I imagine in the future there will be a lot of comments on questions in the form of as discussed in the chat, this and that.

I think it would be useful to link to the relevant part of that chat, so I'd like the ability to create a named list of lines of chat and link to it.

For example:

  • I think we should close question X. click
  • Why?
  • It's subjective and not suitable for a Q&A site. click
  • waffles waffles waffles
  • I agree, there's not a single answer to that question! click
  • We all agree! Also, unicorns are pretty!
  • Agreed. click

All clicked lines would be saved from the transcript with a dedicated url, for reference.

  • This would be very useful where you want to quote something and respond. – Richard Jul 16 '10 at 13:40
  • 1
    So my threading view suggestion wouldn't be so bad after all? That would help creating the appropriate transcript – Tobias Kienzler Jul 16 '10 at 15:07
  • We'll definitely consider this – Marc Gravell Jul 21 '10 at 5:53



First off, I love this idea.

One thing major that needs to be considered. If we (they) are going to create a dynamic amended transcript for linking, there should be a visual indication that you have skipped some lines.

Devin: We should have an admin password that can log in as other people. I'll keep it on a post-it attached to my monitor.
Juan: That's foolish, ridiculous and unsafe.
Marc: It would be better to < insert magical architecture that solves problem >.
Juan: Great Idea!

I could link this chat

Devin: We should have an admin password that can log in securely as other people. I'll keep it on a post-it attached to my monitor.
Juan: Great Idea!

If however, we use some syntax like "[...]" or the pencil icon (like on comments) to indicate that the chatlog has some lines removed, that would prevent this problem.

  • 4
    I don't talk like that – juan Jul 22 '10 at 19:18
  • That's pretty much the same thing people were worried about when comment voting came along. (Edit: In reply to devinb, not Juan Manuel -- funny as that would be.) – mmyers Jul 22 '10 at 19:19
  • That doesn't really "prevent" the problem. There's no knowing that the [...] is just unnecessary noise versus removing actual relevant portions. – Grace Note Jul 22 '10 at 19:19
  • @Grace, the pencil icon after the edited comment only indicates that it was edited, not how. But it's good enough. Also, if there were an accessible general chat log, then you could verify against source if you felt like it. – devinb Jul 22 '10 at 20:03
  • @Juan maybe you could edit it to be more... forceful. I figured that trying to adequately talk like you would be even more insulting. – devinb Jul 22 '10 at 20:04
  • @mmyers Do you mean comment editing? If you do, that's why I specifically mentioned the 'edited' pencil icon. It simply means that the history may have been altered somewhat. – devinb Jul 22 '10 at 20:05
  • @devinb: I do remember the concerns about editing, but I thought there was also something about only seeing part of the conversation in the unexpanded page when several comments are upvoted. Can't find it now. – mmyers Jul 22 '10 at 20:24
  • @mmyers I thought that could've been what you meant, but occam's razor implied the other option. My response to that concern is that I was explicity concerned about that when I first saw that functionality. (Unsurprisingly, I wrote at length about it), however that one is less controllable than this. If I want to "game" that system, it requires that no one else upvotes comments without my direction. With this issue, I am completely in control of what the conversation looks like. – devinb Jul 22 '10 at 20:40
  • The implentation we went with only allows for a linear conversation to be bookmarked (i.e. you can't leave out messages). – balpha Sep 25 '10 at 10:57

Just as an update, we now have the core of this, as an off-shoot to some of the moderation controls (to block-delete, or drag some parts of a conversation to a new room).

We haven't added anything extra re quoting etc, but it is certainly now feasible.

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