I know the SE protect users' privacy, so the lack of instruments to contact other users is a feature and not a bug. I respect that. However, recently two users (one is me) have shown interest in a stastical model which doesn't get a lot of love here, even asking similar questions, though I was careful to frame my questions in a way that wasn't strictly programming-related. To cut a long story short, the other user's question has been put on hold, and I think it will be closed soon:

Dynamic Bayesian Network library in Python

It seems that I cannot create a gallery chatroom from a question put on hold. I also don't like the solution of commenting her/his question proposing to join me in a chat, because this is against the site policies. Do you have any suggestions on how I could try to let the OP know I would be glad to get in touch? I know I'm asking something against the site etiquette, but given the specificity of the method, and the rather remarkable fact we started asking about it at the same time, I think we could both be interested in collaboration. It could even be possible we are working on the same project - it's a big international collaboration, and it's possible (though a bit weird) that individuals from two different teams in two different parts of the world are trying to work on the same part of the project.

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    $\begingroup$ See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/57537/… $\endgroup$
    – Tim Mod
    Oct 16, 2017 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ I would write a comment under the question. Without any chat room, just comment there directly. It's commendable that you have such a respect for site policies, but sometimes one can allow oneself a little chatty comment, especially if you have a good reason. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Oct 16, 2017 at 10:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I see the problem w/ leaving a comment. I suppose SE has a policy that comments are not for other purposes than transient prods for greater clarity, but it's not like that policy is respected on any SE site I've visited. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2017 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ I suppose you could always edit your profile to include your web page, your e-mail, your blog, your twitter, ... I have certainly made contact with people via that route and have seen on another site someone specifically saying the OP could contact them that way. $\endgroup$
    – mdewey
    Oct 16, 2017 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ @gung I personally have no problem with that, but I seem to remember an older discussion on CV Meta where whuber & some other moderator explicitly warned some user not to do that, so I thought it was frowned upon. Anyway, following amoeba's and your suggestion, I wrote a comment. If the OP doesn't get in touch with me in a few days, I'll take it as an indication of her/his will not to interact, and delete the comment. Thanks for the suggestions! $\endgroup$
    – DeltaIV
    Oct 16, 2017 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ I would add an impression that we're more indulgent about comments than some other forums. A good reason for that would be that in statistics there's often room for debate about what is a good or bad idea. Another reason, good or bad depending on who you ask, is that if you stick around enough, many identifiers become familiar and so sending a slightly chatty comment doesn't seem alien. For example, I recognise all the identifiers so far in this thread without having knowingly met anybody socially. For completeness' sake I note past negative comments about this from some other members. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Oct 16, 2017 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ If a user has ever used our chat you can @message them from there. But I don't think that applies here. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Oct 16, 2017 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b thanks for the reminder! You're right it doesn't apply in this specific case, but it's still a good trick. I used it once, but I forgot about it. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaIV
    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


(I'm transferring my comment so that this doesn't remain 'unanswered'.)

I really don't see a problem with leaving a comment to the other user, perhaps under one of their questions, noting that you appear to have similar interests and would be willing to talk outside of the site about them. You can have external contact information listed on your userpage that would allow them to reach you. If you don't want personal information just sitting there, you can also wait until you have established that they want to communicate, and are currently logged on, and edit your page to provide your email address, and then edit again a couple minutes later to remove it.

I recognize it is true that the SE system is a bit ambivalent about comments. Comments are supposed to be transient and only used to prompt people for clarification, for example. However, comments are quite regularly not used that way, not only here, but on many sites including meta.SE. If comments that are not really relevant to a thread are flagged in the future, they would be deleted by the moderator team, but they can be undeleted if needed and it seems more likely that you would have deleted them yourself long before then.


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