Campfire could use Save Points

2009-04-15 20:00:00 -0400

Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness Savepoint

Due to a series of unfortunate events I am in this spot where we lost some code, including some custom PL/SQL written for chart series and data calculations. Most of these queries had been pasted into Campfire at some point so I’m digging through transcripts looking for code to reuse.

Campfire is a web-based chat and collaboration tool; we use it all the time here at Zetetic, so much so that I’ve even taken to using a really great third-party client called Propane for it. In any event, it often happens that I need to search through our transcripts to find a particular conversation or look up bits of code that might not be anywhere else. And it’s always a nuisance to identify what you’re searching for when you search on a string of text and then proceed to click through each matching transcript.

So an idea occurred to me: Save Points! It’s very, very common in many of the interfaces we use (at least in the tech world) to have some kind of toggle in the gutter of a view allowing us to mark an item for later review. GMail and Google Reader both use a star for this:

Google Reader Star

In Apple’s XCode IDE (and many other IDE’s), we often click in the gutter next to a line of code to set a breakpoint:

Xcode Breakpoint

What I think Campfire needs is a turn on this type of interface, a feature I can’t help but think of as a Save Point. I want to be able to click in the gutter next to a line of conversation in a Campfire chat so that I can later pull up all my save points instead of searching. In fact, I’d also like to be able to click on the save point and give it a name.

Campfire Chat

The reason I think it would help me in my current scenario is that presumably when I pasted something like “woot! this is the final version of such and such query and it totally works fast!”, I’d paste the query and then I’d just click a quick save point in case I wanted to return to that point in the conversation at some later date. Here’s hoping the 37Signals folks will consider implementing such a feature.

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