What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

I created a chatroom for general conversation on chat. It was called the Lounge(Psychology || Sociology) and it was for general discussion of life. I can understand why the room would be deleted, as it may not fit in to the scope of the main Stack Overflow site. I don't really think it's that off topic, however, as chat is meant to be a looser version of the main site.

It is well known (I don't mean to offend anyone), but often good programmers are often anti-social, some Autistic. Thus, we should have a place for us to get help with our lives, and it was much nicer than spamming one of the main rooms. In fact, we had many regulars in that room.

I believe it is well known that the Lounge was recently frozen, supposedly for being off-topic. I believe it was accused of being "never related to code discussion". How is being always off-topic so different from being off-topic in general? And our room is helping people with their issues (no offense to the Lounge). Also, what about the casual chat room?

I'd appreciate it if the room would be undeleted. Or at the very least, recover the transcripts.

Here's the link, if it helps anyone.

share|improve this question
    
@AndrewBarber Yes, it was on chat.stackoverflow.com. It was quite odd, because it simply vanished without notice. I can't find it in my profile or searching through the site. I can't actually say what happened to it. –  HangBot Aug 13 '13 at 4:57
    
I found it. It was not really named what you said it was named. –  Andrew Barber Aug 13 '13 at 4:59
    
Ah, my apologies. I wasn't sure of the exact name, as it's been awhile. –  HangBot Aug 13 '13 at 4:59
4  
Alright. I'll let the mod(s) involved say more, but from what I can see, that room did not even try to pretend to be remotely on-topic. Stack Overflow chat really isn't meant to be a general-topic chat platform. –  Andrew Barber Aug 13 '13 at 5:02
    
If that's so, why don't the mods delete the Causal Chat room as well? I do believe the name speaks for itself. –  HangBot Aug 13 '13 at 5:08
    
That room clearly talks about on-topic things. The message for the room even alludes to that fact ("Long lines of code will be moved to...") –  Andrew Barber Aug 13 '13 at 5:09
    
I see no code in there at all, mainly "good mornings". But okay. –  HangBot Aug 13 '13 at 5:10
    
Many of the posts in the history are clearly about programming-related topics. It's not heavy content by any stretch - but that just means it's a slow room. –  Andrew Barber Aug 13 '13 at 5:11
    
But would it be better to take it to our seperate room or spam our little discussion in a main room? –  HangBot Aug 13 '13 at 5:13
5  
I think it would be better to take off-topic discussion somewhere other than Stack Overflow. –  Andrew Barber Aug 13 '13 at 5:14
1  
What about chat.stackexchange.com? –  Shadow Wizard Aug 13 '13 at 6:47

2 Answers 2

It is well known (I don't mean to offend anyone), but often good programmers are often anti-social, some Autistic.

It is also well known that many programmers drive cars, enjoy playing video games, and own pets. Recent studies have also revealed that nearly all programmers eat food, and at least one in three programmers have experienced significant economic difficulties at some point during their lives.

Should we have chat rooms for all of these topics?

Stack Exchange's purpose is not to provide a general chat platform. There are already plenty of those available on the Internet. We offer chat facilities as "a third place", somewhere you can go for lighter and more free-form discussions that would not necessarily be on-topic for the main site. You still need to talk about things that are related to the site's topic (or at least pretend to do so some of the time). In this case, that would be programming.

"Lifestyles of Computer Programmers" is not only bad reality TV, it also makes for a bad chat room topic. As you say in the question, creating a room with a topic definition that is explicitly off-topic is a good sign that the room is not appropriate here.

If you want to chat about mental disorders and other societal issues (whether afflicting programmers or others in different professions), you might be able to do so in a chat room associated with a more appropriate site, like Cognitive Science. According to the about page, psychology- and psychiatry-related issues are on-topic there. And although personal "self-help" questions are not allowed on the main site, I can't see why it would be a problem to discuss these in the chat rooms.

share|improve this answer
    
While I agree with your on topic points about stackoverflow not being the right place for a general chat, I must disagree with your off topic point about "Lifestyles of Computer Programmers" being bad reality TV. Didn't you watch the social network? :) –  Travis J Aug 13 '13 at 18:01

Ok, I am not sure if this question is meant to be serious or a trolling attempt (since IMO it's very obvious why the room was deleted and I am apparently replying to a bot) but anyway …

This was the room description:

Lounge<Life> | Lounge<Sociology> | Lounge<Psychology>

we discuss life. Now Featuring general advice on everyday life

Quoting our Definitive rules on chat rooms with non-technical discussion for Signs of inappropriate rooms:

The room's given topic (and thus its definition) already hints at the fact that people explicitly not want to talk about stuff that would be considered SO-related.

