Okay, so there seems to be a local policy of "discussions" in commentary need to be sent to the "chat room" corner. Even if the discussion is spot on topic with the question and answers posted.

Why in the name of quaternions would that be?

All you've accomplished is to discourage me from contributing. I'm having a deep rethink.


Follow up to Peter K.'s answer:

"That's the way we have always done it." is among the weakest policy rationales you can have. I was truly expecting something more substantive, something I hadn't thought of, something that arose out of considered debate by knowledgeble parties.

Discussion in the comments can be classified in five broad categories:

1) Clarification of the issues

2) Contention about the issues

3) Tangential Topics

4) Unrelated Topics (Tangents on tangents)

5) "Meta" talk

For the first two, some of the third, and the last, the value of the discussion is greatly reduced when it is removed from its referential frame. Only the fourth doesn't suffer from that.

But they all suffer from a significant drop in likelihood of being read by shunting them off to a "chat room". Yeah, I don't do "chat rooms", nor will I follow conversations to a chat room. I am sure many others feel the same way.

So yeah, it is discouraging when you have put a lot of thought into something, taken the effort to express it into just the right words for your intended recipient, to have it whisked away to somewhere it will rarely be seen, out of context if it is.

(Likewise, it is discouraging when a newbie deletes a question and your carefully crafted answer along with it.)

In my opinion, and it is broader than just for StackExchange, you will find the most valuable, and sometimes most entertaining, information in the commentary. On news sites, I sometimes just skim over the articles and just read the commentary.

Does StackExchange consider the commmentary valuable? I think the fact that MathJax doesn't work in the chat room is a pretty good indicator that it doesn't. It's a matter of preference so I can't say you are wrong, but I can certainly say I disagree.

The discussion will often contain the key detail that an interested reader is missing for comprehension that does not get covered in the question or any of the answers.

The rationale implicit in your answer is "It makes pages too long and hard to follow." I don't find that a problem as I am used to scanning through documents, but I recognize that is not true for all. You asked for a suggestion, I have a simple one: Once comments reach a certain count, put all but the last few in a scroll box with a slider bar similar to the way long code inserts are handled. That shouldn't be too tough.


Olli, about MathJax working in the chat room.


Here is a screenshot excerpt:

enter image description here

Here is a zoom view:

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BTW, I agree 100% with this comment.

  • $\begingroup$ Ced, i generally dislike it when a comment thread i am on gets moved to chat. but we can grind axis in the chat room if you wanna grind them. personally, i think that my mathematics and technical point-of-view speak for themselves in the problem and, while i am not above a dust-up (Peter knows this well), just to save energy, sometimes i decline to get involved in a dust-up, even when the critique is directed at me. $\endgroup$ – robert bristow-johnson Jul 1 '19 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ I think the issues from the originating question are mostly settled. I am no longer puzzled about your comments, you (ultimately) reached the same result I did, Olli has provided a viable alternative, and the OP has gotten educated and entertained. My assertion that your (and Olli's and most DSPers) approach is inherently flawed still needs some explaining. You can look at the "Circular Dependencies" section in dsprelated.com/showarticle/1238.php or my long answer in dsprelated.com/thread/8888/off-topic-a-question-about-pi for what I will say about that. $\endgroup$ – Cedron Dawg Jul 2 '19 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @robertbristow-johnson, forgot the (At)robert in my previous comment. Don't think I had room for it anyway. Extending the allowable size of comments a bit wouldn't be a bad idea either as it would prevent having to do compound comments for fuller explanations, which of course ups the comment count also ..... $\endgroup$ – Cedron Dawg Jul 2 '19 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the update! I'll see if it's possible to turn this problem into a feature request... or perhaps something else. $\endgroup$ – Peter K. Jul 2 '19 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ @OlliNiemitalo, Doesn't seem to for me. See my followup. $\endgroup$ – Cedron Dawg Jul 3 '19 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ I recommend Google Chrome Chat MathJax Extension. $\endgroup$ – Olli Niemitalo Jul 16 '20 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ @OlliNiemitalo Thanks Olli. If I wanted to do the chat rooms here I might. Dsprelated.com provides a forum with threaded discussions, I would be prone to to discussions there. Speaking of which, I think you should post some of your finer work from here as blogs there (including references to your own pages as appropriate). $\endgroup$ – Cedron Dawg Jul 16 '20 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ Instead of that gem in the mail you should've linked this Q&A, which Olli did. $\endgroup$ – OverLordGoldDragon Sep 25 '20 at 6:14

