Categories: I found a bug! : Text Chat : Gmail :

The new Gmail chat history interface

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The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/11/13 9:32 AM
The new chat history interface in Gmail seems to me to be highly undesirable. Whereas before, each individual chat session was shown with a full, easily navigable and readable, and efficiently-formatted transcript, now the chat history for an individual conversation opens to the end of the conversation -- navigating to the beginning of the conversation and/or viewing the entire chat transcript requires the loading of the entire chat, which entails a seemingly never-ending process (especially for longer chats!) of scrolling to the top of the loaded section, waiting for Gmail to load a bit more of the conversation, then scrolling to the top of the newly-loaded section and waiting even more -- ad nauseum. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any way of automatically obtaining the entire chat transcript anymore, with the new UI (though I'm hoping someone can prove me wrong in this regard!).

Does anyone else have a similar reaction to the "update"? Hopefully this is still a work-in-progress, as I'm aware of the numerous rumors that Google Babel/Hangouts will be unveiled at Google I/O in a few days -- but for now, it's rather disconcerting!

Also -- and please forgive my naivete, as this is my first time using this -- but is there any more direct way to give Google feedback on this specific issue, or am I approaching this in the correct way by posting this here?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/11/13 10:59 AM
A couple of other issues to report:

1. Many times, when first clicking on a lengthy chat conversation, the initial load time (which only loads the last small portion of the conversation, as mentioned in my original post) is rather long. Adding this to the time it takes to load all of the prior segments of the conversation, loading the entire chat takes a VERY long time and significant effort from the user. This is much less convenient and a lot less automated/efficient and accessible than the prior format.

2. The chats are now saved in the "Sent Mail" folder, which is, naturally, not desirable.

As I mentioned in my original post, I'm hoping that all of these issues are merely attributable to the initial implementation/growing pains of the upcoming release of Google Babel/Hangouts. If not -- well, then, there's some serious need of bug-fixing here!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Meredith H 5/11/13 5:06 PM
I'd like to second the issues here. The load time for very long chats (and I not infrequently have chatlogs of 2000+ lines in a single day) makes viewing very, very difficult. Furthermore, as someone mentioned in another thread, it's nearly impossible to load long chat logs on Android, as it treats each message as a separate thread in the conversation. I also second the problem with chats now tagged as "Sent Mail". I chat often, and this really, really clogs up my Sent Mail label when all I'm trying to do is look for an email I sent yesterday, for example.

In addition, there is no option to directly reply to missed chats by email, only the "resume chat" button, and often for various reasons I don't want to resume the chat; I need to pick up the conversation by email. Of course I could start a brand new email, but the attraction of the Gmail threaded conversation format is so that I don't have to recap everything discussed before every time I start a new email....

I really hope some of these issues will be resolved, as I am a heavy Gmail user for both professional and personal activities and really count on its heretofore great efficiency.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface ajc1970 5/11/13 5:46 PM
exactly, i often want to "forward" or "reply" to a chat as an email message, and that option has disappeared.

why'd the break something that was working fine?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laura Christensen 5/11/13 5:53 PM
The new way is completely useless for keeping records of any group projects or collaborations.  What does Google think people use chat history for EXCEPT to have a an efficient, well-formatted record of what people have said?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/11/13 6:44 PM
The new interface is utterly useless. 

Loading it takes forever, the display is visually unpleasant, it's full of unhelpful clutter (lines, pictures because I guess you're now designing for tweens, hurrah), and you can't even ctr+A to copy and paste it into word.  What in the world do you think we USE this for?  Poring over loving emoticon messages?! 

I want to review the lengthy collaborations I have with a colleague, not peer desperately at a window that now holds two lines of text instead of twenty seven and manually scroll up and down. 

Also, I should not have had to spend 10 minutes googling to desperately figure out WHY this is happening.  When people do that, it means it is NOT AN UPGRADE TO SERVICE.  Please for heavens sake tell me how to turn this OFF.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/11/13 6:59 PM
I really wish there were a way to more directly contact the team working on this UI "update" -- does anyone have any suggestions? Google Talk / Gchat is many times preferred to numerous other chat services because of the very fact that it is so much easier to view the entirety of the chat conversation (of course, only with the previous Gmail chat history UI) -- changing this eliminates one of the major edges Gchat had over its competitors.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Myre B 5/11/13 7:08 PM
Another vote in the tin on how terrible this 'update' is. 

I use gchat to collaborate and rely on the chat history to help me keep records and this new formatting has made the records pretty much entirely useless to me. I can't even use a print view to get a better format for the records to actually make them useful.

If this change is permanent, then gchat's lost it's use and I'll find a different client.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface enemyofperfect 5/12/13 1:10 AM
Agreed -- it's tremendously frustrating.  Switching to conversation view (which I do not prefer) is at least an improvement over having to swim through a sea of individual lines of chat, but the partial loading/endless scroll set-up is still very far from optimal.

I also miss the old format's brilliant representation of the flow of the conversation through timestamps (which you did not have to hover to call up) and notes where long pauses occurred.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface CGMaaz 5/12/13 3:25 AM
+1 on everything said here. I'm not a big fan of g+ integration with gmail to begin with. I loved the way chats were easily visible.. just a plain transcript with timestamps. I always took the reply-fwd functions for granted and never thought gmail would ever take them out. taking out awesome and super-useful functions is a ridiculous step!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/12/13 4:25 AM
A new system for management of chat history has been released and with that saving history has been made mandatory so there is no longer any option to turn it off.

Along with this change:
  1. you can no longer forward chats,
  2. chats you are involved in will appear in your Sent Mail, and
  3. chats you are invited to join will show in your Inbox.
I don't know which of these behaviours are intended or permanent.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rilwen 5/12/13 4:26 AM
Agreed. This is ridiculous. And another significant point - you can no longer easily view a specific day's chat and delete that single chat. There's only a 'clear message history' option. I don't want that. I want to be able to delete one single session if I need to.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/12/13 12:30 PM
@KeithR: I know in other threads you or other forum "moderators"/"Google reps" have explicitly stated that you will made the feedback and/or suggestions known to the development team; I would kindly request that you do the same here, since the new UI breaks so many of the features of the chat history that so many of us have come to rely on, for both personal and business needs.

Additionally, can you make any suggestions to us (or find out from the development team) as to how we can easily obtain a complete copy of our chat transcripts without going through the tedious process I described in my original post? It seems that having the complete chat transcripts available for later review if of utmost important to many Google Chat users.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Google Community Manager 5/12/13 2:58 PM
Thank you all for your feedback. We are always looking to improve our products and your feedback can be very beneficial. I will be sure to pass this feedback on to the team for further discussion.

Thanks!
Dori
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/12/13 3:29 PM
Um.  I'm glad the feedback was helpful. 

But do you think we could get some assistance, too? 

I'd like to know how to view my chat transcripts as text, no images, no enormous lines between each comment (especially lines which translate into tables when pasted into word), no weird forced scrolling from the bottom, time stamps visible without hovering (somebody hasn't read WW3 ada compliance), etc.  Do you have any suggestions to fix these bugs/problems?

I would also like to be able to forward or reply to my chats, since that was a feature that is now gone.

Can you tell us how to do any of this?  Please?

Perhaps also could you tell us what this new UI is *supposed* to do?  I mean, what is the intended benefit of this new method of chat transcript.  No one here appears to see any benefit whatsoever, but developers normally do not release updates without some idea behind them.

I admit, and you are welcome to share this as well, that after sleeping on this topic, I woke up and realized.  Hey, it was a Saturday.  Google must have accidentally broken the chat transcripts, that's all.  I'm sure come Monday things will be back.  Otherwise, why remove features?  It's just a bug, that's all! 

