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Why is Chat _Chat?

(17 Posts)
UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 24-Sep-13 22:54:07

It's always annoyed me. It looks untidy.

GeorgianMumto5 Tue 24-Sep-13 22:54:57

I've always wondered that.

AhoyMcCoy Tue 24-Sep-13 22:56:32

Somethinggggg to do with active convos used to be listed alphabetically and all the "chat" topics clogged it up, so they called it _Chat so they went to the bottom.

I think.

hashtagwhatever Tue 24-Sep-13 22:57:08

I don't get it.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 24-Sep-13 22:57:44

What is a _ called anyway?

hashtagwhatever Tue 24-Sep-13 22:58:34

oh now I see it, well spotted
I hadn't noticed.

juneybean Tue 24-Sep-13 22:58:35


AhoyMcCoy Tue 24-Sep-13 22:59:37

Sorry- I ramble. Because the letter c is high up the aloha bet, chat topics were always at the top of the list, so other threads got overlooked. By calling it _chat, it sent the chat topics to the bottom in active convos so you had to scroll past the other topics to get to chat, which kept the other topics a bit busier as people would be more likely to see them and post.


AhoyMcCoy Tue 24-Sep-13 23:00:34

and "aloha bet" = "alphabet" obvs.

<too tired to post anymore>

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 25-Sep-13 06:14:02

Ah, underscore, of course.

So the _ is now redundant?

Hello Tech <waves> can you lop the _ off Chat please? It bothers me. Thank you smile

MisselthwaiteManor Wed 25-Sep-13 06:32:58

I wondered this too. If you want to advanced search for something specifically in _chat you have to scroll past a billion topics including all the local ones to get to it, which is annoying.

FruOla Wed 25-Sep-13 06:45:11

It's to do with alphabetical sorting, so anything with an underscore goes after the normal A-Z.

Similarly, if you look at the A-Z list of topics you'll see that Forces' Sweethearts is right at the top - above the A's - because it's actually listed as "Forces. Presumably the " makes it superior to A, IYSWIM?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 25-Sep-13 08:11:05

So why does " put something at the top of a list and _ put something at the bottom?

MackerelOfFact Wed 25-Sep-13 08:16:56

That's weird, because at work I often prefix file names with a _ so that they appear at the top.

I always assumed it was an alphabetising thing but it does look untidy.

FruOla Wed 25-Sep-13 08:28:30

I don't know. Perhaps Tech has customised the alphabetical sorting differently?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Sep-13 10:03:37

Yup, AhoyMcCoy is right - it was because people tended to see 'Chat' and nothing else, so all sorts of threads were getting put in there.

HowardTJMoon Wed 25-Sep-13 10:45:51

It's to do with how computers sort things. Every character - letters, digits, punctuation - is identified by a different number. For historical reasons (that I could bore you insensible about if required but that is explained here) it ended up that the order of characters was:

some punctuation characters one of which is "
Numerical digits 0-9
a few more punctuation characters
Capital Letters in alphabetical order
even more punctuation one of which is _
lower-case letters in alphabetical order
and a few more bits of punctuation

When a computer does a simple sort it uses this order. Hence why something beginning with double quotes goes first and something starting with an underscore ends up after everything starting with a capital letter.

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