When I attempt to reply to a comment, I address the user via @username. Sometimes I get a little popup with the user's name; other times I type it in. When I post my comment, sometimes the @username shows up and sometimes not. Why is this? Am I doing something wrong? Chrome on Snow Leopard.
Stack Exchange notifies users of comments under the curcumstances
- you comment under their question or answer
- you @-notify them
- (you comment and it magically deduces without an @ it was in reply to their comment. This seems to happen only if you are the second commenter, but I haven't spotted the rule it uses - perhaps you have to be the author of the Q or A it's under, but I have definitely spotted it correctly notifying me without an @.)
In case 1, the @ is clearly unnecessary, so it doesn't encourage it by helping you.
In case 2, you can only @-notify someone who is already involved there, so it doesn't encourage you by helping you.
If it doesn't help you write an @, it always means the @ will have no effect, either because it would notify them anyway or won't notify them anyway, so I always pause if I'm not getting help, to think why.