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I want to ask basically two questions:

  • Does there exist something like a "main" chatroom associated with each SE site?
  • If it does, does it have some special status as far as freezing/deleting inactive rooms is concerned?

I think knowing about this might be useful for SE users. And I did not find any documentation about this. (Maybe I was not looking carefully enough.)


I have noticed that for a new SE site a chat room is created automatically by some kind of bot and it starts the room by saying:

Welcome to chat for: (name of the site)
This is a general discussion room, but please feel free to create more subject-specific rooms (a single room with every possible discussion isn't very helpful)
For playing with chat features: Sandbox
and remember; please read the FAQ ;p)

I did not find any official documentation for this, but I guess something like this is done for any every site, so every site has some associated "main chatroom".

On the other hand, I have seen this old comment:

The "main" chat rooms are actually just a normal chat room that people have created and then decided is the main one, the system doesn't have any concept of a "main" room, so they receive no special treatment.

Of course comment is quite old, the information contained in it might be outdated.

I have also seen in the question containing that particular comment (it is a feature request Exclude the main chat room from automatic freezing/deletion), that it happened that a main chat room for DIY.SE has been frozen fro inactivity. When I looked into the post from meta.DIY which was mentioned there, the answer there indicated that at least one room is always kept open for each site:

We do try to keep at least one room open per site, but it looks like some 1:1 rooms (question-related rooms between a few users) were taking precedence. I've changed it such that after the next build those 1:1 rooms will be excluded when considering room pruning (when it asks: "is there a more appropriate room to forcibly keep alive for this site?")

I have also found this post Don't recreate the main site room after deletion, which indicates, that the main chatroom can be even deleted.


Based on the information from the posts I have linked above it seems that the answer could be: The SE software keeps always one room for each SE site alive. But no particular room is chosen as the "main" room for a site.

However, as those posts are quite old and one of the posts I quoted also said that there was going to be some change in chatroom pruning algorithm, I would like to know how the things work now. (Depending on the answer, it is possible that the feature request I have mentioned can even be marked now.)

5

Every site should have a main chatroom that is

  1. Automatically created by a bot
  2. Clearly marked as the general discussion room
  3. Can never be frozen or deleted

That's not the way it works now, but that's the way it should work.

The "main" chat rooms are actually just a normal chat room that people have created and then decided is the main one, the system doesn't have any concept of a "main" room, so they receive no special treatment.

This is a bad idea and not even really true. The "main" chat room is the one that's automatically created by a bot with a description of "General discussion for x.stackexchange.com". (For instance, the "Signal Processing" chat room is described as "General discussion for dsp.stackexchange.com", just like the "The h Bar" is "General chat for Physics Stack Exchange", and "Sound Design" is "General discussion for sound.stackexchange.com".) There is one such main room for each SE site, created automatically by the system, and they should never be frozen for inactivity, or people will go to chat and see zero chat rooms to use.

Preventing only the most recently-used chat room from being frozen doesn't work either. If activity in the main room is infrequent, and then someone starts a discussion about a very specific topic that gets a lot of activity by several people for a while, that specific topic should not become the only visible chat room for that site. Each site should have a permanently-open general discussion room, and a user-generated room about a specific topic should never be able to take over from it.

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