As we all know, if you want to make somebody aware of an response to a comment, you have to address them using @username if it's not their answer or question you're commenting in. (Sadly - Facebook style notification of all participants in a thread would be way better. But that's a different story.)

If you forget to do this, and edit your comment to add @username a short time later, will the user see the comment on their "recent" page? Or do you have to remove and rewrite the comment to trigger the notification?

  • Just test it. Answer me! – Ladybug Killer Mar 3 '10 at 11:41
  • comment - added @John after that – YOU Mar 3 '10 at 11:41
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    Works! I was notified. – Ladybug Killer Mar 3 '10 at 11:50
  • But what if I change at-John into @Something else instead? – Arjan Mar 3 '10 at 13:15
  • And what if I include both @John and @S.Mark, and even @Arjan? (Without actually editing anything.) – Arjan Mar 3 '10 at 13:16
  • Good questions! And just out of curiosity, how will the system deal with Umlauts? @Arjän, what do you think? – Pekka Mar 3 '10 at 13:22
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    @Arjädüdilöda works, because only the first three letters behind the @ are evaluated. – Ladybug Killer Mar 3 '10 at 13:28
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    If you have several @s, then the first one wins. @John is informed (well, never tried to inform myself before), @Arj does not work anymore, because he's second. – Ladybug Killer Mar 3 '10 at 13:31
  • @Johñ, according to a starts-with, case insensitive match of at least THREE characters to the displayname at blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/01/new-replies-notification you're probably right (and indeed I normally do get notifications for @Arj, and for @Arjanvan without spaces). However: no notifications for any of the above @'s yet. (But maybe I should be more patient.) – Arjan Mar 3 '10 at 13:48
  • And are we sure that a too-short @s makes the notifications take the next, like @John hopes? – Arjan Mar 3 '10 at 13:55
  • @Arj, no, that's not what I hoped. "@s" prevents further notification. My description with @John/@Arj was only an example without expecting that I get a notification. – Ladybug Killer Mar 3 '10 at 14:50
  • @John: Because I like to talk to myself (I'm the only one understanding me), I try to notify myself. Let's have a look. – Ladybug Killer Mar 3 '10 at 14:51
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    @John, now that I received my first notification for this very question, I suppose we can safely say: 1) Only the first @ is parsed, no matter how long it is and no matter if a match can be made; 2) If the matched @ refers to yourself, then no notification is triggered; 3) The match should be at least 3 characters, but if there's more characters they should match too (spaces ignored); 4) Umlauts et al will probably work, but only if they're in the display name; funny rewriting of display names will not trigger notifications. – Arjan Mar 3 '10 at 15:07
  • @Arj: Confirmed! – Ladybug Killer Mar 3 '10 at 17:45
  • Voted to close as dupe because the other question has a more current answer. – bfavaretto Nov 27 '13 at 3:38

Yes, they will reach the addressees.

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While this is still technically true, it should be noted that the behavior of this is not how it used to be.

In the new system, edits to comments do not reflect in your global inbox. Edits to comments still reflect in the "responses" report on your profile page. There's still no actual pointing out of this fact, and unless you frequent your own profile page as a means of keeping up to date, it is possible to miss the notice.

So, Ladybug Killer's answer is still correct that edited comments will reach addresses, but keep in mind that the people at those addresses may not be alerted that they have new mail, and in extreme cases of bad timing may never run across the mail.

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  • Thanks for the detailed answer! – Xeon06 Nov 14 '11 at 19:36
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    Ah! I expect this explains most of the missed comments I've found days later. Thanks! – sarnold Nov 23 '11 at 11:20
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    Why was this changed? If someone comments @me, or on one of my questions/answers, I'd like to be notified of their edits. I'm hardly going to check my recent comments constantly on the off chance that they've been edited. Any idea why this was changed? – WendiKidd Aug 14 '12 at 2:28
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    This appears to have changed as per this meta post editing in the @ seems to send red(1) notifications – Richard Tingle Sep 18 '13 at 10:58

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