Well, the title basically says it all, but let me elaborate?
”’Q2A does not have a chat room by default.”’
There is a pluug in for that, though: http://question2answer.org/qa/17205/new-chat-room-plugin?show=17215#a17215
But there’ is still a much bigger problem than aesthetics. Stack Exchange’s chat has a lot of advanced features. This includes transcripts, so that every single chat message does n’ot load when you go to the page, and you’ll need to click “load older messages” repeatedly. Which is good, or else everyone’s computers will crash : )
Now, this feature is absent in the plug-in. I suppose that such a feature would be very hard to make, so the only plans they have is to make the chat content completely clear out automatically, which is n’ot exactly appropriate when people want to discuss Physics there.
There’s also a pragmatic problem, which is that admins can just click a button to clear the entire chat, and BOOM! Now, what if their mouse were to go crazy (this happens quite often, especially in situations where an “Are you sure pop-up does not appear : ), my mouse once whent crazy and closed all my windows, fiddled with some of my desktop widget settings (which I uninstalled because of that) shut down my entire computer, even). So, what if the same happens to a mod on Physics Overflow (whom as we have decided earlier somewhere, I think in the TRF thread, would obviously be based on a community election, on the basis of knowledability. Thus, only knwoeladebele people like, e.g. Ron and Lubos would get the status of a mod, unlike on PhysSEs, where programmers like Shog9 and Slikzw from Stack Overflow have mod superpowers, and even abuse them repeatedly), some poor people’s Physics discussions may be very nastily interrupted.
- Using an external chat provider
(Note that of course, the colour, etc., can be changed very easily, even without CSS)
HOWEVER, this has a terrible disadvantage that all messages get erased the moment no visitor is viewing the chat room, so this option is ruled out, too, unless, of course, Wikia accepts my suggestion to transciriptify the older chat messages.
- Make use of existing Q2A tools
Well, this idea may sound funny, but it works. As we all know, Q2A has user message walls. So, how about creating a dummy user, “The Coupling” (PhysSE’s hBar’s old name, which I consider much more pertaining to a higher-level theme, than the “hBar”), whose message wall, ”is” a chat room. Because message walls are transcript-ified, which means there are multiple pages of them, yet no messages are deleted, all our problems are solved.
Except, of course, that it would look weird.
I think “ChatterBox”‘s account should be blocked, so that nobody misuses it.
Any other ideas? Do we even maybe,, not even, need a chat room? .