Some sites have hundreds of rooms with almost the same title; for example, there's an entire page of rooms on Mathematics.SE that were created from the comments on a specific question or answer:
Most of these rooms end up getting frozen, because they are only relevant for a very specific question or answer. There's 678 pages of rooms on Mathematics.SE, meaning that there's thousands of rooms in total:
If you click "hide frozen/deleted rooms" only 6/678 of the pages of rooms remain (fewer than 10%).
On Matter Modeling SE, we have chat rooms specifically for "extended discussions" that arise from excessive commenting on a specific question or answer: one chat room for each major matter modeling software (e.g. GAUSSIAN, PHONOPY, ASE, LAMMPS):
Some of these rooms began with a name like "Discussion between userA and userB" but after the discussion about the question/answer was finished, the room did not have any other use and eventually would have got frozen or deleted.
We would like to avoid accumulating thousands of frozen rooms that are hard to search through later on.
Already one room was created which we had to "manually" merge into the GAUSSIAN chat room:
Even though we could do this manually, there is now one extra room appearing in our "frozen/deleted" rooms page, which might not seem like a big deal, but we would like to prevent that from happening before we reach 600+ pages of frozen chat rooms as is the case on Mathematics.SE.
A similar situation occurred on Law.SE where 5 rooms were created just for discussion about 2 users, about a single Q/A thread.
The feature request
When a comment chain gets long and users are prompted to move to chat, instead of making a brand new room every single time, I wonder if it could be made possible for users to be directed to a specific chatroom based on the existence of a specific tag.
- Case 1: I've mentioned 4 such chat rooms we have at Matter Modeling SE, and if a question has the "gaussian" tag, then the system can suggest people to continue their discussion in the GUASSIAN chat room.
- Case 2: Questions about GAUSSIAN are very unlikely to be tagged with one of the other chatroom tags, such as LAMMPS, because GAUSSIAN and LAMMPS are completely different computer programs and used for completely different things, but if "multiple chatroom tags" were to be a problem on a different SE site, the system could say "Comments are not for extended discussion, would you like to continue discussing this in the GAUSSIAN chat room or the LAMMPS chat room?" if the question had both the GAUSSIAN tag and the LAMMPS tag.
- Case 3: If a question has no tags that are specifically associated to a chatroom, the system can just create a new chat room like normal (I hope this doesn't happen to us often!).
- Case 4: If a community decides not to associate any of their chatrooms with any of the main site's tags in this way, then as in Case 3, their site will not see any change.
Prior research before asking this question
- Before asking this, I did this search on Meta.SE and to my surprise I didn't find what I was looking for, but it's possible that this search query may have missed some related questions.
- I asked Shog9 if anyone had suggested this feature before, and the answer seemed to be "no".
- A few others on Tavern at Meta gave their input about this idea (the hyperlink goes to the part of the transcript where we discussed this), and the feedback was generally positive about reducing the huge number of chat rooms that end up becoming frozen or useless.