Over time, I've noticed an increasing practice among moderators of the smaller sites (i.e. not in the Trilogy) to move extended comment chains to chat, just because they're too long.
Is this a good idea?
In the past, I've taken the position on many occasions that I believe that comments serve two purposes only: clarification, and asking for clarification. I take this position because as a mod I want the freedom to purge a comment trail that is clearly running off the rails without having to argue with anyone about politeness definitions.
But that's not the same thing as two pedantic C++ language lawyers debating the finer points of "undefined behavior." I give wide latitude to such discussions, as long as the participants don't start throwing spears, because I believe they are instructive.
The SE software even has accommodations for this. Long comment chains are automatically collapsed, so as not to disrupt the Q&A format of the post. And moving a comment chain to chat is not even a move, really; to do an actual move, you have to perform the conversion, and then delete all of the copied comments from the post.
Here is a recent example:
Is the use of the term "bugged" to refer to software bugs in English a worldwide or regional use?
and it's accompanying chat room.
What I find amusing is that the OP's detailed POV about the term, where he floats a theory about why everyone thinks that "bugged" is not a thing (that conversation took place in the comments, and is now safely sequestered in the chat room) gets to stay prominently featured in his question, at the very top of the post.
Now you could argue that the chat room is a better environment to have these discussions anyway, and you'd be right. I could argue that if we're going to do that, then why not just automatically convert long discussions to chat rooms?
The problem is not so much where the comments reside. I don't understand why mods are taking it on themselves to fix something that isn't hurting the site (at least in my opinion). In addition, every time I see this happen, the participants in the conversation immediately lose interest in it. The only comment that was posted in that room after all the comments were moved is most likely this one:
It wouldn't surprise me if the folks using "bugged" to refer to a certain software quality are the same folks who refer to their programs as "codes" and who believe textspeak is the pinnacle of modern English.
Which nobody will ever see. :)
Some mods are really aggressive about this. I discussed this with a mod on Physics, and he told me that they routinely move discussions when they think they might run off the rails.