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Chat room transcripts are divided by day, and then by time of day if the chat room is active enough. For example, the transcript from yesterday for the Tavern on the Meta is split up like this:

there's a button each for first, previous, and last day. Then there's buttons for midnight to 5am, 5am to 10am, 10am to 5pm, and 5pm to midnight.

The bottom row represents times of day, if you're unfamiliar. I'm gonna refer to those as "time periods" here. Now, taking the above example, suppose I had a critical conversation a week ago. Today, I realise I should absolutely definitely bookmark it: for future linking, for reference, and so on.

If that conversation occurred between 5:30am - 6:30am, I can bookmark it just fine.

However, the bookmarking tool does not follow me if I start creating a bookmark, then click to another time period or day - the page reloads entirely and the bookmark I was in the process of creating is forgotten. So if the conversation occurred between 4:30 to 5:30am, or 11:30pm to 12:30am the next day, I cannot bookmark that conversation. In particularly active chat rooms, conversations will be divided right in the middle like this.

In RPG Stack Exchange's chat rooms, which I frequent, we'll often bookmark games we've played in the chatroom, compelling stories we've shared about past experiences, exceptionally good explanations of how an uncommon game works, or totally off-topic but nevertheless bookmark-worthy conversations. I just discovered this bug because I could not bookmark one of these things that occurred a few weeks ago.

This is less than ideal, and makes the tool kind of broken for use in the transcript. Now, granted, a lot of conversations won't be affected, but for the ones that do, this sucks. And there's a pretty fair chance of it happening, too: if it goes over the span of 60 minutes, that's a big window of opportunity for it to get paginated in the transcript. (Maybe a roughly 1 in 5 or 7 chance, in the above example?)

Could the bookmarking tool be improved so that we can actually bookmark conversations from the transcript that take place over midnight or between time divisions?

Turns out it is possible to bookmark between pages and time periods. However, the fact the page reloads completely in the process and the bookmark action doesn't appear to continue sends signals the page reload has cancelled the action altogether. One needs to press the bookmark conversation button again to continue bookmarking, but that's the button to start a bookmark, so this is counter-intuitive.

Could the bookmark feature be updated so as to continue the bookmarking automatically? Immediately after I load the page, if I'm in the middle of bookmarking, that bookmark dialog should already be open, and I should be able to go on and select the final message without doing anything else. The page shouldn't wait for me to click the button; the effects of doing so should already take place.

  • Works fine for me. What browser are you using? Have you disabled the DOM storage for any reason (localStorage is required for cross-page bookmarking)? After you select the first message, when you type localStorage["chat:conversationSelection"] into the JS console, what do you get? And what if you do it again after then switching the page? – balpha Sep 17 '14 at 18:57
  • @balpha Firefox Aurora 34.02a. I'm able to do it with the instructions described by you in that link, and by Monica in her answer. – doppelgreener Sep 17 '14 at 23:04
  • I didn't notice balpha's link until now. This it tagged "bug" but you accepted my support-style answer. The other is tagged "support". Are these dupes? Should this one be tagged differently? – Monica Cellio Sep 18 '14 at 1:06
  • @MonicaCellio On reflection you're right to question that: I'm going to unaccept your answer (which I greatly appreciate nevertheless, now having been able to bookmark something I couldn't), and leave this as an open bug report. That was my intention: I thought it was outright impossible; it turns out it's possible but there's no communication to the user it is. So I guess that makes it a different kind of bug of poor implementation to what I first expected. – doppelgreener Sep 18 '14 at 1:14
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Fair enough, done. From now on, if we remember bookmarking data from a previous page (it's remembered for 10 minutes), the bookmarking will be auto-enabled when you load a new transcript (but not a live chat) page.

I do vaguely recall considering this and deciding against it back when I implemented this feature almost exactly four years ago (it was Sept 24, 2010), but I don't know anymore why I decided this, and past me isn't to be trusted anyway.

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You can bookmark conversations that span transcript pages, but it's counter-intuitive.

Go to the first message, click "bookmark" as usual, and then go to the last message (on another page). The bookmark widget will disappear, making you think you have to start over. But if you click "bookmark" again on this page, the widget comes back with the first message populated, waiting for you to indicate the second message. Proceed as usual.

  • Thanks, this is what I was missing: needing to click the button again, instead of it remaining active on its own. (Counter-intuitive is well-chosen: clicking that button is how I start bookmarking!) – doppelgreener Sep 17 '14 at 23:03

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