There was considerable confusion in chat recently about this dialog, and when I looked at it I realized it's misleading if not downright wrong:

Screenshot of the write access dialog

It makes it sound like you can enter a user's site ID or site profile URL to add them directly to a chat's ACL, but you can't; the first field expects a chat ID or a chat profile URL. I'm not sure why the second field says "if they have already visited chat.stackexchange.com before" -- both fields have that requirement

The ideal solution would be to change the first field so a site profile link works, automatically creating the chat account if necessary and then adding the chat account to the access list. This also solves the problem of having no good way to find a user's chat account given their site account -- you currently need to search for their display name on chat and page through the results until you spot their gravatar. Since the dialog's text changes when a moderator is looking at it, it seems like this was the intended functionality and it's just not working right

If that's too hard, the dialog should at least be rewritten to clarify that the first field is for chat links only, not site links. It would also be nice if giving it invalid input caused an error; right now it just silently closes the dialog

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    The dialog explicitly tells me that the user has to have visited the chat before, and the display of that message is controlled by a boolean that I'm going to guess is most likely User.IsModerator. So it seems like the intended behaviour might be what you're describing, with the additional moderator perk of inviting people who haven't been to chat before, and this is a bug? – Tim Stone Jan 14 '12 at 23:37
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    Ah, this is a bug, because the site profile URL works fine on chat.MSO (I used you as a guinea pig) – Tim Stone Jan 14 '12 at 23:40
  • @TimStone Ah, interesting. I tried it again to make sure, in a room associated with the site I'm a mod on; a user's UL profile URL did nothing, and just trying to use their UL user ID added the user with that chat ID instead – Michael Mrozek Jan 14 '12 at 23:44
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    For kicks, I tried to add someone using their stackexchange.com profile URL and it added the chat user with that ID instead, like it did when you tried the ID by itself. – Tim Stone Jan 14 '12 at 23:51

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