In Charcoal HQ I am unable to use [tag:random-string] in a chat message, while this works fine in other rooms. I was told informally that this is because the room doesn't have a parent site, and thus the tags cannot be linked to a search for questions with that tag on the site in question.

However, tags in chat don't have to correspond to an existing tag on the parent site, and are a useful feature in chat regardless. For example, in chat rooms which do have a parent site, I can use [tag:gobbledygook] in a message, and I will then be able to search for other chat messages with the same tag. This is used extensively e.g. in the SOCVR room, but also broadly in other chat rooms for various diverse purposes. This functionality is useful even when there is no parent site to link to.

Here's a better example of a working search, which works because working tags from other sites have been quoted in messages: https://chat.stackexchange.com/search?q=tagged%2Fcv-pls&user=&room=11540

(My pet project Sloshy the Thawman also attempts to use tags in the generated messages, and it's a bit disappointing to find that this won't work in some rooms.)

  • 5
    Chances of chat bugs being fixed are 6-8% or lower.
    – Luuklag
    May 12, 2022 at 8:05
  • 3
    Yeah, I posted this mainly to document this for others who have the same question, though it would be nice of course to receive an answer with more details and a rationale, or even a fix in a future iteration of our current universe.
    – tripleee
    May 12, 2022 at 8:09
  • 1
    "However, tags in chat are unrelated to the parent site" well, it's kind of related to the parent site, that clicking the tag will automatically redirect to the questions list on the parent site, and there are no tags on the parent site of "The Stack Exchange Network"... May 12, 2022 at 8:50
  • @MetaAndrewT. Thanks for the feedback. I have attempted to reword how tags are useful even when that is not possible.
    – tripleee
    May 12, 2022 at 8:59
  • 1
    By all means, I agree that tags may be useful even in parentless rooms. I just stated one of the possibilities why it behaves like that now. That also includes why the search works: because it searches for the raw HTML content which includes the generated URL for the tag markdown. That means that the URL format for the tag markdown has to be adjusted to make sense in parentless rooms, other than generating 404, like https://stackexchange.com/search?q=%5Btag-name%5D which still makes sense but unlike /questions/tagged/[tag-name], loses the cleaner format. May 12, 2022 at 9:12
  • 1
    As I understand it, as a bug, this is status-bydesign (IIRC, there's at least one Q&A on MSE/MSO saying so). OTOH, if this was a feature-request and indicated where the tags should be linked, then I'd probably upvote (I haven't voted). I'd note that in SOCVR what makes the tags easy to search for is that the generated link includes /questions/tagged/<tag-name>, so searching for "tagged/<tag-name>" works for finding actual tags, not just mentions of the concept. Having a URL be generated which results in a useful Chat search term is fairly important.
    – Makyen
    May 12, 2022 at 18:41
  • @Makyen Thanks for the guidance; I changed it now. I always hesitate between these tags anyway.
    – tripleee
    May 13, 2022 at 3:27


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