I'd like StackExchange to please block the ability to ping oneself manually in chat. I've been playing with that a little lately and it crashed my browser! (Safari 5, OS X 10.6.7)

I'm pretty sure that that's what crashed Safari because I tried to edit a "self-ping" and Safari crashed. I looked at the log and it had something to do with a localStorage bug. (It could be chat doesn't use this and I'm off my rocker with this one.)

I know that chat wasn't designed for this, but I think some stricter checking would help prevent crazy folk (like yours truly) from self-pinging our browsers into submission.


After several attempts of failed repro, I'd like to point out that it's still odd behavior. Unless you want to make it standard behavior (for the purpose of continuing one's sentence), this behavior should be blocked/fixed.

  • was this a ↵ reply or a @mention ? Apr 18 '11 at 6:00
  • @MarcGravell - It was this post or the one following it.
    – Moshe
    Apr 18 '11 at 6:04
  • the former, then. Apr 18 '11 at 6:06
  • 2
    I like this bug and would miss it if it was fixed.
    – Shog9
    Jan 10 '13 at 23:54

A guy goes to see his doctor for his physical checkup. He tells the doctor, "Doc, whenever I do this, it hurts!" (The guy violently jerks his arm up and down and waives it frantically in a circular motion)

The doctor grimaces and replies, "Then don't do that."

Instead of using precious development time to eliminate the ability to self-ping, wouldn't it be better use of the developers' time if you just didn't ping yourself and followed the doctor's advice?

  • Very very true. But I still think it strange that one can ping themself.
    – Moshe
    Apr 18 '11 at 7:07
  • @Moshe - Very strange indeed. It's also strange that it causes your browser to crash, but normal pings don't crash your browser.
    – jmort253
    Apr 18 '11 at 7:09
  • I think it might have been an issue with localStorage, but I can't be sure. I don't know how chat works with caching and whatnot.
    – Moshe
    Apr 18 '11 at 7:10

Replying to one's own post is useful. Some chat messages are part of a conversation, that's what replies are for. If you post more than one message as part of a reply on a busy group, it's nice to be able to link them. Self-replies are also useful when you want to add a tidbit of information to an earlier message.

The normal UI discourages you from self-replies, but allows them if you enter :123456 manually, or you can use a browser extension such as SE Chat Modifications.

Given that this is something you can't really do accidentally using the official UI, and that the bug is in your browser, I don't see much pressure on SE developers to fix this (even if a workaround in the JS would be nice). I certainly don't want to lose a useful feature to this.

  • 5
    Another useful reason for this is if you provide a onebox or quote, you can use a self-reply to indicate your stand on it, rather than posting a boring ^ or ↑ and hoping you type fast enough to get right beneath it.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Apr 18 '11 at 20:10
  • TBH I've yet to see a single use case where a self-reply actually makes sense, and that's why the UI discourages it. But I don't feel strongly enough about it to actually disallow it on the server side.
    – balpha
    Apr 18 '11 at 20:10

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