Given your response, it appears that I was mistaken.  So, perhaps you could share with us what benefit this new....weird forced bottom end scroll thing is intended to have?  Why is it awesome?  Why did you do this?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 5/12/13 5:41 PM
It's also very very inelegant to view chats on a mobile device now. Each individual chat message is its own "message" that has to be expanded individually. (So when I open a 100 line chat it'll be the last message and then "99 unread messages above" it.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface s.l. 5/12/13 6:35 PM
I completely agree with what every one else has said thus far.  I find these new features to chat to be horrible, inefficient and useless.  Please go back to the old chat history format, Google.  You had it right the first time.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laurea 5/12/13 8:07 PM
I'd like to agree with everything that was said here. I have a lot of very long chats that include brainstorming sessions, and the new interface really makes it difficult to refer back to them. Everyone else has said all my thoughts much more eloquently than I could, but I want to throw in another opinion that this is a terrible change. It takes away a lot of the reasons I use this tool in the first place.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 5/12/13 9:48 PM
I have to agree with everything that's been said. The new chat history setup is frankly useless. I'm working on a couple group projects and now can't find anything we may have talked about on a specific day, because as soon as you click on a day, since the update, you're automatically taken to the end of your most recent conversation with the option to "resume" the chat.  That's definitely not what I want. I want to be able to go to a day's chat and find what we were talking about, without having to muck around to find it.

The current setup also won't let me tag my chats. So I can't organize what my groups have been talking about into folders for a quicker find time, or for review of a certain subject.

It's all really frustrating. I liked how it was before. It wasn't broke. You didn't need to "fix" it.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 5/12/13 9:49 PM
I must add my vote to this as well.  I completely ABHOR this new chat set up.  I agree with most every statement made above.  The messages are too long and take too long to load, most of my chats are 2000+ lines! 
I hate that I can not pull up a single day's chat but instead each day is linked.  I am often searching for things BY DATE and this makes that impossible. 
All of the options previously available above such labeling it THERE instead of having to go to the main chats page are now gone.  My only options are to delete the chats completely or go back to the main menu.
I also truly dislike HOW the chats are now displayed, with the images on the side and the 'text effects' such as how putting * around a word of sentence makes things bold, no longer appear as the intended effect but instead I get *this*. 
I also dislike how the 'resume chat' shows up at the bottom.  Minor quibble but that's it.
I may not have liked having to hit the 'click here to see full text/chat' link in my larger chats, but I could understand why it was there and I VASTLY prefer it to THIS.
I also ABHOR that this change was made and I was given no warning about it, nor am I given the option to change my settings back to the 'old' style.
I'm glad that you are aware of this 'feedback' but could you please provide some assistance, or at least give us the option to NOT use your new set-up?  Or at least give us warning when you change things like this?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Senthilstan 5/13/13 1:55 AM
First of all, I don't like this new interface.. seems like copied from Facebook chat interface.. 

And, i dont like it, because

1. Chats are stored in Sent items
2. Can't look through easily..
3. Irritating while loading
4. not showing number of lines in the conversation
5. Touch navigation

So please tell me if anyone knows to revert it back to old interface which is comfortable for me.. 




Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laurea 5/13/13 3:26 AM
I also didn't realize that these changes would apply retroactively until after I'd posted my comment. I now can't find things that I'd spent a LOT of time organizing and saving! This is such a major change to a feature I use all the time - why wasn't it beta tested or rolled out slowly so that people could give feedback? Having a "pretty" interface is one thing, but it shouldn't ruin functionality!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christina Fung 5/13/13 5:26 AM
I absolutely agree with all of you have said about the new google chat interface. 
It's not user friendly at all.. Each chat line turns into a new thread with a display of "No sender, No subject", which bombed the chat folder in my iphone. 
I am disappointed with this new change. 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jmbriggs 5/13/13 6:21 AM
I agree with the comments. It is a big problem that there is no way to stop the chats from appearing in Sent Mail.

(1) Chats are by definition NOT sent mail.
(2) There is already a label for chats. 
(3) This is making it very difficult to easily scan and use the sent mail folder.

PLEASE at least make it possible to turn off the automatic (and untrue!) labeling of chats as "sent mail." Please!

(I have been using gmail for seven years and this is the first I have commented. It is that bad.)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface marshlight 5/13/13 8:43 AM
Totally agree!  Not having a line count in the subject is also super annoying.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Robin628 5/13/13 8:59 AM
This new interface is useless and has created more frustration than anything else.  You've rendered my Sent mail box utterly useless.  We need the ability to turn off the chat history going to Sent mail ASAP.   And I agree, I shouldn't have to spend an hour searching forums to find out what the heck happened to my mailbox.   Like the last poster I have been using GMAIL for  several years and this is the first time a change has been so bad, I felt the need to comment.   If this isn't fixed soon, I may have to reactivate my old Yahoo account. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface radhacr 5/13/13 9:23 AM
The interface also seems to have some issue with the rapportive bar. 
A part of the chat appears above the subject line and rapportive bar. Is there some way to fix this?


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rebecca Edney 5/13/13 9:42 AM
I agree. I also use chat for brainstorming and it's seriously annoying to have to sit through load after load to go backwards in the conversation to the beginning, especially as the start of that day's conversation is not well-indicated and it goes all the way back to the beginning.

It's also actually very counter-intuitive to start a conversation at the end.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/13/13 10:53 AM
What?  It's RETROACTIVE?  It hasn't retro-actively destroyed mine yet, but this is disastrous.

Google, PLEASE.  PLEASE do not make this retroactive!  Can someone from Google comment and tell us whether this will be applied retroactively to everyone, and when?  I have a large number (we're talking thousands) of brainstorming and collaborative work that I need to get out of my archives if so. 

The silence from Google's end is really upsetting.  Does anyone know of a way we can contact someone more directly?

I would be happy to PAY to keep my old service the way it was.  At least give us two weeks to save the five YEARS worth of carefully done work. 

I've been a loyal Google customer for years.  It was only reading comments here that said 'it looks like Facebook chat' that I got an inkling of why these changes might have been rolled out.  But Google, I like GOOGLE.  If I wanted Facebook, no offense, but that's where I would be. 

Please, can someone from Google communicate with us?  Is this change being rolled out retro-actively?  Is there ANY WAY we can have two weeks to save our archives?  PLEASE, I have very important work materials in there! 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Austinvn 5/13/13 10:59 AM
The new interface is terrible in every way. It's seriously tempting me to drop gchat on the spot and persuade others to switch to a substitute - it entirely breaks the main reason I use gchat, which is having my past conversations (often quite long conversations about collaborative projects) easily searchable and reviewable and forwardable. Things that are wrong with it:
1) Pictures, widely spaced lines, names above messages instead of to the left of them - please give us an option to get rid of this crap. Now takes 4x the space to see a single line, efficiency of skimming through long chats is far worse.
2) Timestamps! The old timestamps were always visible and clearly showed the flow of conversation - the lines that showed a long break in the conversation were great too for the same reason. It takes far too much time to mouse over lines of conversation one-by-one and compare the times, rendering the entire timestamp feature worthless, not to mention they're lost on copy/paste.
3) The continuous stream of conversation infinitely into the past - this is the worst. When I click my May 10 chat history in gmail, I want to view that discrete conversation from that particular day on whatever particular topic, not scroll back and see last week's conversation right there without even much of a clear separation. Not to mention the godawful scroll up->wait for load->scroll up->repeat cycle, which seems to be related to this. Just load for me that one entire conversation PLEASE, if I wanted to see previous days I would've clicked them instead.
4) Related to above - starting at end of the conversation is terrible, particularly if you're trying to search for a particular word in past conversations. Say a friend and I had a brief conversation about foo, and then went on to have a 500-line conversation about work. If I search gmail for "foo" and click the chat history for that date, I get the end of the entire 500 lines, I have to scroll back - wait for load - scroll - wait - and eventually see "foo". If I'm smart and ctrl+f (previous) "foo", I get the last mention of foo, and have to continue searching/scrolling up to find the beginning of that conversation. The equivalent in the old system wasn't great, but it was better than this: search "foo" -> click date -> ctrl-f "foo" -> you're now at the first mention of foo and can read the conversation from there. In short we need to start at the beginning of a given chat history, not the end.
5) Lost functionality - reply with email (if I wanted to resume the chat there are easier ways to do it than looking up an old chat history!), forward conversations as email. I didn't use these features often but they were helpful occasionally, far more than that useless 'resume' button that seems to have replaced them, although I do see any reason these things would be mutually exclusive.
6) Mentioned briefly before, but this deserves its own bullet: copy/paste. The old messages can be copy/pasted into any text document, resulting in a dense and efficient record of timestamp:name:message. Just try this with the new system..

