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There has been mention of creating a bot for the chat site (The Appendix). One suggested use would be to display new questions posted the Ebook SE and meta site. There may be some other uses as well (feel free to mention some below).

Is anyone interested in creating one (and is there interest in having one on the chat site)? I know there are already some available on stackapps (one for sure has code posted on github, so we could modify it rather than writing one from scratch).

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  • I have a closed-source bot named FlackBot that could be repurposed. – Nathan Osman Jan 28 '14 at 0:43
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    On second thought, we don't need a bot if all we want to do is have messages posted when new questions are asked. We can simply add feeds to the room. Works much better. – Nathan Osman Jan 28 '14 at 0:45
  • Cool. Depends what people want it for (other than a question feed). I don't know much about the stack api. – Jason Down Jan 28 '14 at 0:48
  • I think a simple feed of popular and/or new questions would be fine. Of course, if you have a bot that you can unleash that will spout Shakespearean epithets or something, that could be fun, too... – elixenide Jan 28 '14 at 5:06
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I find the insertions of the questions in the chat room interfering with my ability to scan the chat for anything interesting having popped up since the last time I was there. This might be due to me being a non-native speaker of English, taking longer time to comprehend while reading and hence being easier distracted by the noise.

I also noticed I tend waste my time by reading the inserted questions up to a point where I recognise them as 'old news', which they invariably are because I already read through the Questions on the normal site itself or during a review of a first post.

If the number of questions on the site increase again (as they hopefully do), this will make it even harder to find or follow a conversation in the chat room. Keeping track of new questions is very easy using the far superior mechanisms in the normal and the meta site, which allow you to filter any noise, if necessary, using the search mechanism. A filtering feature is what the chat site lacks, so adding these unnecessary questions there is a permanent pollution.

Maybe I am the only one using Firefox' Open all in Tabs feature to open all ebooks, meta.ebooks and chat in one go. One click and 3 tab switches did got me up to date for some time. But on the chat site I now often need to use scrolling because of the duplicated info, info that I already did see in a previous tab. If the scrolling was necessary because of the many message since last time I visited I would be happy to have to do so, now it feels as inappropriate as the advertisements inserted a TV broadcasts¹ and an unnecessary CTS generating strain to boot.

It was a nice idea; we tried it; it doesn't add anything; it does more harm than good; so now lets clean up, having learned something and get rid of it.

¹ I threw away my last TV set at the end of the last millennium and I am not be up to date with current TV advertisement practises

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  • Ok Anthon. I'm also finding them a bit distracting. I'm going to try the pop up approach for a week and see how that goes (I've seen it on other chat rooms and it seems much less intrusive). Let me know if that is also too distracting and we can ditch it all together. – Jason Down Feb 15 '14 at 17:11
  • Thanks Jason, I am not sure if what I see in the chat at Unix&Linux is standard, but that is IMHO enough notification (transient, and only while you are there). I have not seen that on the Library, but there has not been enough new posts to arrive while I was there. Shall I upload a snapshot picture of what I am talking about? – Anthon Feb 15 '14 at 20:11
  • I think that's what the other option does (the one I switched it to). If not and it turns out to be something else annoying we can just get rid of the feeds altogether (or see if we can figure out how they set it up on U&L). – Jason Down Feb 16 '14 at 0:05
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Based on the current feedback in the comments and in the chat, I have added two feeds to The Appendix for now. One for the regular site and one for the meta site. Both feeds post directly as chat messages. If these seems too intrusive, we can change it to use a slide down ticker at the bottom of the screen.


Changed to the other feed option to give it a try for a week.

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