I'm going through the unanswered questions list to try to get things answered, and I found this: Setting multiple new atype/dtype/itype with LAMMPS fix bond/create, for which I'd like to ping all active members of the LAMMPS chat room to see if any of them have ever seen the issue brought up on the LAMMPS mailing list (as the comments suggest). I don't follow the LAMMPS mail list because I barely use LAMMPS, but certainly most of the the major LAMMPS users do.

I'd like to ping the LAMMPS users here to help get the question answered. In Slack I would just type @channel in the LAMMPS chat room: https://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/109805/lammps and all people in that chat room would be pinged. On SE unfortunately it's much more painful. I can ping fireball.1, but due to so many one-box feeds in the room, I would have to scroll up quite a lot to find the user "Lee" who is an active LAMMPS user who's both asked and answered LAMMPS questions here, and also was active on this site within the last 22 hours.

The initial backlash about having an @channel feature is that it will ping too many people at once, but if it's acceptable on Slack, why shouldn't it be here? People can be required to have a minimum reputation level to do it, and subscribers to a chat room can opt out of being pinged in this way if they want to. Or we could make it so that not everyone in the room gets pinged this way, but only the people that were last active within the last X number of days (I think our community agrees that the SE default of 14 days is not a large enough number for X though, for this particular purpose).

So before making a feature request, let's agree on the specifics of what we'll ask for:

  • Who can do the proposed type of super-ping?

    • Only mods? Only room owners?
    • Only people with > X rep? How big do we want X to be?
    • Only people with a minimum of Y messages in the chat room (so we know they really are a "regular" of that chat room and have an appropriate feel for what's acceptable there and what's not?)? How big do we want Y be?
  • Who gets pinged?

    • Everyone in the chat room (like @channel on Slack)?
    • Only "subscribers" ?
    • Only people that have been active in the room in the last Z days? How big do we want Z to be?
  • Anything else?

    • Perhaps we want people to be able to opt-out of being pinged for such things?
    • Perhaps we want users that are very active in the chat room's tag, but not yet aware of the chat room (such as our user Godzilla who is by far the top registered user in the and tags but may not be familiar with the chat feature) to be pingable this way? For MD or LAMMPS questions that go unanswered for a long time, I'd really like to be able to ask advice from Godzilla sometimes!
    • Perhaps we want the following warning message: "Warning: this post will ping X users, please consider very carefully whether or not you would like to ping so many people for your message", which is essentially what Slack does too.
    • Perhaps the main developers of software like MOLPRO or LAMMPS can announce new versions, bug-fixes, or new features this way, maybe once every 3 months?
    • Perhaps users can only use this feature once every L months? How big do we want L to be?
    • Perhaps users that abuse the feature or mis-use it, or are found to be too disruptive, annoying, or disturbing, can have their privilege lost without being entirely banned from chat or the site?

Please give feedback on all the above details/questions about this feature request and I'll then prepare a formal feature request that's more specific than the idea I have in mind right now.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ StackExchange seems to be fairly slow at considering new features currently, particularly about a side product like chat, but I like the idea and think it would be useful to put out to the general community. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Oct 18, 2020 at 21:45


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