Austinvn 5/13/13 11:03 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Nikki82 5/13/13 11:13 AM
I'll also add that looking at chat logs on my mobile device is now incredibly frustrating. Previously, I could pull up a chat log and see the entire chat as a single message. Now, each line of chat text is a single message, forcing me to expand each message and click on it to see the text in its entirety. This is made even more cumbersome for longer chats, of which most of mine are hundreds of lines long. 

Please go back to the older chat history. If it's not broken, why fix it?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jd.jd 5/13/13 1:36 PM
I have been a Gmail user since 2006 and out of all of the changes Google has made this is by far THE WORST one of them all.  I've grown so frustrated with this issue that I'm considering canceling my account and going back to either yahoo or aim if the issues are not resolved in the next few days.  At least with the above mentioned providers my inbox wasn't getting bombarded every hour with EVERY single line of chat from the past 3 days.  I've had to clear my inbox out several times today as the messages keep appearing.  The same thing with my sent mail.  Every line of sent text from me is appearing in my sent box.  To make matters worse, all of the messages are repeating themselves up to 5x when I view the chat.  This is ridiculous.

Like others I am concerned that Google has not provided any information on this switch and the issues that are being created as a result.  There are those of us who are going to be forced away from using a system that we ultimately either enjoyed using or were comfortable using because of this switch.  I don't want to have to look for other providers, just as I'm sure other's don't, but the grim reality is that I may have to.  Functionality is lost, user friendliness is gone, and now my inbox is flooded repeatedly throughout the day with messages I've already had to move 3 other times.  Whatever happened to the common sense thought of not messing with something that already works just fine?  I truly feel that Google failed with this "update".  There are so many issues revolving around this switch and I can only hope that they scrap this horrendous idea as soon as possible.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 5/13/13 2:09 PM
+1 about all the comments saying that the original Gmail chat history is BY FAR better than new chat history and this is BY FAR the WORST "update" that I have ever seen in Gmail.
The new compose was risky enough and especially gets annoying when keeping track of attachments; but, the new chat history really starts to destroy crucial benefits of Gmail.

Gmail Team:
Nobody is perfect and I realize you are all tasked with needing something to do and at times taking orders from management regardless of any disagreement with them. Please communicate to your management that you should stop "fixing" things that are not broken and most of us here are telling you that the original gmail chat history is excellent and does not really need any changes. You are breaking things that worked better. It is mind blowing that you do not realize this about the new chat history as the multifaceted benefits of the original should be incredibly obvious. Please, promptly, allow us to PERMANENTLY switch back to original chat history (and old compose).

 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Liza Stoner 5/13/13 3:17 PM
+1 to the above posts.
My main problems:
- There's no way to Opt Out of this half-baked idea.
- There is no easy way to find the BEGINNING of a conversation. Breaking it up with an <hr> by day is just not searchable.
- Copy and Paste no longer result in a clean chat log.
- Saving chats in Sent Mail is the least intuitive place they could be saved.
   This could be a good idea and a great new UI, but right now it isn't.
   PLEASE, at the very least, give us an option to "Opt Out." Most all of the new features of gmail allow you to switch in preferences. Please enable us to do so here. There is a chat setting. Use it.
Thank you!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jfidd 5/13/13 4:28 PM
Completely agreed. This is a terrible change. Not only is it completely illogical to have chat histories appear in BOTH the "Chats" folder and the "Sent Mail" folder, the new chat history format is also worse than the old format. A line break is NOT sufficient to divide otherwise-separate conversations I have with the same person on different days.

Please, please at least remove chat histories from the Sent Mail folder.

I have also never posted to complain before, but this is silly. First Facebook, now Google. Stop "fixing" what isn't broken.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/13/13 4:37 PM
As of an hour ago, every single line of chat (with one individual!) for me has become its own entry in my chat history, and, consequently, there is now a date and time divider line between every single line of chat. This is obviously completely unacceptable and, therefore, must be some sort of transitional/developmental bug. I hope that this indicates that the Google Chat team is still in the development stage and that our feedback/suggestions will still make a significant impact on the final product (which, ideally, would be the ORIGINAL interface), but if not -- what in the world are they doing?!?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface begench87 5/13/13 10:52 PM
its really bad feature
now i use a separate query to see clean sent email "is:sent -is:chat";
there used to be a good feature to see chats, now it has gone worst;
gmail team, pls give a feature to go back to previous gtalk saving history; 
this new feature is very useless
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DevelopToHuman 5/13/13 11:54 PM
So IRRITATING and UN_DESIRABLE feature.!! there is no forward option tooo.!!!!! HOW CAN IT B MORE ANNOYING ..!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DevelopToHuman 5/13/13 11:55 PM
I totally agree.. PLEASE GIVE US an option to switch back to normal and old style pls. we dont want to see chats in sent mails and browse each chat one by one ..!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DevelopToHuman 5/13/13 11:58 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Katrina Helle 5/14/13 1:35 AM
I'm not sure if I'm posting correctly by hitting "reply" to the original post, but I also am begging for a return to the old format.  I'm usually pretty forgiving when it comes to updates, but I desperately need a way to easily copy/paste chat history - or a way to easily format it - and both of those options are gone.

If any of you are looking for a work around - I pretended like I was printing and then copy/pasted from the print preview format....but this will NOT work for longer conversations because it breaks out EVERY single line individually.  Plus if you go through to delete the displayed email addresses of the participants on each line, you'll lose your timestamp - UGH!!

Please, please, please switch this back or have the option to disable.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maistrye 5/14/13 5:07 AM
I agree with most comments here, the new setup for Chat history is horrible. For me, they've made the Chat history useless while at the same time making it so it can't be readily disabled.  The former method of viewing Chats was very good as it was compact and easy to review a whole conversation in one shot.

Personally, the worst part is the Chat history now hitting Sent Mail.  The presences of the Chats each on their own lines (I prefer Conversation View Off) makes it quite difficult to use my Sent Mail as I'm accustomed to -- to see my sent e-mails.

For the time being, I've opted to just manually delete the Chat history from the point at which I got switched over as I prefer a clean Sent Mail over logging all my chats.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 5/14/13 6:11 AM
I completely agree! I don't like the new Compose but since it's something I can adjust to that has no otherwise horrible side-effects I rolled with it. I hardly effects me as I rarely compose NEW emails, I'm often just replying to old ones so that looks the same.

But forgive my use of caps here, THIS NEW CHAT HISTORY IS ABSOLUTELY THE WORST CHANGE GMAIL HAS EVER HAD! It's terrible, please undo it! Give me an option to opt out! I've been using Gmail for years and I always tell people it's the best! It has the best archiving and previous to now, the best chat UI. It's neat and streamlined, and I was able to meticulously snip and categorize them.

Not anymore! Why do they show up in sent email? Why can I no longer 'label' or 'move' them? And I can't cut out messages? This is horrible! Please Google, I'm not simply mad about this, I'm sad. I use the chat so often for collabs for work and play, and this is RUINING it. I want to get these chats out of my sent mail but if I delete them THEN what happens?

Why on EARTH would you give us LESS options?

It's also ugly. Fewer spaces, Google, not more. I didn't think of this until someone mentioned it (because I'm not a big FB person), but it does look like FBs chats. Please, no, Google. Do what you were doing before. The chats were the best.

Also, making this retroactive is cruel and unusual punishment. Did you think we weren't using the options you gave us? Ihave years and years and years of carefully cleaned up and labelled chats, all in their own folders, and if you mess this up... please, no.

