I checked my Stack Exchange Inbox (drop down list) just now and it mentioned three messages for me. Two were legit - the last was this one on The Tavern which was another Mark.

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    Let's put it this way: If you're at a party, and someone yells "Hey Mark!", you'd turn around. That's the principle chat replies are modeled after.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:00
  • @balpha - I'm surprised it is implemented that way but you've made a great analogy - thanks. Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:36
  • Did somebody call me?
    – Mark C
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 1:22
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    @Marc C - you too? This question is becoming a @Mark / @Marc convention... Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


That follows the standard rules of @blah conflicts, I'm afraid. You would also have got a highlight inside chat for that.

That was a reply; if they had just used the explicit reply (rather than adding the @Mark), it would have known who it meant, but that @Mark was ambiguous so all the "Mark*" who had been active in the room were included.

Usually, auto-complete on the name would have given a less ambiguous match... but they are just "Mark".

You'd get the same problem if you'd both been talking in comments on SOFU. I don't propose there is much we can do about it.

  • You'd get the same problem if you'd both been talking in comments - I thought that only the most-recent matched commenter gets notified, or is that wrong?
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 9:57
  • @Tim - hmmm... it seems you are correct. But I think balpha hits the nail on the head with his comment above. Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:21
  • @Marc - thanks. So I guess that, if multiple Marcs (with a C) had contributed to this page they'd all get this post in their inbox, right? Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:37
  • @Marc: Yeah, that makes sense, especially given the more fluid nature of the chat. :) The only counterpoint I might make in this case is that the OP's lack of activity in that room (it seems he has no posts/hasn't been in chat for at least 18 days?) makes him unlikely enough of a candidate that he doesn't need a system-wide notification. At the same time though, it's impossible to know for sure, so I suppose it's a better safe than sorry sort of situation.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:56
  • @Tim - 18 days? Hmmm... I suspect that should probably indeed rule them out. Let me try to tweak that... Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:59
  • @Mark - no, time corrected me; in comments it is only the most recent; I'm changing chat to only look at people who've been in the room in the last week - seem like a fair compromise? Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 11:12
  • @Marc - sounds great. I don't know if one week is the appropriate time interval - I'll trust you have a better idea of that. Thanks. Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 11:31
  • @marc one week seems like an absurdly large window for name mentions. Two days seems more sane to me.. Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 9:52
  • @Jeff - will reduce Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 11:00
  • @Marc, if there's only 1 match, are you going to ignore the time window? Thinking about chats that have less activity. ALso, what if the 2 days eliminates all matches? Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 12:35
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    @JeffM - I can see exactly 1 instance of this looking at Oct/Nov: this one - but I will investigate. Fortunately, it logs everything... Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 6:48
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    @JeffM - in this case, since it wasn't an exact match, there is a 2-day limit. You entered that room "2010-11-03 06:57:34.093", that reply was "2010-11-05 05:27:18.807", which is within 2 days. I see you have some matches in September too, but that pre-dates the changes. So in short, since we changed the rules, there has been only 1 false positive, and that from a room that you had visited recently... You might disagree, but to me it sounds like it is working fine...? Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 6:59
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    @JeffM - the problem with "participated" in that context, is that it is very common to "Oh, heya @fred - while you're there, have you [blah]" - when @fred has entered but not spoken... Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 7:00
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    @JeffM - I think that it would be acceptable to not include @mentions until they have said something in the room - they'll still see the on-screen highlighting greeting them, anyways. Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 8:05
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    @JeffM - that is now in, by the way. See, we do listen ;p Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 8:18

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