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I'll note that I do feel that 24-hours is appropriate at least for certain situations. I don't see much point in viewing the last 24 hours of chatter and told diotalevi so. I don't feel strongly that such should be banned, but that is in part because I just don't see why anyone would implement that since there isn't much point to it. I don't even think diotalevi feels there is much point in it, just that it was easier than implementing something more sensible and probably will be replaced by something more sensible when such is implemented.
The situations I would like to see addressed are:
(3) opens up the potential for seeing 24 hours of chatter, just with more effort required. But then, we already only require a small amount of effort for people to log chatter and store it forever. So, if you are worried about your employer using chatter against you, there is nothing stopping them and very little discouraging them from logging every CB utterance you make forever. So I think the whole point of this discussion is fairly small distinctions on the point of 'ease'.
Long-running archives of chatter should not be made public. Why? Because it makes it too easy for someone to use old chatter against a member and we want the CB to remain a place where members can feel "free". So it should be "difficult" to get to old chatter, on some sort of sliding scale (you can see the last 500 seconds of chatter by just visiting this site; you can see the last 1 hour of chatter by knowing where to look).
As for policy, I could support a policy that ties access to chatter from more than one hour ago to either seniority or to "presence" around the time of the conversation. I think it makes sense for senior members to be able to see the previous 24 hours of chatter as part of their involvement in the site (especially those who work on the site). But I'd also like brand new members to be able to access (1) above. But I see no real reason to not deny Anonymous Monk access to chatter that is more than 1 hour old.
Of course, don't think that I or anyone else is deluded into thinking that we really have any power to enforce such a policy even if there appears to be a consensus and such a policy is declared in effect.
Anyway, I've been wanting these features for some time now. Yesterday(?) I threw out the wild suggestion of allowing access to 24 hours of chatter (in the spirit of the CB being a "free" place). Someone wondered in response if people would disapprove of such. I responded (freely) with something very close to "Who the fred cares?!". I was joking (and hope most viewers were savvy enough to at least suspect that I might have been). But the topic of conversation never returned to that point.
I don't want a free-for-all on access to old chatter. I see those 3 features as useful and appropriate. I understand that there probably aren't trivial means of enforcing access control to such features if they are provided somewhere other than the PerlMonks server. So I'll encourage diotalevi to disable (or modify) a couple of his features in the mean time. Perhaps he'll even help implement (1), (2), or (3) at PerlMonks (and perhaps the consensus will be that they are reasonable). These and many other questions will be answered on the next episode of Soap.