Also, the formatting that shows up IN chat, like italics and bold, doesn't show up when viewing in this new horrid history. So not only is it inherently clunkier and less intuitive, it's also ugly.

We LIKED being able to view one specific message at a time. We can't do that anymore and what's more all the conversations start at the end. It's like this was specifically MADE to be horrible.

Apologies to everyone that worked hard on this, but throw this update in the trash. Don't fix what's not broken.

It would be one thing to change where options are located, but to get rid of them AND screw up how the chat history is viewed is too much.

Please change this back, Google. I can't even understand why you would do this to us. Using Gmail's chat is important to me: If I am on my computer at all I am using it, and I often am ONLY on gmail using Gchat.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Barbara Brink 5/14/13 8:45 AM
Just wanted to agree with all that has been said here and hope that Google is working to reverse this horrible update.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/14/13 9:44 AM
Given the resounding silence on Google's end, I wanted to provide what little information I could find.

I would just like to note (if Google is reading this, which seems increasingly unlikely) that leaving users to flounder in the dark is LOUSY CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Do you really want your customer base trawling through hacker gossip sites for answers to their problems? 

I know that I, for one, have much less faith in using your products for business purposes after this experience.  Trust is an important component to using any tools.  While I love Google's tools, I'm really losing trust here. 

So.  Here is what I found out.  Keep in mind that all of this is from various hacker/IT wonk gossip sites.  Yes, I've been driving to poking through Silicon Valley's answer to TMZ.  Desperate times, etc.

Apparently, Google has been planning to roll out some new grand-unified chat platform service.  When in beta, it was called 'babel'.  (Well named, given how much it has destroyed my own chat experience.)  It is now called 'hangouts'.  Supposedly, it will make it easier to do chat across various social media platforms.  As far as I can tell, this new disastrous chat history and the forcing of everyone to record all chats, is part of this rollout.

Google has a conference called I/O.  That stands for Input/Output.  The conference is 5/15-5/17, ie, tomorrow.  This new chat doohickey is supposed to debut there. 

Presumably, our chats are broken because Google is rolling out this swank new service in time for this conference.  Or maybe this is the swank new service.  I have no idea, because Google isn't saying.  Like I said, I had to read hacker/IT gossip sites and then speculate/deduce. 

Near as I can tell based on other frantic comments on this forum and by talking with others elsewhere, this whole thing is either the worst designed upgrade ever or buggy as heck and basically breaks everything.  Also, hold onto your hats because the current gossip is that Google's new chat interface will be in bubble format.  My jaw dropped, because I use chat to work, not to play with my phone, and I prefer to be a grownup.  But perhaps the bubble shape appeals to others. 

So far, Google has not broken my entire history of chats, but since other users are reporting such retroactive breaks to their full history, I want to explain a way to rescue your chat history.  Whether you wish to do this is up to you.  I have thousands of chats, and I need them in a workable format for work purposes.  The new format (assuming it isn't a bug) renders my data literally unusable. 

There are several tutorials/guides to backing up or exporting your chat history.  However, most of the methods discussed on the web rely on various options that no longer exist.  A few appear to still work, but may violate TOS or will time out if you have more than a couple dozen chats with a particular person. 

Please be aware that the method I found requires a large amount (several gigs) of memory, a fast connection, etc.  You will not be able to download your tags, so it is far from ideal, isn't in the cloud, loses some of the formatting I like, etc.  But if, like me, the thought of having Google retro-actively break your entire chat history into individual sent emails made you literally scream in horror, it may be worth it.  As far as I could tell, this method was not in violation of TOS, but please read and research for yourself, etc.  Basically, what you will be doing is downloading chat logs via IMAP to your own computer.  e. 

Here is the tutorial from the Data Liberation Front.  Yes, it's a dopey YouTube video, but I did it yesterday and it worked for me. 

The downside is that it will download each of your NEW chat history logs in single lines, which is REALLY ANNOYING.  So, my 138 line chat from Saturday night is now 138 messages, basically.  Lovely.  Useless.  BLECH.  Etc.  But my old chat logs are now on my harddrive in a form I can still search, print, etc.  It also automatically downloaded my regular Gmail emails, which took up a nice big chunk of space as well, but at this point, it was nice to have that reassurance as well.

I also have another suggestion for those who, like me, have a few new format chats that they need to put into a decent format now.  Open the stupid log from the chat history.  Click the link to print all.  It's the only way to get Google to load that day's worth.  Sometimes it took me a couple tries to get it to load properly.

CTRL + A and the CTRL + C to copy everything.

Go to word, then right click.  When you see the paste options, there should be three paste options.  A funky looking paint brush, an arrow, and an A.  Click on A.  That will dump the entire chat log into your word doc, BUT it will strip all the formatting.  You should no longer have those annoying boxes in between chat lines, and you will also remove the horrible icons.  Unfortunately, it will write out the names and email addresses for each line, as well as the date/time.  I removed some of this by global find/replace.  Since it does remove ALL the formatting, you won't be able to remove things via font color (I had macros set up to delete time stamps because they're one single font color). 

These suggestions are far from perfect.  I mention them only in the hope that it will give others a way to save at least part of their data. 

It is my fervent hope that all of this was an accidental rollout of some kind, and that Google will revert back after the unified cries of horror and distress from its users.  Or at least allow us to 'opt out'.  SOMETHING.  Best of luck to the rest of you. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface feng.j.hong 5/14/13 10:51 AM
The changes to Chat are very bad. Does Google not see this? You should be able to treat each conversation with a person as a separate thread, organized by day / batch / etc. Now it's useless. Also, you should be able to reply / forward a chat thread as though it were an email. This is ridiculous. How do we surface this issue to the team? This issue should be made public. For SEO purposes, I'm going to say the exact issue with search phrases that people (like myself) would be using: Google Talk / Gmail / Gchat chat messages are now unable to be forwarded or replied to. Again, as of May 2013, I am unable to forward chats in Gmail and now the chat history scrolls to the newest message rather than showing older history. Hopefully Google search picks these words up, allowing people to find a forum for this issue. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laura Christensen 5/14/13 12:18 PM
@VomM - Just wanted to say thank you for giving us what info you've gleaned and providing us with a work-around!  It's not ideal--far from it, but at least it's something. Thanks!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 5/14/13 5:10 PM
Oh sweet baby jesus. Just when it seems things can't get much worse with this terrible layout... Bubble format? This is awful. Gchat was awesome to me for many reasons, one of which being that it didn't look like an ugly bubbly space-filled aol clone like yahoo. This stream of updates makes no sense. Gmail has always been streamlined, stylish and simple. Everything they are talking about now goes against those points entirely. It's like Google was bought out by another company and their whole M.O. has changed.

