Comments should contain at least $15$ characters

When we want to write a comment we see this message: "enter at least $$15$$ characters"

However it is not an accurate way of measuring the characters used in comments when we are in discussion with other users. For example consider I am in discussion with a user which him/her username has only $$1$$ character so when I tag that in the comment I spent $$2$$ characters and I should use $$13$$ more characters to be able to send the comment. On the other hand consider another user which him/her username contain $$10$$ characters (or more) in this situation after tagging, $$4$$ more characters are left to write.

This is a bad situation. If users comment should have a certain length then it shouldn't be changed according to length of a username which is tagged. because it is not a fair situation for all the users on the site (therefore I conclude the number of characters I can use in a comment when I tagged a user is completely random rather than being a certain number ($$15$$) ).

Edit:

• The comment itself, disregarding the length of the username, should have, at minimum, 15 characters. Fewer than that, and it probably ought not to be posted as a comment. Every user name must be at least three characters in length, by the way. Or should SE mandate every user everywhere on SE choose a user name of exactly, say, eight characters? Feb 2 at 23:12
• @amWhy oh really? but why when I tagged your username on this comment it said "8 more to go..."? Feb 2 at 23:16
• When I said "should be" I meant that any comment worth posting ought to be at least fifteen character's in length (irregardless of the length of the username). I did not claim that is how it is. But if you see anyone currently with a username length of 13 post only "+1", then by all means, please flag it. And know there are plenty of work arounds one can use. The point is, I think your conclusion "this is a bad situation" is a little too dire. There are far more dire issues SE needs to address than the lengths of usernames. Feb 2 at 23:24
• @amWhy Oh I got your point. yes it is common in the edits and comments I saw people using {}{}{} inside two dollar symbols to add more characters ! (this is also another issue) Feb 2 at 23:28
• Indeed, any such comment/edit, if needed to meet required characters, is gaming, and is an issue. Feb 2 at 23:32
• @amW According to this question and answer(s), this should have pinged you, amWhy (only the first three characters are needed). Did it?
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 2 at 23:36
• @amWhy Honestly I used {}{}{} in dollars symbols to add characters when I suggested edit. is it bad for site? I ask because every time I did this I hadn't problem with it and always my edits were approved. (It is really hard to reach specific number of characters in some edits) Feb 2 at 23:45
• @Soheil Are you talking about edits, or comments? If you are posting a comment which is less than 15 characters, then maybe you should consider not commenting, as it seems that you don't have much of anything to say. If you are attempting to edit a post and being told that you need to make a bigger change, that is by design---once you accumulate more XP, you will be trusted to make such small edits.
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 2 at 23:47
• @XanderHenderson Thank you. I was talking about edits. Feb 2 at 23:48
• @Soheil Then please edit your question to make that clear, as your question seems (very clearly, to me) to be asking about comments, and not edits. In particular, I am not sure what @-pinging has to do with edits, as you cannot @-ping a user in a question or answer.
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 2 at 23:49
• @Soheil You just edited to say that you're talking about comments ...? Feb 3 at 2:17
• @NoahSchweber is it better now? Feb 3 at 2:42
• In your comment to Xander, you wrote "I was talking about edits." In your edit to the post you wrote, "this post is about comments not edits." Which is it exactly? Feb 3 at 2:54
• @NoahSchweber I had a discussion about adding characters with amWhy. then I said I sometimes add characters when I suggest edits to amWhy. so I said to Xander that I was talking about edits to amWhy. it seems a little complicated :) Feb 3 at 2:57

Comments require a minimum of 15 characters, and may be no more than 600 characters long.

The intended use for comments is to ask for clarification and/or to suggest changes to a post. Such requests should almost certainly require more than 15 characters to make clear—the average word in English is somewhere around 4–5 letters long, which means that a request for clarification is required to average somewhere around three words. Whether a comment starts with a long @-ping or not, hitting that 15 character threshold should not be difficult.

The 600 character limit isn't such a big deal, either. If you have a very complicated question or suggestion, it might take more than one comment to get your point across. People often post two or three comments in a row to make their point clear.

