Chat transcripts: Is there a better solution?

Gregor Weisser  3 June 2016 15:17:42
Today a chat transcript contains a chronologically sorted list of messages. The problem is, that sometimes a message posted refers to a message which has been posted several posts before so if someone reads the messages in the sequential order it is sometimes difficult to understand: one has to review older messages and try to find the one that corresponds logically.

I propose a new function to be integrated into chat clients: A referral system which allows to post a new message with a link to a specific previous message.

The advantage will be a better understanding of the sequence of messages. This will in fact support parallel chat message sequences.

Let's do some definitions:
- a chat consists of a chronologically sorted list of messages
- the newest message is the lowermost message

Now some new user interface actions have to be introduced:
1. the user can click on any message and create a new message and the new message will have an implicit link to the message it is linked to
2. the user can click on any message and tell the chat client to show only messages with links to it: this will allow to see a part of a chat conversation
3. the user can click on any message and link it to another (older) message
4. the links will be shown graphically so the user can see and understand the semantic links

This additional functionality will enhance user's understanding of the messages and yet be a rather simple extension of the UI.
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