Honestly, Gchat was just really really great and now it sounds like there's one more shitty thing to deal with in life. I don't know what this is going to do to my work and collabs. I would seriously give my own blood to turn things back to normal. Please don't sell out and try to be like every other company's ugly UI, Google. Please.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christy Lynn Leach 5/14/13 5:22 PM
I don't typically do "me too" posts, but I really wanted to speak up and express my extreme dismay over the new chat "format."  Everything I wanted to say about it has already been said, so here I am, adding my voice to the crowd, and hoping that it's going to get fixed, or get turned into options, at least.  I imagine we'll see tomorrow.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface yti87 5/14/13 5:47 PM
This is terrible! And driving me insanely crazy!
I use Google chat a lot, and now all my sent messages are spammed by chats. I now have around 40,000+ sent messages and it is counting up. I cannot navigate through sent messages anymore. Is Google this dumb and ignorant? I liked Meebo.com chat features but these Google guys acquired them too and turned themselves into this terrible chat system. Moreover, they are not responding back and there is no useful discussion on Google about this matter. What The Hell!!? Google is acting like Govt.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 5/14/13 5:58 PM
Well.
I tried to call Google today, using the phone number provided on the 'contact' page.
There was literally no one to talk to.  I was told, via the machine, that there were no live people 'at this time'.   ...So I called a few hours later, thinking perhaps I'd called before their business hours.   Nope. 
I can't even leave a MESSAGE, I was just told to check their FAQ page and the discussion boards.
Well here I am at the discussion boards again, and Google still has not responded to the complaints and concerns.
I use google PRIMARY for Gchat.  I am now in the process of going through over 5 years of chats and copy-pasting it into word documents because I HATE this new set up SO MUCH.
The fact that it's going to be 'bubble' and how it's spamming my Sent box makes it worse.  That many people have reported it retroactivly 'hitting' all their older chats makes it HORRENDOUS.
I can not state enough how much I hate this new chat set-up.  We were given NO WARNING about this change, and we are given NO choice to opt-out or use the old system.  No, we have to use this new method.
Dear god, WHY?!  Google, if you want to do this at least give us the choice to NOT USE IT!!  IF this new system goes through I'm going to be forced to switch to a new email or at least a new chat system, it is THAT bad.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/14/13 6:04 PM
I'm actually completely flabbergasted that there has been NO response whatsoever from the Google Chat development team, despite the fact that there is such a monumental outcry against this change in the interface. Regardless of the impending release of Google Babel/Hangouts, shouldn't the team be much more responsive to its loyal users' wishes? Why is there such a deafening silence?!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface yti87 5/14/13 8:27 PM
Ok! So I have a kind of temporary solution for it.
Instead of using the Google chat interface try out imo.im, it has the option for saving chats and you can also import your chats if you have used meebo.com . Through imo.im, you can atleast keep the chats the way they're supposed to be. And you can also download chats later on. Or quit google and try hotmail/yahoo. Hope it helps! (Is there any other messaging service for saving chats?)

Why are not enough people complaining?
What I find weird about this whole chat scenario is that not enough people are complaining and there is not a proper discussion forum and when you search on google about this there is no proper info/blog. I just see bunch 2-30 people complaining about it here, though, I believe many are facing this issue. Now either they don't know how to complain or they are confused that it's their mistake in settings. I am damn sure that all the people who use Google accounts for chats and email together for personal and work use are very annoyed. Do you guys think that this is the right platform/place where we are trying to shout? If not, please let us know here. (Actually, this change is crazy!)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KateAf 5/14/13 8:37 PM
This appalling change is making me look for other email/chat services.

I am literally unable to use chat now as it clogs up my account with hundreds of separate one-line messages. I can't read the chats (WHAT was wrong with the old, text-only transcript? Not trendy enough?).

And Google is displaying some of the worst customer service I can remember. They do not deserve my loyalty.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 5/14/13 8:37 PM
As to why more people aren't complaining.  Probably because they can't find this forum TO complain.

I know it too a friend and I a good ten minutes or better trying to find any information of WTH happened before we found the forum. And let's be realistic, a good number of people would have given up on finding anything before that 10 minutes was up. The forum really isn't that easy to find for people who aren't used to looking for it.

I find it interesting that Google's Philosophy is basically being ignored on this complaint.  It really saddens me that they're being hypocritical about their. "Take care of the user and everything else will follow."  How is ignoring our complaint and not getting back to us in a TIMELY manner, taking care of the user?

I really hope that they get back to us soon about this. I really don't want to have to look for a new program to use for collaborative chats.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/14/13 9:18 PM
Hi Wildfirev, I don't believe anyone has raised the argument about not many complaints.  The current posting rate exceeds anything I have ever seen on the Chat Forum in the years I've been a TC here.

I sincerely believe what we are suffering through at the moment is a mistake not any intentional hypocrisy.  I also believe that somewhere in the GooglePlex, there are some pretty frantic engineers working out how to fix this mess.  They are not ignoring this situation.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface annoyedbychanges 5/14/13 10:45 PM
I have never posted a comment regarding any changes gmail has made and I've been using it from the very beginning when you needed an invitation. These changes are utterly horrible and as many people have pointed out useless. They totally defeat the purpose of chat logs. This is not an improvement, these are many step backwards in the wrong direction and I hope google has the wisdom to change them as soon as possible. The worst part is we can't even just copy and paste the chat logs somewhere else, doing something as simple as that is a pain in the neck too. Ridiculous! You have no idea how frustrating it is to see you ruin a good feature. Please change it back to the way it was, these so-called updates are garbage.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 5/15/13 5:49 AM
Yeah let's hope they are REALLY working to fix the mess and that this was REALLY an unintentional mistake! No forward button is totally unbelievable!
While they are (hopefully) working to correct things maybe somebody from Google could write a line to reassure us?????
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christy Lynn Leach 5/15/13 6:57 AM
What I've done for now is load up a chat, and hit the Print icon, then change the destination to my Google Drive, which saves it out as a pdf.  For the chats that have changed to the awful format, this still makes it ridiculously long, but at least it's all in one place, instead of needing to scroll up a dozen times.  And then for the chats that are "safe" so far, they're now saved in nice format.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/15/13 6:59 AM
Hello Keith,

I believed it was an error at first, too.  But the silence has gone on too long.  These forums, while well-intentioned, are not an appropriate way for a major software company to announce major rollouts.  Normally, I see rollouts discussed elsewhere, such as the help screen, their blogs, etc.  So far, Google has provided zero information.  I hope, I sincerely hope, that all of this was a mistake caused by a code rollout in anticipation of I/O and that it can be 'fixed'. 

But I don't know that.

The following below is directed directly at Google, which I hope is listening, but which I am beginning to believe is NOT. 

I am a public service manager (like customer service, but government) and if my employees had failed to respond to desperate queries about something this important for so many days, I'd, well, I'd have fired them. 

There are two important considerations in helping people:
1. Listening to their concerns and showing empathy and understanding of those concerns
2. Taking personal responsibility to fix those problems, whatever they might be

Google may or may not be fixing things, but they have not taken responsibility or listened or shown empathy.  This is the case whether they are fixing the code lines right now or not.  The people posting here, like myself, aren't just screaming about design flaws, but about the potential loss of day-to-day work tools.  If they roll out these changes retroactively, I will have lost five years worth of collaboration with a partner.  Five YEARS.  That's a lot of work! 

In public service, the general rule of thumb is that the more important a problem's effect on the customer/patron, the more you must take personal responsibility to fix it.  Medication screw ups should be handled by Important People personally, for example, as opposed to 'not enough paper in the printer to print directions to my favorite restaurant' (annoying but not a big deal). 

By remaining silent on such an impactful disaster, Google is losing trust and social capital.  It's bleeding out each time I open the chat out of habit, scream in frustration, and go hunting my clunky download folder in Thunderbird instead.  It bleeds out each time I read this thread and see that no one from Google has bothered to respond.  It seeps out each time I open Campfire, my new collaborative chat interface until Google unbreaks their (if they do).  I am not doing any of this screaming in frustration out of natural obstinacy, but because it's FIVE YEARS of collaborative work. 

My recommendation to Google's customer care/chat developers is this:
1. Make a loud public apology.  Do not apologize IF, apologize THAT.  I am sorry THAT we destroyed chat.  It was an error. We thought we knew what we were doing, but we were wrong.  Be HUMBLE.  Accept responsibility. NEVER: I am sorry IF this inconvenienced you.  This apology should go out to every single available social media/blog/homepage platform available for information dissemination, PERIOD. 
2. Explain what you are doing to correct this globally, and the supposed timeline. 
3.  Apologize individually to everyone who figured out how to contact you, and ask them what would make this better.  If they have a thousand sent emails, offer to compile/fix/whatever it is PERSONALLY.  I don't care what that would cost in terms of manpower or salaries or conference schedules.  If you break trust, there are ways to regain it.  But those ways are, yes, expensive. 
4. Admit that the silence was a mistake.  Clear up whether you have, in fact, been working all -nighters to fix this or whether this is staying in pl,ace until your conference is over or what. 
5. These apologizes, both public and personal, should come directly from the highest persons on the ladder.  Whoever that might be.  Head of chat development, I assume, but if you can get someone higher in the chain to do it, that would be ideal. 
6.  These actions will likely not make everyone happy.  You can't manage that, it's been too long, the stakes are too high.  But if do all of these things, sincerely and quickly, you will gain back a LOT of social capital.  Most people are forgiving of sincere mistakes that are admitted and corrected.  As a corollary, they are have very little patience with insincere canned 'we're sorry for the inconvience our new awesome widgit caused we know you'll love it if you get used to it' style of 'apology' that many modern companies employ. 

