There's a new inline comment help. That's great. It also explains who will be notified of comments. That's great too. But the wording doesn't clearly exclude a common newbie mistake: it's not apparent that only one person can be @notified. Here's a proposed improvement:

Comments use mini-Markdown formatting: [link](http://example.com) _italic_ **bold** `code` . The post author will automatically be notified of your comment. To notify a previous commenter (just one), mention their user name: @peter or @PeterSmith will both work.

(Added “(just one)”)

  • 3
    "... will both work" still reads ambiguous. It should be "either @peter or @PeterSmith will function." or something like that. It requires less cognitive effort to parse the sentence if the "both" is gone. (Which I assume is the origin of the misunderstanding.)
    – mario
    May 10, 2011 at 1:25

1 Answer 1


No argument from me; the help should reflect the functionality.

However, it'd probably be better to allow multiple @users, as needing multiple comments to reply to multiple users making the same point seems to encourage excessive commenting.

  • Except that the preference is that you just avoid multiple targeting altogether. Comments aren't meant to draw out into large trees with multiple participants.
    – Nicole
    May 10, 2011 at 5:51
  • 8
    There are times that allowing a maximum of two users to be contacted would be very useful, while still avoiding the concern of massive targeting and trees. May 10, 2011 at 8:36
  • @CodyGray: But there aren't times where notifying 3 would be useful?
    – endolith
    Aug 13, 2013 at 18:13
  • @NickC: On the contrary, writing a single message to many people reduces the formation of discussion trees. The way it is now, you have to reply to each individually if you have enough to say to warrant it, causing distinct threads to form. Nov 24, 2013 at 21:59
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit You have a point, but I think it'd be hard to measure how many conversations it creates vs how many it kills before they start (that's what it does for me, mostly). Either way, I'm way over this issue now :)
    – Nicole
    Nov 25, 2013 at 22:36

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