When you respond to someone in a comment you use @PersonsName. Is there anyway it could be linked like this @Lucas McCoy

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    i don't like the twitter's use @ to indicate the user. it is the at sign
    – mykhal
    Commented Jul 5, 2010 at 17:27
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    @mykhal: It's not a choice of style, so many people use twitter that it's has basically become a standard.
    – Kredns
    Commented Jul 6, 2010 at 1:03
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    I second it. It would get user profile pages more visits. and @user[95589] meta.stackoverflow.com/users/95589/eric seems to have the right idea at @post[9654] meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9652/… . And If I can ask who tagged this question status-declined? Is that the official SO status?
    – abel
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 16:41
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    @abel: The status-declined tag was added by Jeff himself. However, I have started a bounty in hopes of having Jeff remove the declined status and change it to maybe completed or deferred.
    – Kredns
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 22:42
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    I like the use of @ to indicate a directed reply, like you guys are doing (the reply is directed at the person). However simply alone to identify a person, as in "This was written by @Douglas", doesn't feel right.
    – devios1
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 22:30

6 Answers 6


Jeff has stated that since our member names are not unique, there's no way of reliably doing this.

However, if you can come up with a way that will link the right person's account, please suggest it to him!

Here's my suggestion: Allow the following syntax:

@[#95589] Comment goes here

Which would turn into:

@Eric Comment goes here

The comments include links to our profiles, so this should be fairly easy to grab for anybody. Perhaps make an AJAX button that would auto-insert this code into a comment to the right of the comment (where the delete button is on our own comments). Any time this pops up, you can then notify the right profile.

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    You could probably simplify it to just @[#95589] and the display name would be found for you. Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 19:45
  • @Ian: Great idea!
    – Eric
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 19:46
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    A "reply to" link could be added to comments. Clicking it would add the correct markup (ie. @[#95589]) in your subsequent comment that would be turned into the @user when the comment is posted. I don't want to have to find the users id myself, no matter how easy it might be. Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 21:23
  • @adrian: I mentioned this: Having the button be in the same place for other comments where the delete button is for our own right now that auto-inserts this code for you.
    – Eric
    Commented Jul 25, 2009 at 23:33
  • Member names are not unique? Hmmm... Nope! Don't see any problems with anyone trying to casually pass themselves of as others like that. No sireee! That's never going to happen. Commented Jul 26, 2009 at 9:40
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    @Colin Mackay: Exactly. I don't see why anyone would want to create a fake account and pretent to be someone else.
    – Big Hair
    Commented Jul 26, 2009 at 9:50
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    @Colin, Of course, with unicode et al, it's VERY, very difficult to stop lookalike names that technically aren't duplicates anyway... Commented Jul 26, 2009 at 10:02
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    I don't find this necessary for clickable names, but using id's is nice in case a name is changed.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jan 16, 2010 at 17:58
  • +1, I feature-requested this here a while ago (didn't see your post though) Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 14:32
  • No need for any new syntax for the users: surely the developers could link @name just as well. So: replacing @eRi with a properly named @Eric, taking into account the current name at the time of rendering (possibly different from the time of posting) and using the same rules that are used to select the user who gets notified. Linking wouldn't be necessarily, as that would be redundant, like Jeff notes.
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 21:03
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    I'd suggest instead a syntax of [user:12345] as the # doesn't indicate the type of the id. The same syntax could then be used for other things as well like posts as [post:12345].
    – devios1
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 22:33

Adding another link to comments would make them even noisier than they already are.

Plus, it's redundant.

99 out of 100 times you are referring to a user in the same conversation -- so just click on the link to that user's profile in the comment above yours .. or in the answer .. or in the question.

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    Except that it gets very confusing when a user changes their name and we go peruse the archives. Doubly so when 2 users have changed. Impossible to sort out if some posts are deleted. Commented Oct 31, 2010 at 18:09
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    This is a (reasonably) simple feature to implement, and it solves a very real problem: people do change their usernames, some people more often than others. Plus, lots of people want it and there isn't any harm to it. I'd say put it in on one of the properties. And if it has no value, like you say, then it won't catch on and no harm done. But if the rest of us are right, then it will add value at very little cost.
    – tylerl
    Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 4:14
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    Good UIs don't remove redundancy, they provide multiple paths. If I have to go hunting back in the comments to find someone, I am less likely to do that and click on the link. This isn't speculation, it is something I know from my own experience
    – JockM
    Commented Jul 16, 2011 at 3:50

@ID or @[ID} are good suggestions but even with non-unique names you should be able to do @Name and get an auto-complete dropdown with users to select the one you want, much like the tag auto-complete drop down.

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    Replace auto-complete with intellisense and I think it will be a wonderful idea. ;-)
    – Kredns
    Commented Jul 26, 2009 at 17:02

Linking a @name comment to a user profile would be mostly useless since the comment probably wasn't about the user in general, but references a comment/answer the user posted. So if anything the link should lead to this comment/answer. That's probably impossible to do reliably.

Also the reference established is usually to a comment/answer right above the post, so it is easy to see the connection (and find the link to the user profile) by just looking at the surrounding context.


This is a great idea actually.

But it should not be limited to comments only but extended to question/answers too:

Sometimes, when answering or expanding the question, I want to give credit to someone for a partial answer or saying:

As @Oscar Reyes said, you could delete the filesystem using AJAX if etc. etc....

If is not technically feasible to grab someones name ( due to names may be duplicated ) Then as suggestion using:


Could be parsed into:

@Oscar Reyes

By the system, because using @[#20654] is a bit awkward.

To use the bracket style user will have to:

  1. Click on user link
  2. Grab the mouse and select exactly only the user number ( and selecting in the address bar is not always the easiest thing in the world )
  3. Ctrl+C the user number ( or memorizing it )
  4. Type @[Ctrl+V]

While using the former would simplify the process

  1. Click on user link
  2. Ctrl+C the whole URL ( easier than select just a part )
  3. Type<Ctrl+V> ( less wrist force )

While it may sound ridiculous this tiny bits of functionality makes life easier.

p.s. I delete my previous question because it was a dup of this indeed


How about just highlighting the names that actually worked for notification? That would at least clue n00bs like myself into the fact that it actually DOES something... I wasn't sure for a while if people were typing that just to make it clear who they were responding to or if it actually did something.

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