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 Post subject: Addressing a member within this forum
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 3:06 pm 
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Hi guys,

I have recently noticed that sometimes when a member here writes a post and references another member, they prefix that name with a '@'. I have seen this in other forums and sites.

With names like some of you here, it actually benefits the reader, that it indicates a person instead of something else. e.g.: if no one knew who bzt was, someone would think that it was a typo in the sentence.

I have referenced people without any additional "punctuation", with single quotes, and the prefixed '@'.

My question is, what is this and why? I know in other forums, for example Stack Overflow, the system will actually automatically add a link to the name and inform that member of the reference.

What do you think is the proper way to address a fellow member here? I don't think any extra "punctuation" is needed, not on this forum, but I am curious to what others think. I don't mind either way.

Ben


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 Post subject: Re: Addressing a member within this forum
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 3:28 pm 
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@-references are common in lots of places, as you note in particular, on StackOverflow.
This forum doesn't appear to support @name in any meaningful way.
But people, who have used those other websites, keep using @names here out of habit or as a hint that they'd like this feature.
Here right now you can reference someone in an explicit way using quotes, e.g.:
Benjamin Lunt wrote:
didn't write this quote

But again, the name can be anything and I haven't seen any notifications like "user X mentioned you in ..." (I may have disabled them).


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 Post subject: Re: Addressing a member within this forum
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 9:53 pm 
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I use @ prefixes they way they are spoken: At. If there is a need in a lengthy discussion to address a single person publicly, I might just write: @BenLunt: Let's get back on topic, shall we? Or something. I'm sure, for others, Twitter might have been an influence, but I have used that notation since long before Twitter existed and I shall use it after it falls into the memory hole. Also, I have never used Twitter.

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 Post subject: Re: Addressing a member within this forum
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 11:44 am 
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This seems relevant: Wikipedia: Mention (blogging)

While I don't know where it originated, as it says in the article this was popularized by Twitter.

Different sites handle it differently. Most often, the person to whom it is addressed gets some sort of notification in their own feed or PM, though just what this means varies; for example, on Discord, it highlights the message in the target's feed, as well as incrementing the notification count on the bell (alert/notification) icon of their toolbar.

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 Post subject: Re: Addressing a member within this forum
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:02 am 
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Using at signs to highlight names does seem to be a good idea. I wrote bzt's name in a post the other day, and I was looking at it and thinking 'Shouldn't I make this stand out somehow?' But it's a strain to actually do. Years of roleplaying have conditioned me to write smooth flowing sentences, I guess. Plus my English teachers were abusive, surprisingly so when all the other subject teachers were relatively reasonable. At one point, I started capitalizing the first letter of names; it's the English-language convention for making them stand out, but then I realized how much I hate it when people or sites do that to my name. So, I think the at sign is a good idea, but difficult to do.

I don't think implementing code relating to this would do any good on a forum like this. If someone's keeping up with a thread, they'll probably see it. If they haven't posted in the thread, it's probably not appropriate to address them. (In the rare occasions where it might be, a PM can be sent to draw their attention.) Actually, that's one of my older opinions. Thinking about it, on this particular forum people do sometimes mention your books, @BenLunt, and I guess they might mention some of the more developed operating systems, but the latter doesn't necessarily involve mentioning usernames.

I suppose it would be good for people who post in lots of threads & want to prioritize replying to mentions & quotes.

There's a difficulty: If the forum has sent you a topic reply notification and then someone quotes you after that, should it send another notification? I'm in one forum where the quote notification is always sent separately to the reply notification, and you have to click both to clear them individually. It's a nuisance. It would be better if you could clear them without loading the thread again, or without clearing the whole list.


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