If you go through the transcript, you'll see that there is no content whatsoever that

generally (not necessarily exclusively) evolves around topics that are relevant to Stack Overflow. This doesn't mean it has to be about programming; it may also be about technology in general, about the programming community at large, or about Stack Overflow itself.

So there was nothing that would make this room qualify for keeping. It was just creating noise. So I deleted the room. In fact, I gave the reason

Ok guys, we are generous when it comes to off-topic but is a bit too off-topic.

along with a link to the above guidelines and our FAQs. I assumed the owners of the room would see these messages. If that's not the case, I suggest you open up a for it.

As for the remainder of your question:

It is well known (I don't mean to offend anyone), but often good programmers are often anti-social, some Autistic. Thus, we should have a place for us to get help with our lives, and it was much nicer than spamming one of the main rooms. In fact, we had many regulars in that room.

Again, not sure if just trolling, but programming is a social activity of theory building. Consequently, the majority of it involves non-linear tasks, which in turn require a great deal of coordination and cooperation between team members and stakeholders which in turn requires communication (and lots of it). Given that premise - and I don't mean to offend anyone either - I wouldn't count the "anti-social programmer" archetype to be anywhere close to a "good" programmer at all. They might shine on the technical side, but most professionals don't work alone locked in basements anymore.

Now to make that absolutely clear: being an introvert doesn't make you a bad person. And the above is not to say we should exclude these folks by default. On the contrary. We should integrate them and give them an environment of trust in which they are not afraid to open up (in fact, that should be the default for everyone). Discussing that would have been on-topic enough (at least for me) to keep the room around.

I believe it is well known that the Lounge was recently frozen, supposedly for being off-topic. I believe it was accused of being "never related to code discussion" How is being always off-topic so different from being off-topic in general?

The room being always off topic is what the inhabitants themselves claimed. But that's not why it was frozen. It was put in a temporary timeout because a number of the inhabitants felt it was a smart idea to proclaim they cannot be arsed with our policies and insisted to talk off topic only in there (regardless of that being the factual case; they do talk on-topic, although with a lot of noise and swearing inbetween). If they would be always off topic indeed, chances are we would delete the room. Although a room as active as the Lounge needs special consideration before that happens.

Also, what about the causal chat room?

The room has definitely a lot of noise. That's quite common for rooms frequented by Indian people. When someone says "good morning" all the other people in the room will respond. It seems to be part of their culture. I've seen that in other Indian chat rooms as well. However, if you go through the transcript, you will see that there is at least some programming terms among the messages (like Android or onclick) and they frequently post links to questions. Since I don't speak Hindi I can't really tell though what the content is about (and that's a problem with non-english chat rooms indeed). But while it's not a good room, it doesn't need deletion (yet).

But would it be better to take it to our seperate room or spam our little discussion in a main room?

You can definitely chat about life, dating and cars in your main rooms as long as it doesn't annoy people trying to have an on topic discussion and as long as it gets back on topic eventually.

The alternative is to try one of our betas dedicated to these topics:

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the explanation! :) Would it be possible for you to provide the transcripts of that chat room? Also, if possible, would it be possible to move that chat room into the StackExchange website (since it isn't related to StackOverflow)? It would be much, much, much appreciated! :) Its a request. :) –  Ash Ketchum Aug 13 '13 at 17:59
    
@Ash The transcript of the room is online. Start reading here, that's the first day (May 9th). Keep clicking "next day" and scrolling through until the end. Have fun! –  Cody Gray Aug 14 '13 at 1:01
    
@CodyGray I keep getting a "Page not found" error when I click on that link. –  Ash Ketchum Aug 14 '13 at 1:11
    
@Ash Hmm yeah, access to transcripts of deleted rooms is a 10k only feature. I didn't check your reputation level first. Requests for an "export transcript" feature have not yet been granted, so I'm not sure how else you'd see it. Probably by design. Earn some more rep to unlock the hidden rooms. –  Cody Gray Aug 14 '13 at 5:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .