When you have too many comments on a question and/or answer the exchange comes up with some text asking if you want to move the discussion over to chat.

When you do do that it creates a chat room for you and the other commentor.

Would it not be better that in that situation it would create a room for the post itself and post some update somewhere saying that there is a chat about the post going on with the link?


I know this has been , but is there any chance for a change of heart?

  • 1
    The comment discussion might not be related to the actual question though.., and there might be other comment discussions under other answers to the same question.. Jul 19, 2011 at 16:11
  • @Gaby -- why would it not be? that is usually the reason why the chat was started in the 1st place
    – Naftali
    Jul 19, 2011 at 16:11
  • @neal, it might be a spin-off (if that is the correct term) discussion starting from a comment.. Jul 19, 2011 at 16:14
  • @Gaby -- for the most part the chat usually spins off (as you say) as an offshoot of the original question -- which could be helpful to future users.
    – Naftali
    Jul 19, 2011 at 16:15
  • @Neal, i don't disagree that more than likely the discussion will be relevant to the question or at least the answer under which the comments are. There are cases where it might not (but not many, indeed). More annoying though for me is the cluttering of the All Rooms page.. Jul 19, 2011 at 16:32
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    FWIW: As your related links [now] illustrate, there was originally a per-question chatroom feature built into the chat system. The UI for this was never built into the system, but a userscript was made available for folks to test it... This was removed. However, I don't remember any of the discussion surrounding it, so I'll leave it to someone else to explain why.
    – Shog9
    Jul 19, 2011 at 16:59
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    don't put chatty bump edits in your question, please; we see the bounty and it has been duly noted. Feb 29, 2012 at 23:37
  • @JeffAtwood I did not mean to, sorry, I was trying to figure out what to say and accidentally rolled back... :-\
    – Naftali
    Mar 1, 2012 at 13:45

2 Answers 2


I disagree with Jeff. On sites like Physics, sometimes a discussion between a truckload of people{*} is necessary. This is usually when we have to beat out the correct answer.

Here's an example. Nobody really was sure which method was correct, and we ended up having cross-discussions between comment threads. @pcr created a room for it, though the question sort of got resolved before we all really had a powwow in the room(a few of the answerers checked in, and discussed). In this case, a user created a chatroom, and linked to it in each one of the comments.

And yes, the chat/discussion did end up improving some of the answers. I personally do believe in the fact that comments should improve the question and then be trashed--the same goes for such chat rooms. The topical content is moved off to chat, but it ends up improving the answer in the end.

The reason we have the "get a room" feature is that two users go off on some tangent (or worse, bicker) for 10+ comments each.

Not so. Most of the time, explaining something or finding out the correct answer is annoying via comments. The "move to chat" is perfect for this. I once had a nice chat discussion with a student who wanted to make a presentation on Quantum mechanics. This would have been impossible via the comment system. True, it didn't improve the quality of the post, but someone did get helped, right?

does not mean that comment discussion is necessarily relevant to the question or any other answer on that question

I've never seen this happen in my short time on the SE network (I stay away from SO though, that may be why). On Physics the comment discussions are pretty relevant, though they sometimes tangent of to "please explain this". Which I feel is OK. We usually don't have many "my answer is better than yours"/discussions about irrelevant arcane stuff. Usually.


I think that this is necessary. It can be done with existing functionality by just creating a chat room, commenting on every post, and blockquote-header-ifying the chat link to your question. But yes, a less comment-spammy way of doing it would be nice. It should NOT be automatic though.--more of a 'create a chat room for this question' link'

To avoid automatic two-user chat room creation, there's not much you can do.. I guess that the question-chatroom should automatically merge itself with individual comment threads or something. With existing functionality: post a link to the new chat room in automatically created rooms. Preferably have the room created before the argument reaches autochat levels. Maybe ask a mod to import posts from individual rooms(not sure if its possible)

*Unfortunately, we don't have a truckload of people on Physics.SE :(. But the point is still valid.

  • Is this common enough to warrant an automatic chat room creation? In all cases to boot? If it's the rare case that it really needs a bunch of people to join in about a greater topic, someone can create a chat room for the discussion
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 4, 2012 at 14:05
  • @Ben not too common.. That's why I suggested how to do it with existing functionality. And no, it definitely shouldn't be automatic. One sec Apr 4, 2012 at 14:10
  • @Ben added clarification Apr 4, 2012 at 14:15
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    Yes!! Discussions in comments tend to give extra insight to an answer, but when it gets out of hand that information is lost in the croud. When moving to a chat room at early stage, we can leave the comments for what it is intended, and the highlights and conclusions from chat can be summarized into an appropriate answer.
    – awe
    Sep 18, 2013 at 7:54

Chat is meant to be about broader groups of people and broader concepts (say, a tag) than an individual question.

Blessing the idea of per-question chatrooms would also strongly imply that we bless moving topical question content off to chat, when we explicitly do not!

The reason we have the "get a room" feature is that two users go off on some tangent (or worse, bicker) for 10+ comments each. No other human being is going to read all that, because the only people who care are person A and person B typing all those comments at each other.

Also, just because two users are yelling at each other in the comments about some random issue on an answer, does not mean that comment discussion is necessarily relevant to the question or any other answer on that question. Consider a question about some specific XML problem where two users go back and forth about some arcane procedural thing in XML. That doesn't have a lot to do with the point of the question, and if it does, it should have been captured in an answer anyway without all the back-and-forth.

  • What if it isn't "captured in the answer anyway"? Jul 21, 2011 at 22:27
  • There is a comment link to the "get a room" discussion added by default for anyone brave enough to click it. Jul 21, 2011 at 22:34
  • Not what I mean -- sorry, I went of on a tangent. What I mean is, if it's a discussion on topic to the question or answer, but the content there is not part of the answer, should it still be moved to chat? Jul 21, 2011 at 22:36
  • In support of chatrooms of questions, I will emphasize the need of broader groups of people working together to solve a problem. There is no common ground where the OP, users facing the same issue, and users wanting to help can discuss the issue.
    – Oxwivi
    Oct 26, 2011 at 13:31
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    And back and forth comments being two users bickering is too, or should I say extremely, presumptuous. Some problems need that kind of discussion to figure out the the issue. I would like to suggest that you beta test chatroom spawning from question before the final verdict.
    – Oxwivi
    Oct 26, 2011 at 13:32
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    I guess I'm totally confused now. Suppose there's a new user (1 rep) who's pretty new to programming. So, I give him help with the problem, he works on it more, and we go back and forth. This often comes up either with troubleshooting steps or with artificial problems, where I'm trying to help the user learn, instead of just writing the answer for him. What should I do then? I can't just give a complete answer without going back and forth several times. I'm not supposed to hold a long dialog in the comments, (for reasons I don't quite understand). He can't go in chat. What should I do?
    – Patrick M
    Jan 27, 2013 at 11:05
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    Isn't it better to open up for creating a chat room before it becomes a problem? As it is now, the option to move a discussion to chat appears too late. When it appears, it has already become a problem with too many comments.
    – awe
    Sep 18, 2013 at 7:50

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