A few times I have tried to use some chat rooms related to a platform or language and I got

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This wouldn't have been an issue if the room was x and y's conversation or that-little-library-for-language-I-made-in-weekend It was, a well know platform related, Android chat and once C++ and a few other that I don't remember right now.

Considering that there is already a basic limitation on who can talk on chat

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Shouldn't there be a rule that Known Platform and language/library related chat rooms shouldn't be restricted ?

This way we wouldn't have more then a dozen of chat rooms for one specific language or platform.


That's set by whoever owns the room. They're totally within their rights to set it up however they like, and/or however their users want it set up. Even if they want to be all elitist or whatever. (Personally, i don't bother with the Android rooms for exactly that reason. If they want my support, they can lose the freaking censorship. Til then, if i wanna talk about Android, i'll make a room that doesn't suck. )

But i'd rather let the room owners decide whether they want to be arrogant than have some rule that tells me i have to give up all control of my room if it's talking about something people might like. I mean, where does it stop? Do all C++ rooms have to be unmoderated? All Java rooms? All Android rooms? If a private room is made to talk about Android, does it have to be opened up? You're talking about slippery slopes and fuzzy areas all over, and i'd rather see that legislated as little as possible -- even if it means i don't get to chat everywhere.

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  • Yup, that is what I am looking for as well. at least some rules, if not mechanically forced. – omeid Nov 19 '11 at 2:27
  • Perhaps i'm not making myself clear. I don't want rules saying what people can do with their own rooms. If someone wants to be a jerk and lock the room, it is -- and should be -- their right to do so. If i don't like it, i'll go elsewhere. – cHao Nov 19 '11 at 2:31
  • The problem is that there is lots of rooms that shouldn't someones own room they should be public and moderated by moderators. – omeid Nov 19 '11 at 2:33
  • No, they shouldn't be public. Someone made those rooms, and thus owns them. When do we say "this room is too popular" and wrest control of it away from its owners? If you don't like how they run things, make your own. Moderators already have enough to do; they shouldn't have to run potentially hundreds of "public" chat rooms too. – cHao Nov 19 '11 at 2:37
  • Then the chat rooms aren't ending up somewhere good. – omeid Nov 19 '11 at 2:40
  • Says you. I'd say chat wouldn't be anywhere at all if it were run with an iron fist. I certainly wouldn't be using it. – cHao Nov 19 '11 at 2:42

There have been problems in the past with the overall quality of certain chat rooms. In the Android chat room in particular, see Reno's answer where he describes why access has been restricted there. You can see Octavian's question from February where he was bemoaning the low quality of the (then open) Android chat room.

When left unrestricted, many of these platform chat rooms turn into havens for help vampires and drive off experienced developers. I know that I tried getting into the open iOS development chat rooms and decided that I couldn't put up with the low quality of conversation going on there. I've since contemplated starting my own restricted access chat room for iOS, along the lines of what's been done for Android, because it seems to be working there.

On Stack Overflow itself, you are first blocked from posting some garbage by the quality filter, and can be banned from posting entirely if you continue spewing low quality content. Your questions can be downvoted and closed to reduce their visibility. You have few such safeguards for the chat rooms, which is why restricting access might be the only way there to keep them in a usable state.

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