I'm sorry you feel like that, Ced, but the entire Stack Exchange network has never been about discussions. It's about Questions and Answers, with comments only generally for clarification purposes.

The help has always suggested that lengthy discussions be taken to chat to be resolved. And this is on all Stack Exchange sites, not just here on SE.SP.

The system triggers warnings for the mods once there are more than 20 comments on a post. I believe on the post in question, there were more than 40 comments. Hence, I took the "nuclear option" and moved things to chat, as all Stack Exchange sites do.

Let me know if you have a better suggestion as to how to approach this, but this issue has been handled this way on Stack Exchange since day one.

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    $\begingroup$ I added a followup. A figure I would be interested in seeing, if it is easily possible, is what percentage of nuked (your term) commentary discussions are actually continued. Please understand, I am bearing no grudge here. $\endgroup$ – Cedron Dawg Jul 2 '19 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ @CedronDawg No worries at all! I do take issue with your statement I'm saying "that's the way we've always done it" : There are many, many, many suggestions to SE that they change this, and its never happened. I agree that the commentary is a good idea; I'm wondering if your suggestion could be done slightly differently: move the comments to chat BUT place the relevant chat in a scrollable sidebar to the relevant answer / question (where "Hot Network Questions" is, on the right or where the "Home/Questions/Tags/..." options are on the left). That would keep context, keep comments for ... $\endgroup$ – Peter K. Jul 2 '19 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ ... their original narrowly scoped purpose, but still allow the nuance that you (and others!) are looking for. I agree that the context switch to chat devalues its use. $\endgroup$ – Peter K. Jul 2 '19 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ Also I think we would not need several chats for one question. $\endgroup$ – Olli Niemitalo Jul 3 '19 at 7:24

This is not a policy specific to Signal Processing, so no blaming @PeterK. ♦.

When a comment has served its purpose, the user who wrote it can delete it, postponing the dreadful event of all comments being moved to chat. Also commenting less may be an option.

I don't know if anyone's researched if reading discussions in comments is useful to the general reader, or if moving comments to chat encourages users to integrate the relevant information into answers in a form that is more easily absorbed. Sometimes policies have no good justification, and "it was always like that" may actually mean that no-one tried an alternative policy that is potentially better.

Perhaps the chat would be more pleasant to use if it was a part of the question page.

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    $\begingroup$ I am not shooting the messenger by any means. If anything, in this particular case @PeterK. showed restraint from typical policy enforcement, as he stated. Your use of the modifier "dreadful" is most appreciated. I think it is a piss poor policy and should be revisited, but it is not a battle/campaign I'm going to expend a lot of effort on. $\endgroup$ – Cedron Dawg Jul 2 '19 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ @CedronDawg Just for clarity: no offense was taken by me. I appreciate the feedback; I just feel somewhat powerless to do anything about it! I’m just a volunteer; no real affiliation with SE except that they sometimes send me merch and make a nice charitable donation for me at the end of each year. However, I will try to follow up on this issue. $\endgroup$ – Peter K. Jul 6 '19 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterK. You can rest assured that I haven't lost a wink of sleep over this, nor over your role in it. Policy is merely predefined institutional decisions that ideally rest on well founded rationale. Too often, people will follow policy without understanding the rationale, and unintended (by the policy makers) consequences may occur. If I don't understand the rationale behind a policy, I am usually not reluctant to ask about it. I've said my piece. If you agree, whatever you can do would be helpful. Finally, you are probably due a "Thank you for your service." $\endgroup$ – Cedron Dawg Jul 6 '19 at 18:20

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