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I started my comment on Marty Isaacs' answer with "@Marty Isaacs". But after saving the comment, the @... disappeared. What's the reason for this behavoir of the system ?

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    $\begingroup$ Sure. When you are addressing the author of a post, it's not necessary to use the @; the author will get notified automatically, and in fact the software strips the @ way. If you want to address another party who has participated in the thread, then you need the @. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Feb 8 '16 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Todd Trimble: In my opinion this feature (i.e. stripping the @) is confusing and useless. But anyway, thanks for your quick reply. $\endgroup$ – Todd Leason Feb 8 '16 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ Tangentially, it is in general better not to leave a space when forming the notifying string, which is also what auto-complete does. The reason is that the system searches for the first space after the @ and matches the string in between (slightly tweaked) to the start of potentially meant user names. For example for the purpose of notification "@Todd Trimble" and "@Todd Leason" are identical. Both will notify the last user in the conversation whose display name starts with Todd (or something equivalent to it).` $\endgroup$ – user9072 Feb 8 '16 at 6:28
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You can find the full details on how comment notifications work on meta.stackexchange.

For this instance, the @ wasn't necessary since the OP is always notified when someone comments. The main reason for this is that only the first @ ping actually works in any comment; subsequent @ symbols are either blocked or ignored. So unnecessary pings to the OP, especially potentially blocking ones, are automatically removed.

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