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How do I know who is REALLY in a conversation?

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by Ati, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Ati

    Ati Active Member


    when someone leaves a conversation, they no longer get my replies. But they are still listed as being participants of the conversation. Is there a way to find out who is still active? At the moment I cannot tell if they are very rude and don't even respond to me, or they simply left the conversation, and don't even see my messages.
  2. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    You'd have to poke around the database to look at the states. If they left the conversation, they have to specifically opt to not receive any further replies, so doing that is really similar to not responding anyway. :) (The concept for that option relates to abusive conversations, or anything you don't want to be pestered by.)
    Ati likes this.
  3. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Well, that doesn't work in a business environment when you don't know if customers left the conversation by accident, because they don't realize that 'leave conversation' doesn't mean 'go back to main page'. And then charge back money because they didn't get a response in a timely manner from the team.
    Peggy, Dominion and Treasurer like this.
  4. Ati

    Ati Active Member

    I see. That makes sense. Thanks! :)
  5. Ati

    Ati Active Member

    There is a popup that you need to confirm, and even there the default option is that you can be brought back to the conversation with a new message. I don't think people will accidentally leave.
  6. Floris

    Floris Guest

    That's fine for that person, how does the other party know?
    We did not.

    As admin you want to know who is in the conversation, who has left, who used to be there, and the ability to kick someone out. Or to completely remove a conversation from participant(s) inbox. Or prune it from the database completely.
    Peggy, MGSteve and Mark3121 like this.
  7. Ajaxboy

    Ajaxboy Active Member

    1+ for what floris said.

    I think that the person has to be informed whether someone is actually reading their messages, otherwise it seems a lazy way out of conversation. It can create confusion as well,( and out of control of the admin as well, what if a user ignored all the admin messages, or warning etc without notice)
    I think it should say maybe a friendly message " The other person has left the conversation" or just show the other member with a different icon or status, like not available or something

    But I do understand the desire not to trigger any alarm for someone leaving the convo in some cases, though some kind of status should do (like green and red) green means it is in the convo, red or orange means not in the convo
    Dominion likes this.
  8. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    I'd like to add a few thoughts to this discussion, if I may.

    I agree with Floris: the way XenForo currently handles people leaving a conversation can be inappropriate for a business environment. I can think of a variety of ways that it could cause trouble for users.

    Ati is correct in saying that it's unlikely users will leave a conversation by accident (so long as we ignore those who blithely say okay to confirmation dialogs without reading them). But this overlooks an important issue, which is that XenForo does not specifically alert the user to the fact that the other participants will not know they've left.

    If a user assumes that a conversation is done and chooses the second option to leave it (not realizing he should keep open the possibility that it will continue), all the remaining participants are left in the lurch. They may spend a lot of time crafting a careful message for the person who's left, and become a bit peeved when they later learn that they were talking to a blank wall. (And it doesn't stop there: XenForo won't let them re-invite that person, so to complete the communication they'll have to cut and paste what they said into a new conversation.)

    I don't think it's only admins who will find this behavior irksome. Inadvertently broken conversations between users could also cause unnecessary friction between forum users, which admins would be well advised to avoid.

    In this respect I think XenForo is being a little too elegant for its own good. Users should not be allowed to accidentally treat each other as if they're being abusive. At the very least, XenForo should make it clear to users that (a) they are choosing an option that is intended for use in specific circumstances, and (b) this option will result in the other users perceiving them as still participating in a conversation which they are in fact ignoring.

    If XenForo does not make this clear, that puts the burden of explaining this feature on the admin's shoulders. Which means we have to post an explanation somewhere in the forums and hope everyone reads it. (I'm sure we all know the chances of that happening! ;))

    I also think that XenForo could do a better job of indicating to all participants when a user leaves a conversation without intending to ignore it. At present conversations just seem to go on indefinitely; users may want a way to signal that they think the conversation has accomplished all it was meant to, so everyone can let it drop. Actually telling people that the user has left the conversation and decrementing the participant count would certainly be a start. Treasurer had some more good ideas for this, and I've incorporated them into a suggestion I posted in this topic here.

    At the very very least, though, XenForo needs to do more to alert users to the consequences of their choices.
  9. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    IMO, if a user has left a conversation, their username should no longer appear in the list to the right.
  10. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    That idea occurred to me also, Peggy, and I liked it at first.

    But then it occurred to me that removing these names would be inconvenient to a user (we'll call him User_D) who is invited to join an established conversation that's well into its eighth page. User_D might have no way of knowing, short of reading the whole thing through, that another person (User_C) had joined the conversation on page 3 or 4, participated for a couple posts, then dropped out again.

    If User_C's name still appears in the sidebar, but marked in some way as having left, then that would be a nice way of letting know User_D that User_C had a voice in the conversation at some point.
  11. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    I dunno, that seems to be getting too complicated, imo.
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Well-Known Member

    Make departed names italic.

  13. yavuz

    yavuz Well-Known Member

    I agree, participants should know if one part is still there.
  14. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I prefer it as it is.

    I like being able to silently leave a conversation.
    Forsaken likes this.
  15. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Not sure if anyone else has had the problem, but when a few users were harassing over PM a few months ago, this was really useful.
  16. Dominion

    Dominion Active Member

    The suggestion I made in the linked thread doesn't remove that; it just says leaving silently shouldn't be the only option.

    That's not an idea I'll defend to the death, though. Both ways of doing things have their disadvantages. As I said in my followup to the suggestion, the current way of doing things would be fine if it were explained better to the user, so that users don't have the wrong expectation of what leaving a conversation entails.
    That works for me. :)

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