In the meantime, I'm sorry to say that I've been forced to use a competitor's chat.  That's first time in SIX YEARS.  FWIW. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kate Butler 5/15/13 10:45 AM
Let me join in the chorus of complete dismay over this misguided 'upgrade'. It is not an upgrade to make something totally useless.  There are a lot of things that could have been done to actually IMPROVE gchat, but this is definitely not it.  Of course, even posting this complaint was extremely difficult because Google also 'upgraded' Google Groups a few months ago and they still don't work right either.  So I can't say I hold out much hope that they're going to fix this problem they've created. FOR NO REASON.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Evie Nelson 5/15/13 11:38 AM
Adding on in agreement.  I really need to be able to label/forward my chats.  The changes are extremely damaging to my workflow, and if this becomes retroactive (it's not on my account yet), I'll lose a great many hours of work spent sorting and labeling my discussions.  Some warning, an export tool, anything would have been really nice if this is an intended and permanent change.  Like others, I'd gladly pay for the old system.  
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dornbosj 5/15/13 11:48 AM
I too have issues as I'm unable to forward conversations for my records or reply with an email. Further, my name in the transcript has been swapped for a random nickname that is applied to my google apps gmail account. Please fix!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jn1988 5/15/13 11:51 AM
Also adding on comment in agreement with all of these complaints! Hoping this will be fixed ASAP, my main issue is the ridiculous "sent" mailbox I now have. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maxine Calleja Urry 5/15/13 12:11 PM
This is terrible! So many years of collaborations and even just long conversations, and I'm going to lose them all before long. The new format is ridiculous!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/15/13 12:26 PM
Somewhat disconcerting:

From the article: "[Google] Talk, for example, was built to help enterprise users communicate better, Singhal says. 'The notion of creating something that’s social and that’s always available wasn’t the same charter as we set out with when we created Talk.' With Hangouts, Singhal says Google had to make the difficult decision to drop the very 'open' XMPP standard that it helped pioneer."

and: "Although Google Talk seemed like a good foundation for a messaging app, Google decided it needed to start from scratch. 'We had to essentially rebuild everything,' says Singhal."

So, with today's release of their new unified chat service, named Hangouts, Google seems to be putting a (dumbed-down?) social, rather than an efficient and business-like, emphasis on its communication services. I guess Google no longer sees the need for having an easy way to view entire chat transcripts for reference purposes. What a major mistake.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 5/15/13 12:34 PM
Uggghhh.

Some of the G+/Contact blocking issue threads have been updated with this link: https://support.google.com/hangouts/ about Hangouts, and what little info it gives about archiving your "Hangouts" seems to be consistent with this new UI being the status quo. I don't like it!!

Thanks to everyone who has been sleuthing out info about this since Google hasn't posted a clear explanation of how this represents (in their opinions, clearly not ours) an improvement from the old approach; it's been a relief these last few days to know I'm not the only one irritated by the change... Keeping my fingers crossed that the new features will at least become toggle-able.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 5/15/13 12:35 PM
...WONDERFUL.
So in order to make something that worked better on the phone, the entire chat system has been ruined, our sent message box is FLOODED and all of our previous options for organizing and going through chats are lost.
But hey, now it looks nice on a phone while you chat!  and isn't that all that matters?
...
Just give us an option to NOT USE THIS in gmail gchat at least!  I do not use my phone to chat, I do not use chat for 'casual' use and this is going to make it horrible to use! 
I switched to gmail FOR THE CHAT SYSTEM, and how it recorded and displayed the chats when I went to re-read them.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/15/13 12:41 PM
Wow.

I guess it was all intentional after all. 

Hey, who cares about all the ways you used to use our products?  We know you'll ADORE this new pointless service, especially since we're forcing this break on you whether you like it or not!  Silly users, what do they know.

I know I'm not going to use G-talk anymore, that's what I know.  Wow. 

For those following along, I would definitely download your old chats via Thunderbird or similar.  It looks like they have no intention of replying to us, since they're busy crowing about how great this new 'upgrade' is.  They obviously don't care what we think. 

The most effective collaborative chat I've found so far is Campfire.  It's free for limited users, but you need to pay have more users.  It doesn't show when others are typing, but it does have discrete and searchable chats. 

Does anyone have alternate suggestions?  I'd like chat logs that save a day's worth at a time, are searchable, and aren't too hard to copy/paste elsewhere.  Since Google obviously no longer supports their previous chat and is insistent on this new new phone-style system, I guess I am forced to move on.  Ideas?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maxine Calleja Urry 5/15/13 12:45 PM
Does anyone using iChat along with gmail have any reports on how it's working? Are the chats being saved the same way. I'm definitely going to have to migrate to a new system. Like so many of you, I only started using gmail for the no-frills chat. It was perfect.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Andreza Cristina 5/15/13 1:06 PM
I also hated it! And the fact that chats are now in "sent mail" makes it a pain to find the actual sent mail.

I also posted a complain here and don't know how to do it directly to Google. If you find something out, can you post it?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 5/15/13 1:11 PM
Until now, I have never envisioned a group of people storming the gates of the Googleplex. Riot. 
Perhaps I should change the nickname to GmailFoe.
This is about as close to cathartic as I can get at the moment. I shouldn't make jokes about brute force which could be misconstrued as legitimate threats. 
What next? Everyone organize a barrage of phone calls and emails to a particularly useful destination? Please, some of you managerial types with an instinct of gumption, hop to it. Tell us which number to call, which email to send to, which door to storm at which time. 

Again:
Please, bring back the original chat functions in gmail. A simple Labs button or Opt Out. Stop torturing us. Why would you force users to be so unhappy when you do not have to? Life provides for enough instability and disorganization on it's own which gmail is supposed to be helping with instead of making worse. 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 5/15/13 1:23 PM
GmailPal, good luck with the phone calls. It's all teleprompts and no help. I tried to get to the tech support. Pushed the button and  all I heard was "Thank you and Good-bye." And it hung up on me. Unless someone has an extension number or a name of someone we can talk to, phones are a no go. They're just as useless as chat is now.

It really saddens me that Google can't even do more than toss out a canned message meant to placitate us. If anything it's riled us up more. Especially since they haven't come back to try an explain what it is they intend to do to with Gtalk now.  I for one will be avoiding Hangout since I despise what it's done to the history function of Gtalk.

What I really want to know is WHY they have to be connected in the first place? Why can't Hangups, or Hangouts.. whatever this new social media crapshoot is, be separate from Gtalk? Why do the two need to affect each other?

I would really love to hear back from someone at Google as to what loyal Gtalk users can do now.
IF anyone finds a good chat system that records similar to Gtalk, please let us know.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 5/15/13 1:40 PM
One more update guys - I posted basically what we've been wondering (i.e. are we seriously stuck with this?) over on the Hangouts forum and got a reply from Dori to the effect of "yes" but that she's passing along our feedback: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/hangouts/messaging/i1Y9XvPLegk 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laura Christensen 5/15/13 1:42 PM
Programs like Adium, Trillian, Digsby and Pidgin all record chat transcripts locally.  I tried a few of them out and I'm sticking to Pidgin for now, since it does an okay job differentiating between who wrote what when without making me cross-eyed the way Trillian's and Digsby's do.  The other perk with these is you don't have to make new IM accounts elsewhere.  However, none are as good as the way Gmail/gchat used to be.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/15/13 1:52 PM
There's also an option to use Skype and install a program like G-Recorder Basic (http://g-recorder.com/free-skype-recorder-en/), which will send emails containing chat transcripts of Skype conversations to your Gmail account (whenever the Skype account is idle, I believe). Again, it's not as desirable/native as the old chat history interface, but it might be some sort of solution for some.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Myre B 5/15/13 2:00 PM
I'll second the programs. Pidgen's got relatively simple, clean-looking transcripts if you're on a PC. And if you're on a Mac, Adium's your best go for simplicity. It can be a bit difficult to search the records for specific things, but at least you can READ the transcripts.  I've been using Adium for years and preferred the gmail transcripts, but the Adium transcripts are far more desirable than this new format.