On both ends of the spectrum, there are opportunities for abuse: a user could find ways of inserting invisible characters, spamming the comments with lengthy nonsense, or doing both at the same time. However, these behaviours are likely to trigger automatic flags, and even more likely to trigger manual flagging.

In short, I don't see any evidence that there is a problem which needs fixing.

• Why would it be abusive to write invisible characters? (e.g. ${}{}{}{}$) Sometimes, the comment is simply: "Yes." (typical answer to a proof verification question where the proof is correct - no need to emphatically tell how perfect the proof is). Feb 3 at 17:05
• @Jean-ClaudeArbaut I don't think that I said that it was abusive to insert invisible characters. The meaning was that the ability to insert invisible characters creates opportunities for abuse (not that all such uses are abusive). The overall point remains: I see no evidence of there being any problem here which needs fixing.
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 3 at 17:48
• I agree absolutely with your last sentence. Feb 3 at 18:13

I disagree. This is an incredibly minor thing.

• But I think it is a little unprofessional. isn't it? Feb 2 at 23:38
• @Soheil How is requiring users to make comments which are at least 15 characters long "unprofessional"?
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 2 at 23:48
• @XanderHenderson "because it is not a fair situation for all the users on the site" Feb 2 at 23:50
• @Soheil How is it unfair? I don't see the problem...
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 2 at 23:50
• @XanderHenderson Because one is able to write less letters for a longer username that is tagged. and one should (isn't able to write less letters)write more letters for shorter username that is tagged. Feb 2 at 23:54
• @Soheil Yes, and? I simply fail to see how this is a problem. If you have something to say, then I don't see how a long or short user name is going to make any difference. If you don't have something to say, and are just trolling, then you are going to find a way to exploit the arbitrary character limit (and then someone like me will come along and delete your comment). I just don't understand what the issue is, or what exploit or problem you are trying to solve. Can you cite examples of where this has caused an actual problem?
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 2 at 23:59
• While I can understand your opinion, @Jonathan, this is not an answer to the full question. It is a response to one five-word-sentence. Feb 2 at 23:59
• @XanderHenderson there isn't any situation for me. I was just thinking the limit of characters for comments isn't a real number as it should be $15$ so I thought it is an issue. Feb 3 at 0:01
• But Soheil, you have thought nothing of using a contrived means to bypass the required characters needed to suggest an edit? Feb 3 at 0:02
• @Soheil If you can't actually cite a situate in which this has caused a problem, then what is the point of this thread? I don't see an issue here...
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 3 at 0:03
• @amWhy For edits I think adding characters was the only way for me to edit some posts and I was very annoyed everytime I saw my edit characters are lower than required. and when I saw when I was adding more characters they were approved I realized it is harmless. Feb 3 at 0:07
• The reviewers who accepted your edits, with the garbage invisible characters thrown in, should not have done that. They should either have rejected the edit (for making no improvement to the post), or used the "improve edit" button to remove the junk (which they may have done---I don't know what the interface tells an edit suggester when this option is used. In any event, I thought that the question was about comments, not edits. It is very unclear to me what we are meant to be discussing here.
– Xander Henderson Mod
Feb 3 at 0:12
• Yes, @Soheil. Stack Exchange designed these rep thresholds to help folks be successful. Users under 2k rep, e.g., are considered sort of "apprentice" editors, and you earn 2 rep when successful. You're soon going to be a full-fledged editor, no character limits, but also know that when you reach 2K in rep, there is no longer any rep to be earned through editing. Feb 3 at 0:14
• @amWhy: The full question hinges on the opinion that this is a bad situation. As Xander has argued, if that is not the case then there is not much point to this thread. I wanted to provide an answer that asserted that it was not the case, which is, as you say, an opinion, but I think it is valid. Feb 3 at 2:08
• I did so too, in a comment. Your comment should have been posted as such, not disguised as an answer. Xander's answer is fleshed out, you provide not explanation, you mere state your opinion. Hence it should have been a comment, at most, but better, it could have been expressed simply as a downvote on the question. If you had argued as to the validity of your opinion, I'd be on board. I hope you're never charged with a crime in which the judge's verdict is simply "you're guilty, I don't have to give you reasons why, it's my considered opinion that you are guilty." Slam down the gavel. Feb 3 at 2:15