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When comments get too chatty the move-to-chat feature asks if you'd like to move it out. But this often happens after the fact and thus doesn't prevent it.

I propose that:

  • Move-to-chat be provided as a button along side so that a user who knows their question or conversation may become drawn out may elect to preempt and take the conversation "off-line"
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    It would also be nice to flag conversations for Moderators to move to chat. (Is this currently accepted flagging behavior?) – Chris Frederick Aug 4 '11 at 23:22
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    @Chris I dislike this idea, commentary should often be a bit free-flow. I’d rather see a system where off-topic comments can be removed, humorous flagged so it needn’t be shown and extended ghettoized (so that if someone wanted to see all comments they’d still have the ability). Properly tagging and filtering information is preferable to ‘daddy’ telling us what we can read and what we ‘need to and don’t need to know’. – user136460 Aug 4 '11 at 23:50
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    @user136460 Off-topic comments already can and are flagged and removed. My suggestion would be the equivalent of "locking" the comments on a particular question or answer—migrating them to a more appropriate place, really. – Chris Frederick Aug 4 '11 at 23:59
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    @Chris Unfortunately, moderators cannot move comment conversations to chat, though it has been requested. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Sep 8 '11 at 23:54
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    @user136460 Except that at the moment, what happens is effectively a religious war builds up in the comments section, which is not what it's for. Commentary should be for requesting clarification, adding detail and possibly giving simple examples. Answers are supposed to be clear, and 200 comments between stubborn geniuses won't help that. Moving it to the chat is basically the equivalent of marking something as "chat". – deworde Feb 16 '12 at 10:27
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    Newer, related request that builds on SE tooling that wasn't in place back in 2001: meta.stackexchange.com/q/288572/162102 – Monica Cellio Apr 25 '17 at 2:54
  • So uh, I would love to see this feature happen. I currently have a comment thread that's growing long and I would love to see the message pop up move to chat but it refuses to appear that extended discussion to be moved to chat... – Tschallacka Jun 12 '18 at 14:00
  • Yay, another feature request we can vote to bits only to be ignored. – Maarten Bodewes Jan 8 at 20:41
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    So, what does a feature request need to do around here, to get one of those cool red "status-*" tags? :) – Dewi Morgan May 31 at 21:17
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There is merit in this feature request. At least for Q&A based tech-support sites like Ask Ubuntu and Ask Different, where more often than not, we get troubleshooting type of questions. Because of the nature of the target audience, we assume that the user has none to limited knowledge.

Given this context, if a new user posts a question that requires a bit of to-and-fro communication, the comments aren't really effective in solving the problem. And some of us think that the troubleshooting issues can be better handled if we could immediately bring users into chat.

While chat requires a minimum 20 rep to use, I do realize that if you were to grant explicit write access to the user, we can sort that part out.

But, for that to happen rather seamlessly, having a button in the question that invites the user as well as provides explicit write access by a click of a button would be rather handy.

(Relevant part of our conversation regarding this issue)

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    It is disappointing to see this suggestion has languished here for nearly 9 months. I don't want to isolate anyone in chat. But if things are getting chatty in the comments and you want to do something about it, there is currently no easy button I can push to request to move to chat. I had hoped that by now there would be. – irrational John May 12 '12 at 2:48
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    It would also be useful for the "soft" Stacks (like SF&F, RPG, Writers, etc.) where there is a very high potential for comments to veer off into enjoyable tangents, not just on the trouble-shooting prone Stacks. (Right now, tangents just stay in comments and then make work for mods when the inevitable "too chatty" flags roll in.) – SevenSidedDie Apr 16 '15 at 18:21
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    I came here from RPG, where a comment was posted explaining an edit, discussing answer formatting rules meta. When responding to that, I really wanted to be able to say "let's discuss this in chat...". Instead, the thread built in the comments, and I had to self-delete and flag their comments for deletion. :( Not great UX! – Dewi Morgan May 31 at 21:08
  • The suggestion has now languished here for over 8 years. Just adding my +1. – Karl Knechtel Nov 11 at 10:11
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I wanted to propose it myself and I am glad that the question is being discussed already. I would like to add also that a possibility to say something "not to everybody" will solve the so long discussed problem of "excessive" thanks.