Thanks to whoever it was up there in the thread that suggested the Thunderbird fix.  My transcripts haven't been retroactively changed, yet, but I'm not looking forward to it happening.

Glad to know, too, that there's no planned fix right now. Means I can start putting my energies towards finding a different program and solution.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jn1988 5/15/13 5:09 PM
Thanks Jean! I also posted in that forum with a link for Dori to this discussion showing the 78 and counting complaints. Hope they do SOMETHING!! 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 5/15/13 5:13 PM
All I want is to have the option to use the 'old style' of chat's being recorded, with label options back
That's it, just give me an OPTION to have my chat history and sent-mail how they were before 'Hangout' - I'm sure that for those who chat on their phones this is a nice update, but please - PLEASE - just let me switch the History and Sent-mail back to how it was!
Keep your new style for the phones - I don't care, just don't force me to use this new style when I don't even USE phone-chat!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laura Christensen 5/15/13 5:45 PM
Suggestion for Google!

Since this update is largely for the increased use of mobile-users and mobile-features, why don't you make this new update for mobile-versions only?  Gmail and Gtalk already have the capability of sensing when you're on a mobile device, and there are already mobile-specific features, so make the mobile chat histories this new way and the non-mobile chat-histories the old way! 

If you're dead set on this update, I mean. There are options that would make everyone happy!  It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface wswsws 5/15/13 6:30 PM
Agree with everything that's already been said. Chat history used to be useful and organized, now it's a useless mess. 
Just to repeat: 
  • Chat history does not belong in the "sent" folder
  • A clean and simple transcript of the single chat session, with timestamps, is better than this infinite-scrolling garbage
  • The new format renders chat history in mobile (one email per line of chat?!) almost unreadable 
  • The ability to organize & forward chat sessions as emails is NEEDED, especially for business
I've been using Gmail chat every day, all day, for both business and personal conversations for 5 years now. 
This change has made it so useless to me that I'll have to find an alternative client. 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 5/15/13 9:49 PM
The old system was simple, easy to use, and did everything that I needed it to do.  The new system seems to be pretty much completely useless, as I've just discovered upon needing to copy a long chat into a Google Document.  I would like this new system killed with fire, please.  Nuclear fire would be preferable, but a sufficient quantity of the normal sort ought to do the job.  I have been forced to endure Google insanely trying to fix the unbroken before, but I think that this is probably the worst yet.
Also, if what I've been hearing about this being applied retroactively is true, someone currently working at Google had better be out of a job before the end of the month.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Hammie Box 5/16/13 12:37 AM
Agreed!  Chats should not be in Sent Mail!

This is the first time I've ever felt the need to comment.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jai ho 5/16/13 2:10 AM
is there an option that we can choose if we want to go back to the original chat history interface?  i don't like using the new one especially on android phone.  you have to open each line and i cannot even reply/forward and don't even see if it's an offline message or not.

please return in to previous chat history interface.

thank you.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Daniel Angello 5/16/13 9:13 AM
The Sent email clutter is a HUGE problem for me.  I chat with a lot of people, so my sent email box is now extremely cluttered. 

Now I'm trying to go through my sent emails to send some important emails, and it's taking me something like 4 times as long!

Even something as simple as a "Hide gchat transcripts" button would do the trick. Has no one found a workaround?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Josh Holloway 5/16/13 9:39 AM
+1 to the above - this is really really frustrating, and not just in a 'I hate change' way, but rather in that it is actually prohibiting me from doing my job.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface r7268 5/16/13 10:11 AM
Others have said that Google said yesterday "why" they do this.  I followed a link or two to no avail.  I'll take their word for it - chat/mail consistency, yeah!!!   But there MUST be a bug right now.  (FTR: I'm viewing on the web via Chrome, and I lean against Conversation View.)  Looking at either sent mail or chats "folder" and looking at any chat from this morning... it's just wrong.  They all have some "title" from a week ago, then they have a few lines from my chat-pal (the same two over and over) and then my latest entry.   ?????   (I see now the timestamp showing up after hovering, but there's already a time stamp heading for each chat entry, so I won't complain about the hovering issue.)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface r7268 5/16/13 10:15 AM
@Daniel Angello:  You're looking for a workaround.  Have you tried Conversation View: ON?  
That's about all I know of at this point. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Daniel Angello 5/16/13 10:18 AM
@r7268 Yeah, I already have that on. It doesn't really help if you talk to multiple people throughout the day, unfortunately.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface r7268 5/16/13 10:29 AM
Yeah (@Daniel Angello but 4-all too) it's just goofy right now.  I put it into convo mode and 
looked at a chat from 5/14.  It's got today stuff in it.  If they'll just get it back to "Chat with jbiel (72 lines)" type-o-thang (which already has weird enough splits), I won't care what folder it's in.  
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Yamila Shanshi 5/16/13 10:38 AM
I totally agree with everyone who posted here. I'm not sure if the guys at Google read this, but it's worth the try.
 
I just wonder why they ruined such a good product. For instance, I found it quite useful to be able to respond an offline chat by simply replying as an email. That was the main reason why I ended up using all the other 3rd party's products.
 
Besides, I got rather upset when the guys at Google decided to discontinue Google Reader  (I had to find an alternative to such good product, which didn't fulfill my expectations). And now I'm really angry because they are messing up with things that were perfect (for example, I don't like the new compose), and what they did with the chat is unacceptable.
 
I'm looking forward to reading an answer from Google's team. Please, revert back the changes you've done with the chat.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Cassie5squared 5/16/13 1:13 PM
I'm pretty furious about this "update" as well. I have over five years' worth of conversations with friends, including massive amounts of collaborative work, and thanks to this screwup of an update one of my friends has already refused point-blank to continue using the service. I'm likely to follow her soon if this isn't put back as it was. I need my old chatlogs back the way they were. The worst part? The logs now break up conversations, insofar as all of my comments are saved in one log and my friends' are in another log completley, so you only get HALF A CONVERSATION in each log. This is disgraceful. How are people supposed to work with this?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kristen Tabor 5/16/13 1:21 PM
They won't.  By now it has pretty well been shown that Google no longer actually cares about its end users, unless said end users really like G+, and even then I'm not entirely certain.

I've used five Google products heavily over the last two years: Search, Talk, Mail, Maps, and Reader.  They've "updated" and "upgraded" them all, and each time they've made my user experience worse.  With Search, it's the tools that are now hidden behind animated dropdown menus instead of the more useful sidebar.  With Talk, it's everything that people in this thread are upset about- the history, the clutter in Sent Mail, the removal of discrete conversations.  With Mail, *every* update to the interface and appearance has been horrible: the whitespace is blinding and the lack of color differentiation between conversations led me to greasemonkey and userscripts to get it back to bearable.  Maps is the only thing I'm still happy with, and I mostly use it from my phone rather than the web interface.  Reader, oh heaven help me, my poor Reader... they screwed up your interface horribly and now they're just killing you off completely. 

There have been outcries over each and every one of the updates, and Google has not given a single damn about them.  They do not care about the end user's experience.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Grünfeld 5/16/13 3:20 PM
Agree with all of the points here.

