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It looks like Paul White cleaned up (deleted) some comments on my old question, replacing them with a link to the old chat.

The link to the chat discussion looks reasonable: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/32701/discussion-between-randall-and-a-horse-with-no-name

However, I'm getting Page Not Found. Digging a bit, it seems he likely undeleted that chat room just yesterday to link to it. I emailed the StackOverflow team just this morning, and they found:

The system automatically froze the room about two hours ago, due to inactivity.

The 404 is definitely undesirable - is there a way to make a chat be persistent, and not re-freeze? Otherwise, how is it best to preserve (the useful parts of) the comments/chat? Granted, I tried to capture most of that content in a community wiki answer to the question, and I'm not sure the chat adds that much in this case.

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It looks like the room was automatically judged "not worth retaining" by the system:

Rooms will exist indefinitely, so long as there is at least one person actively talking in the room. A room is considered worth retaining if it has more than 15 messages by at least 2 users.

Rooms not worth retaining which are inactive for 7 days will be deleted. Rooms worth retaining which are inactive for 14 days will be frozen. Frozen rooms do not allow any new messages to be sent, and are not shown in the default room list to prevent cluttering the rooms interface.

I've added a few messages to tip it over the 15 message threshold and undeleted the room — it will freeze automatically but that should not prevent the link working.

  • That works - thanks. – Randall Jun 1 '16 at 18:37
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    Thanks, Jack. I did not expect the room to auto-re-delete after I manually un-deleted it! – Paul White says GoFundMonica Jun 1 '16 at 21:19
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I tried to capture most of that content in a community wiki answer to the question, and I'm not sure the chat adds that much in this case.

On reflection, you're right: That chat doesn't add much value, so I'll delete my comment linking to the resurrected chat room.

The 404 is definitely undesirable - is there a way to make a chat be persistent, and not re-freeze?

I was checking on the status of chat rooms created by users through the "continue this discussion in chat" feature, and by moderators through a similar mechanism. Freezing seems OK, because the transcript is remains publicly accessible, and users can request an un-freeze.

Deleting, on the other hand, gives a 404, which as you say, seems undesirable.

Otherwise, how is it best to preserve (the useful parts of) the comments/chat?

This is the core issue. There are other (more useful) instances where comments moved to chat are leaving a broken link on the main site. I will revisit those to see what needs to be done to keep the transcript accessible at least.

That has now been completed. I'll keep an eye on these in future as well.

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