Misleading heading

When one is on a group chat page, one can see, at top right (after clicking on the people icon on mobile) the following heading (left to right):

  1. A numeric/alphabetic toggle.

  2. The word ‘USERS’

  3. Open bracket

  4. A large number followed by the word ‘ONLINE’

  5. Colon

  6. A number corresponding to the number of names listed below the heading.

  7. The word ‘CHAT’

  8. Close bracket.

Below this is a list of names.

The headings clearly suggest that there is a certain number of users in chat (due to the word ‘CHAT’) with a list of those users.

However, it has been asserted elsewhere that in fact the number next to the word ‘CHAT’ is actually the number of users who are in that group and are currently online and the names are the names of those users.

Anyone care to say that is correct functionality and, if so, explain why, with particular attention to the word ‘CHAT’ in the heading?

I will try to answer, but I’m a bit confused by your question.

Yes, this is what this number means.

Yes, this is what this number means. I’m a bit confused because you started that sentence with “However”.

Explain why what? I think the last part of your question was cut out?

I think the question is “why is this considered correct functionality, please explain”.


Okay, but then, what else could be more correct instead?

It says number of users in chat. And then it gives a number which is the number of users in chat. I’m a bit struggling with the “why?” here.

OGS has always been opened to suggestions, so if the point here is to make a suggestion of different ways to handle the chat, go ahead. The suggestion will be heard. And depending on the suggestion, on how good it sounds, and on how easy it would be to implement, it might or might not lead to changes.

But if the point is just to complain about the way it is now, by asking “Why is this correct?”, then you’re going to have to explain a bit more clearly why you think this is incorrect or how it could be more correct. Otherwise, the only straightforward answer to the question “Why is it the correct functionality for the number displayed after ‘users in chat’ to be the number of users in chat?” would be “because that’s tautologically correct”. But I fear that’s not a particularly satisfying answer, so I suggest clarifying the question.


It is not the number of users in chat, it is the number of users who belong to that group and are online, whether or not they are ‘in chat’. This has been thoroughly established in another thread, now closed.

To help you in your struggle, consider the question “Why are these users said to be ‘in chat’ when they are not necessarily in chat?”. I don’t know how to ask in a clearer way.

I was just referring to this part

I understand what the question was, was my point, not that I necessarily agree.

What does “in chat” mean, to you? I seem to understand that you make a distinction between “in chat” on the one hand, and “member of the group and online”, on the other hand?

I don’t understand this distinction. I could certainly understand it, if I had another definition of “in chat” to go with, but I don’t. Do you have a suggestion for another definition?

If I was designing this sidebar title, I would simplify it. I don’t see any point counting the total number of users online on OGS currently in a group chat’s user sidebar, it has no dependence or relevance to a group (other than “Wow, there are 3500 users on OGS right now, if I made my group super popular maybe I could get more than 0.1% in this group”). That number should be on e.g. some server stats page or a games observing lobby. So all that is relevant to a group chat is:

[sort icon] USERS: 1 online

meaning 1 person in this group is online and listed in the chat user list below. This also remove the compare and contrast of “online” vs “chat”.

The only other number that could be usefully included is the total count of users in the group, whether or not they are online, so something like

[sort icon] USERS (1 online of 50 in group)


It means to me that they have the group chat page open and are therefore likely to respond to any message I put up there which is relevant to them.

I fully endorse @Uberdude’s suggestions for resolving the paradox. However, it still leaves us with no indication of who is in chat (in the sense given above), which would be nice to have as a feature not currently available, it seems.

Of course, it is possible to set up a manual protocol, which we do, in fact. People don’t always follow protocols or even bother reading the message or news post where that protocol is set out, though.

If this feature is not wanted, so be it. It would still be good to correct the misleading headings.

I presume that the distinction the OP is trying to make is between users actually present in the chat in the sense of having the tab open so they can communicate at that very moment, versus someone who has closed the tab without clicking the “Leave” button. I think, but was unable to verify, that the names of people who have closed the tab without clicking “Leave” remain in the user list. If that is not true, then the “Leave” button is redundant and nonsensical. I think it would be better to get rid of the Leave button, and have the user’s name disappear when they no longer have the tab open. In this way, active users know whether or not someone is present to comment or answer a question.

I think that displaying the total number of users online, a number that does not appear anywhere else so far as I know, may be valuable for two reasons: (1) to satisfy user curiosity, and (2) as self-promotion for OGS, so new users say “Oh, lots of people are here,” rather than “Yuck, this is a dead site.”

All depends on the interest given in chatting in the group. Will people stay there instead of watching a game or play, or come write here?
I don’t know very well how goup chat works. For the main chats (english,french,help…) I like the way it works the name of the chat turning blue when someone writes something. I would have more interest in how many people from the group are online as how many are looking the chat. They will be warned anyway if someone write something.

In our case, the (private) group chat is used to arrange games between group members in attendance as well as any social chat between a group of people who meet f2f several times a month.

Of course, our requirements/wishes will probably be very different from those using a large public group, like English.

Sure, display that number somewhere, but not on the group chat page. We don’t care how many users are online, just how many in our group are participating and who.

Isn’t it enough and even more convenient to know how many are online and be noticed when someone write something?

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I believe your group may be a bit of an exception.

The functionality you suggest would mean that the vast majority of groups will just have an empty list next to it, since it is very rare for people to hang around on these group chats.

Moreover, if you do write a message, all the members of the group will be notified of this, thus even if a user is not “actively watching” the chat, they may still be actively notified of new messages and upon receiving them take a look at the chat page (assuming they don’t have the group chat muted). For this reason, I believe a list of online users from the group is more useful than a list of users currently having the chat page open. Especially, if I consider my own use case, I’d switch between tabs all the time during a conversation in chat: that would then mean that my username pops in and out of the chat room all the time, while I’m never really “gone”, I just am looking at other parts of the site, waiting to be notified of new messages appearing.

Long story short, I understand that you think your suggestion is an improvement, but I’m not convinced that it is generally seen as an improvement (I myself have my doubts, for example)


Instead of pushing group players to be waiting on a chat page, i would rather ask how to get more visible annoucement when someone use the chat.

You get a blue bubble in the top right. What more do you want?

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(Optional ofc and only for the group members)
Displaying like an announcement the last new words of the group chat.
For example.

No, I don’t care how many are online unless they’re joining in with the group.

This clause is ungrammatical and its meaning not clear.

I was speaking of the English chat (and other language channels), which I believe, although I am not certain, are structured the same as the group chats. These chat channels are often the first place that new users go. Creating separate structures for separate types of chat channels would multiply the developer’s work. Group members’ names are already present on the group page.