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Having the ability to move comments to chat is a great tool to quickly move extended discussions but it can be a tedious process because we've have to perform a lot of steps to migrate the discussion.

First, we have to peruse the list of comments and delete anything we don't want to move (possibly multiple clicks). Then we are presented with the option:

enter image description here

By choosing the "Move comments to chat", it migrates the remaining undeleted comments and leaves the standard comment with a link to the chatroom:

Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.

After this, we have a few options - we can either manually delete each individual comment or go to the mod menu and "Purge all Comments". The purge process even removes the comment with the link to the chatroom that we just created. As a result, we have to view all the comments to undelete the chatroom comment, otherwise no one will know the discussion was moved.

We end up with 5 or more actions to process a single flag. At least on Stack Overflow, when we have about 30+ of the "too many comment" flags in a single day, this becomes a time-consuming process to basically clean-up "second-class" comments.

I propose another option on the flag menu, to purge comments and move to chat in a single action. And when the migration/purge is done, the comment pointing to the chatroom isn't deleted as well. Moderators would have the option to migrate, purge, leave the comment with one click instead of multiple.

Is this something that could be implemented to streamline the moderator tools?

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    While you're at it, it might be a good idea to also give mods the ability to move comments to chat without a flag having been raised. For example, conversations between multiple people often don't trigger the flag since not enough comments were posted by any two individuals. It'd be nice to be able to move to chat easily despite this. – terdon Apr 9 '15 at 14:40
  • @terdon I totally agree and there is already a feature-request for that. See this – Taryn Apr 9 '15 at 14:41
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    Also, that "view all comments" link to undelete the auto-generated comment requires that you have a large browser window (you can't undelete from the "show deleted comments" page from the mod menu; you need the sidebar control). This means, for instance, that I can't complete this action from my tablet when I could do the rest of it. – Monica Cellio Apr 9 '15 at 15:31
  • It would also be nice if move to chat also relocated any previous "let's continue this discussion in chat" rooms in a time-sensitive way and froze them. This is extremely tedious to achieve manually right now. – Paul White Mar 25 '16 at 11:40
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Done. Now when you select the "move comments to chat" option in the moderator popup (the one that opens when you click the "mod" link available at the bottom of each post) you have an additional checkbox that allows you to move all the comments to a new chat room, then delete all comments from the post, then create the "Comments have been moved to chat" comment, all in one single step:

enter image description here

Of course, if you don't check this then it just does as it was doing before: no comments are deleted from the post whatsoever.

Another change that you will notice is that once a chat room exists for the comments of a post, the "move comments to chat" menu option is replaced with a new "open chat room" option, useful in case that the comment with the chat room url is not generated or gets deleted for whatever reason:

enter image description here

And while we're at it, I have also fixed the bug mentioned by Nick Gammon, so no more JSON thrown at the moderator's face.

Enjoy!

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    Yay, I can finally cross this off my list of things to get fixed. – Taryn Apr 13 '16 at 13:27
  • (1) AWESOME (2) In cases where this is the response to an automatic "too many comments" flag, I suppose we still have to dismiss the flag separately? Any chance of getting that changed? (3) Will you be collecting statistics on how often people check the box vs not checking the box? Not that it's particularly important, but the results might be interesting. – David Z Apr 13 '16 at 14:22
  • Thanks for this - massively simplifies the normal workflow. One question though: what happens if we do move to chat once and then subsequently more comments show up? Does the "open chat room" option return to "move to chat" – Flexo Apr 13 '16 at 17:19
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    It would be great if doing that would also dismiss the flag. At the moment, if we get to the relevant post from a flag, we need to open the mod menu, select move to chat, and then dismiss the flag. Very minor annoyance, but it would be even better if moving the messages auto dismissed the flag. – terdon Jul 27 '17 at 16:12
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Recently when I did the mod action "move comments to chat" I got this response:

{"success":true,"message":"http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/37490/discussion-on-question-by-frank-how-can-i-read-from-a-txt-xml-file-and-pass-sele","info":"All comments have been <a href=\"http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/37490/discussion-on-question-by-frank-how-can-i-read-from-a-txt-xml-file-and-pass-sele\">copied to chat</a>."}

(And nothing else).

Plus then I had to delete the around 50 comments which had quickly accumulated in this particular thread, one at a time.

So, thumbs-up for this suggestion.

  • You don't need to delete them one at a time. I usually hit Edit on the auto "Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat." comment and copy it, then purge all comments from the mod menu, and then paste it as a new comment. – Matthew Read Mar 24 '16 at 23:58
  • I was about to do that, but in this particular thread another three comments had appeared before I could react. – Nick Gammon Mar 24 '16 at 23:59
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    Assume they were similarly noisy follow-ups, they deserved purging for failing to take note of the notice :P – Matthew Read Mar 25 '16 at 0:02
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    Cool, I got the "revival" badge for "answering" this question! – Nick Gammon Mar 25 '16 at 0:15
  • @NickGammon Badges are cool. – Rand al'Thor Mar 25 '16 at 1:26
  • Yes, I see what you mean. Shooting the fez was funny. – Nick Gammon Mar 25 '16 at 2:15

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