When responding to someone else's comment it is usual on this site to use @ThePersonsName, but often (about half the time?) this does not work. the tab-to-autocomplete label does not appear when typing @ and starting to type the name and after submitting the comment it disappears.

Is this a bug? Does anyone else experience it? Am I doing something wrong?

I'm not sure if this question is appropriate for the meta section, but I couldn't find another place to ask this.

edit: As an example, it didn't work when I replied to this comment with this comment shortly after it was posted (I added @NexTerren at the beginning but it got removed), but it does work now if I try to add another comment there. Could it depend on the time since the original comment was posted?

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    $\begingroup$ Meta is the place to ask, yes. @-mentions are somewhat context-dependent; if you could like to a place where you tried and it didn't work, and tell us who you were trying to ping, that would help. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 14 '16 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ From my experience, you can't '@' someone if it's their post you're commenting on, since they'll be notified anyway. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Jul 14 '16 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio when I tried replying to this comment I couldn't use it, but on your comment I can, and if I try to add another comment right now to the comment I cited earlier it does work. $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 14 '16 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ You can only @-ping one person per comment. Is that what you are up against by any chance? $\endgroup$ – user Jul 14 '16 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh the example is indeed trying to do what you described, but if I try the same thing now it works so I doubt that would be the problem. $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 14 '16 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Annonymus Perhaps it only works once the OP has added a comment of their own... $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Jul 14 '16 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling No. I only tried to mention one user. $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 14 '16 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh If by OP you mean the question asker, no, that can't be it, as that still isn't the case and it works now, if by OP you mean the answerer of the answer that my comment is on, that was the case, I was replying to their comment in the example, but it didn't work $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 14 '16 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ After posting this I found out that there is a stackexchange-wide meta, would it have been more appropriate to ask this on that site? $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 14 '16 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Annonymus re your last comment, feel free to ask these kinds of questions either here or Meta.SE. Our mods monitor this meta; SE devs monitor both Meta.SE and this meta; lots of other people monitor Meta.SE. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 14 '16 at 19:52

You can use an @-ping to notify the author of a post or anybody else who has commented on it.1 However, the @name part itself only shows up if there would otherwise be ambiguity.

In your case, you were replying to a comment from the author of the post and nobody else was involved, so the @name wasn't offered on auto-complete and would have been stripped if you'd typed it in manually. The author of the post still receives an inbox notification. I agree this is confusing.

See this FAQ entry on Meta.SE for more details of how @-pings work and who can be pinged.

1 Plus a few other people not relevant to this case, like editors.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! That is indeed quite confusing. $\endgroup$ – Annonymus Jul 14 '16 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ I think the philosophy is: is there more than one person this comment could be addressed to? If so, allow the @-ping. If not, just get on with it. I'm not sure all the confusion it's caused over the years is worth whatever small efficiency gain was involved, though. Yeah, comments are length-limited, but we're usually only talking about 10-15 characters... $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 14 '16 at 19:58

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