There is one more problem that will be solved this way: When a discussion appears not between 2, but among 3 people, and has many pure discussion messages, the existing automatics still will never propose to go into the chat mode.

As for the argument that we don't want people to send their unwanted messages to smb, here we are NOT talking about that.

  1. The chat is not a personal message sent
  2. I could start the chat not by sending a message, but by invitation to send messages to me. BTW, the existing form is something like that.
17

Yes, it should. This would particularly solve problems with sites like parenting, where soapboxing is common and we occasionally end up with very BAD advice given in comments where it can't be downvoted.

16

Yes, there should be a discreet button to use at will to invite commentors to a chat.

The current heuristic often fails to intervene until after it's:

  • too late to prevent chatty comments from accumulating
  • too late for there to be any further discussion needed

I find I simply ignore the popup most of the time, since by the time it shows up, I'm done. It comes too late to serve as a reminder to avoid back-and-forth commenting, and often it only shows up when nothing more needs to be said.

A discreet button would serve as both reminder to avoid discussion in comments and as call-to-action to the alternative. Not to mention, automating the option earlier would make it more frequently chosen earlier — currently it can be done manually, but that is a high-barrier multi-step option that is not often remembered let alone chosen, compared to the low barrier of "just squeeze in one more comment."

8

Yes it should. I thought this was already a feature and wanted to do so today. I was just surprised that it is not.

In a bunch of (marked duplicate) questions/answers/comments about this, I keep seeing responses like "This is a great future feature" and then comments such as "Responding 4 years later... is the future here yet?" So here I am even years later after those types of comments; what about now??? We are now, what, 7 years after this was first mentioned by the first question asking for this? Is it going to take a decade?

I am having a conversation that should not continue in comments and could get lengthy and "debaty". I just wanted to continue it offline from the comment area.

  • the average to get things implemented is 6 to 8. With just 7 past so far they are still good to meet the target deadline ... – rene Oct 5 '17 at 16:14
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    @rene I assume that you are exaggerating; but whether you are or not, it seems ironic to me to think about the StackOverflow origins and about all the software engineering practices discussed on this website, and yet to have us complaining about things like this. – Loduwijk Oct 5 '17 at 17:05
  • Well yes, the 6 to 8 isn't made up but the timescale is. There is a huge backlog of things to do and I'm sure this one isn't near the top on said list. – rene Oct 5 '17 at 17:57
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    Well it should be on the top of the list because people are SPAMING the comments with irrelevant information. I guess they prefer to keep the comments because it's much better for SEO than an independent Chat window. honestly this is a feature that could be done in 5 minutes if they really wanted to, everything is already made, just need to add button to open the chat window (per answer/question) – vsync Sep 17 '18 at 10:10
2

Back when this question was asked it was a bigger change. Later some of the underlying tooling changed and I asked this similar question (2016) (which was, in turn, a refinement of a proposal from 2013). I don't think that question is a dupe of this question because the answers here don't take into account the approach I proposed there, which is:

Let's allow users at some moderately-low reputation level (1000?) to push a button that:

  • creates a chat room
  • grants access to that room to the post's author and everybody who's commented so far
  • copies all comments to the room
  • creates a comment on the post linking to the room

Now that moderators can move comments to chat (they couldn't when you asked this question), we're most of the way there. I see two remaining pieces of work:

  • Create a user interface to trigger it. Maybe we add a "start a chat" link next to "add comment", which is replaced with a link saying something like (e.g.) "visit chat room (47 messages, last update 12 min ago)" after somebody does that. Maybe there's a better UI.

  • Decide how this feature interacts with the mod move. This is a problem with the two-users-chatting scenario now, too, but allowing users to proactively create chat rooms could increase the problem of forked conversations. (See the linked post for more on this.)

1

Sometimes in less popular SE or in technical related SE that requires more input from the OP there is only one person that comments and he/she is the only one that might answer the question, and in the comment section, it's just a discussion between the OP and the person that wants to answer which get's lengthy until finally after 7 comments it shows the:

Let us continue this discussion in chat.

discussion in comments then chat

It seems that since this question was first asked in 2011, there is a new (marked duplicate) questions/answers/comments about this, so I hope that we look at this once again.

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