order):

  1. The comment above the one with the reference.
  2. Or, the most recent post of any kind on the page by the user (if 1 isn't available)

My idea is that this would be a #comment-123456 style link to the comment or post.

  • 3
    Also, for a page with even a moderate number of comments you're adding a not insignificant amount of bandwidth. I honestly don't see the upside. If a comment is worth calling out specifically, please convert it into an answer, or edit the existing post. If it doesn't apply to the post it's attached to, or isn't important enough to modify the post or add a new answer, then it's not important enough to call out explicitly. – Adam Davis Feb 2 '10 at 18:34
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    Actually, you can already link to comments: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/37978/… (there's just no way to guarantee that they'll be visible without resorting to dodgy unsupported links that eliminate context altogether, e.g. meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/37978/comments/#comment-82851) – Shog9 Feb 2 '10 at 18:52
  • Sounds like Shog9 has answered it.. plus it notifies you when someone responds to you via the @ tag in Activity so not sure if this is necessary – Brian Feb 2 '10 at 18:59
  • orokusaki, YOUR OWN QUESTION is a good example of why we don't want comments to become too heavy. If not used in moderation, they're just vehicles for people to endlessly argue and bicker back and forth. It takes restraint to resist that tendency, and the software should help with that restraint. (note that I deleted a ton of bickering comments from this question and multiple answers already.) – Jeff Atwood Feb 2 '10 at 20:12

There really shouldn't ever be enough comments for this to be a serious concern.

And if there are, our system has already failed to suppress excess discussion anyway, so whatever we do at that point is irrelevant.

  • Well, there's already 6 comments on this page alone (not counting mine below and this one which make 8). – orokusaki Feb 2 '10 at 18:46

Maybe we could make it more obvious:

alt text http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/3360/commentmarking.png

Just a simple matter of coding :) (smiley edited in for those who don't get mild sarcasm).

  • 1
    Yeah and let's have Crono, R-66Y and Frog animatedly undergoing a quest from the replies to their original comments instead of boring static arrows. – Welbog Feb 2 '10 at 18:39
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    What happens with all the comments in the middle of the conversation that have been deleted because a grown man cannot handle someone saying 'darn' or 'crap'? – GEOCHET Feb 2 '10 at 18:42

What you really want are threads. A tried-and-true method for dealing with forking discussions and sub-discussions. Threads are great for any non-trivial discussion.

Of course, SO tries its best to discourage non-trivial discussion. So I doubt we'll ever be seeing threads (or any of the various substitutes commonly used by people who can't deal with hierarchies) on SO.

See: Can we have threaded comments on answer comments?

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