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Displaying personal messages by conversation

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I do quite a lot of private messaging and looking back over conversations, I have realized many times how difficult it can be to keep track of the conversation. I usually open up one window for the outbox and one for the inbox and match up the dates in an attempt to read through a conversation.

In order to make this easier, I think it would be nice if messages could be grouped by user. So, In my personal messages. If I talked to Ziel, Kobuk and GrayWolf448, It would show a link for the names of these people which I have talked to. I would then click one of those links to see the messages received from and sent to this furson.

Here's a few ways in which messages might be grouped
- By user
- By user and Subject of message (This would probably be preferable as some people would use the subject line. However, the subject line would still be linked to the post so this is not necessary)

The messages would still be stored the same way in the database. The only thing that would change is how the messages are displayed and called from the server (As it would get messages from the inbox and the outbox).

that would also be pretty useful to save conversations onto a text file.

would be cool if the chat boxes were set up like this:

                 (date of conversation)
 (time sent)-person 1: (message)
 (time sent)-person 2: (message)
 (time sent)-person 1: (message)


1:05am-Sciex: i think it would be cool if furtopian messages were in the form of chat logs.
1:05am-GrayWolf448: yep that would be nice, also it would make it easy to save conversations.
1:06am-Sciex: made a post on furtopia. here is the link http://forums.furtopia.org/suggestion-box/displaying-personal-messages-by-conversation/new/#new

Sciex, you might be interested in a few features that are already supported by the forum.  They're similar to what you're asking about, and some (particularly the 2nd and 4th) might directly address your needs.  I've listed them below:

First, PMs can be quoted much like posts can.  If you click "Quote" rather than "Reply" when viewing a PM in your inbox, you'll be presented with a form to send a reply PM with a quote of the recipient's previous message already filled in.  This can help to provide contexts for individual messages, though the act of doing this helps your recipient, not you (unless your recipient does this as well).

PMs can also be sorted by varying criteria, including by sender or by subject.  Just click the corresponding header on the list of PMs to change their sorting order.  At that point, you can browse through the pages of PMs in search of the username or subject line you're looking for.  This might address part of what you were looking for in your opening post.

In addition, the forum's PM inbox supports labeling.  See the Manage Labels link on the left sidebar of the PM bar.  Once a label's created, it can be applied to inbox messages by selecting the corresponding checkboxes by the message entries and then selecting the appropriate entry from the "Label Selected:" dropdown underneath those checkboxes.  Messages associated with a given label can be viewed by clicking the label's name on the left sidebar of the PM screen; this makes labels useful for being able to have quick, repeated access to a category of related PMs.  Note, though, that messages in your outbox cannot be given a label.

Last but not least, PMs support searches and even advanced searches, just as the main forums do.  See (once again) the left sidebar for these features.  Advanced searches are powerful; you can search by label, by author, and by either title or content of the PM.  However, you'll only be able to find messages in your inbox this way; your outbox won't be searched.  Regardless, this may address another part of what you requested in your opening post, since you can still filter out PMs sent by a specific member as part of the search criterion in this fashion (without the need to create and maintain labels to do so).

I hope the info dump was helpful and informative.  If you find that the features I've listed don't address all of your concerns, don't be afraid to clarify or to give more details relevant to the user experience you're looking for.

GrayWolf, I'm not aware of a way to present a conversation view of forum PMs (aside from the use of quoting).  Having said that, if you haven't already, you might find the Furtopia IRC server to be of interest.  You can have text based chats with other online users (either through PM, through one of the public chatrooms, or through creating your own room on the server), and if you use an IRC client (rather than the web client I just linked), you can take advantage of its logging function to save a record of the conversation on your own computer.

Quotes: This only works if the other person used the "quote". It is inefficient as it would duplicate messages and take up more data. This also does not work for previous messages that don't have a quote.

Sort: Helpful. But only works in inbox and outbox separately

Search: From what I tested, it only searches the content of the message and not the person the message was sent to or from.

Labeling: Only works for inbox messages


What I want is to have the inbox and the outbox messages for a conversation to be listed on the same page in order of when they were sent. Thanks for taking the time to type all that out though ^^

Have you also looked here for help?


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