The Chats made so much more sense as self-contained conversations.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface proserpexa 5/16/13 6:52 PM
I hate the endless scrolling. I want to view my chats with timestamps. I use Gchat every single day, for most of my day. I agree with all the points and complaints made here, and I really, really hope there is a lab or opt-out available. Ugh.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface et8311 5/16/13 8:58 PM
I understand why the Sent Mail issue is annoying for many, but for me, the worse issue is the archive format.  It reminds me of the way text messages are archived on my phone, and it has been one reason why I used Google Chat rather than texting to communicate with people if I anticipated a lengthy conversation with valuable exchanges.  I will often have chat logs of over a thousand lines and they contain brainstorming and feedback for creative work -- material I want to save.  What makes it worse is that, once it is finally fully opened, a chat log can't even be cleanly copy+pasted into another program to make it easier to read.  To get a clean copy of a long chat that I had copy+pasted into Word, I had to do table-to-text conversion, search-and-replace for excessive whitespace characters, and search-and-replace for formatting (bolding user names)... and that still didn't retain the timestamps!   That was just to make this new format easily readable!  This Facebook/texting-styled format of archives is so hard to deal with that I no longer use Chat through my Gmail.  I have switched to Pidgin for my Google Talk account, strictly because of the clean archives.

I used to be an independent web programmer, and it is NOT difficult coding to generate a basic, no-frills HTML document (i.e. the style of the old archive format) from database records, even if the structure of those records changes (as it evidently has with this Hangouts merger).  I have no idea why someone at Google couldn't throw something together that created the old format as a toggle option in the Chat settings.  If there are users out there who want their chat transcripts to look like text message logs, they can leave it as-is.  Just please don't force this on those of us who regard it as a serious loss of productivity and/or functionality because of the fact that we don't use Chat for throwaway social text messaging.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Mercy Wheeler 5/16/13 9:05 PM
This is the worst update I've ever had with Google. I have 3000+ conversations DAILY, and having each stupid line saved REPEATEDLY is not making me happy. The amount of saving is literally crashing my gmail. This is horrible. If Google's not careful they're going to lose a HUGE amount of users.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Emma Jones 5/17/13 6:20 AM
I agree with most of whats been written here. This update/change is not going down well.

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Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dave Oberlander 5/17/13 8:09 AM
I agree with everyone here as well.  I prefer having and knowing the number of lines that were in each chat conversation.  And I do not want the chat messages mixed in with my e-mail. So to remove the inbox tag, I have to either make a filter to have them skip the inbox, OR scroll and load and scroll and load until the top of the chat, where I can click on the x to remove the inbox tag. The loading feature is extremely inconvenient.  I was pretty happy with it starting at the top of the conversation and having the option with a new window to see the whole transcript.  Please allow us an option to adjust it so it was the same how it was before.  (without the loading, or the ability to see the whole transcript at least and showing the chat lines)
Rebecca Edney 5/17/13 10:28 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dave Oberlander 5/17/13 12:11 PM
UPDATE: The filtering method to filter offline messages to skip from getting the INBOX tag, no longer works either.  This is due to Google deciding to bypass a standardized subject such as "Chat with..." and use the last useless line in the chat instead.
I also found out that even though you select a certain "portion (since they're not divided by days)" of your chat history, when you scroll up or down far enough it loads data continuously.  This also means that you no longer have any real idea of when any of your chat messages (in your chat history folder) start and end. 
I'm a huge Google supporter, but I'm extremely unhappy with the adjustments that have been made!  I'm really hoping that it is changed back, or there is more adjustments to standardize this crap and sort/view our conversations better.  That along with making Google Messenger use GChat instead of it's own separate protocols where nothing can be saved. 



On Friday, May 17, 2013 10:09:30 AM UTC-5, Dave Oberlander wrote:
I agree with everyone here as well.  I prefer having and knowing the number of lines that were in each chat conversation.  And I do not want the chat messages mixed in with my e-mail. So to remove the inbox tag, I have to either make a filter to have them skip the inbox, OR scroll and load and scroll and load until the top of the chat, where I can click on the x to remove the inbox tag. The loading feature is extremely inconvenient.  I was pretty happy with it starting at the top of the conversation and having the option with a new window to see the whole transcript.  Please allow us an option to adjust it so it was the same how it was before.  (without the loading, or the ability to see the whole transcript at least and showing the chat lines)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jag S 5/17/13 4:52 PM
This new Gchat display for messages is horrible. It goes back many steps in terms of UX/UI experience and functionality. Particularly, I lost the following functionality:

- Being able to quickly see timestamps for each message (Now I must hover over with a mouse to see this, very frustrating). 
- Chat logs stored in sent items totally messes with my workflow. I can no longer quickly see all e-mails I have sent (Combined with conversation view off, each individual message is a separate line in sent items - How ridiculous is that? Who would have thought this could be remotely useful in this scenario)? 

Plus everything else everyone here has mentioned regarding inability to forward messages. This isn't just a "learning curve" type scenario where people complain for a few weeks and deal with it. This is an actual deficiency in the product.

Please fix this, immediately. 

Jag
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 5/17/13 5:03 PM
Hey all - 

Just a heads up, we did get a reply from Dori over in the thread I posted on the Hangouts forum (https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/hangouts/messaging/i1Y9XvPLegk) indicating that at least the Sent Mail thing will be reverted. She said: 

I wanted to provide you all with an update: 

I've let the team know about this issue and all of your feedback. They've acknowledged the issue and will be changing the behavior such that in the future chat messages that you send will no longer show under the Sent Mail label. 

Please note that this change will be rolling out over the next few weeks. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and apologies for any inconvenience. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/17/13 5:15 PM
On Saturday, May 18, 2013 5:11:10 AM UTC+10, Dave Oberlander wrote:
UPDATE: The filtering method to filter offline messages to skip from getting the INBOX tag, no longer works either.  This is due to Google deciding to bypass a standardized subject such as "Chat with..." and use the last useless line in the chat instead.

Dave, use the term is:chat in the Has the words clause.  You will get a warning message, but ignore it.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 5/17/13 5:25 PM
Jean W,
Thank you for letting us know about this!
I'm glad the Sent Mail issue will be cleared up, but do you know if the manner in which the saved chats will also be reverted or are we stuck with this no layout with no option to opt-out/toggle?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface imkes60 5/18/13 10:46 AM
I have the same sort problems with the new lay-out as the posters have mentioned.

But since the new lay-out without the timestamps, gmail on my Android phone also doesn't show any timestamp in the chat history. Probably because it is an old version of gmail (version 130), where hover isn't an option.
Having to use a mouse to see some normal data is bad, but having no data at all is worse.

After may 16th it became even more terrible, chats since then won't show up in gmail on my Android phone at all. I can see them on my pc, using Firefox though.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface kd7dvd 5/18/13 3:25 PM
Thank you, DSingh1699 for your summation of the problem.  I just came off a highly productive brainstorming session with a colleague and I was charged to get to work.  She asked me to send her the chat log to another email account so she could get to work, too.  15 minutes later I was able to get something together for her, but now I'm too mad to work.

An unproductive me is an unhappy me, and a me who is a drag on the economy.

Google, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember the Principle of Least Surprise--the system should operate in the fashion that surprises the user the least.

Every time a user mumbles "WTF?" an angel loses its wings, a demon grows new horns, and a kitten dies.

SAVE THE KITTIES!  REVERT TO PREVIOUS CHAT BEHAVIOR!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 5/18/13 5:09 PM
Just confirming that, due to this absurdity of not having the chat history in gmail that worked perfectly, I am resorting to multiple fragmented tabs, browsers and programs for browser based chat and Skype (obviously owned by Microsoft... I bet you love that, Googleplex).

The gmail chat change is a major hassle to productivity. This has publicly been purported to be "an upgragde to fix fragmentation"; however, in reality, it is causing me and other users to be more fragmented in our communication modalities which could in theory inspire the cessation of gmail altogether if somebody does what you did: browser-based email and chat organized perfectly with great search ability. You all seem to underestimate that your combination of chat + gmail was far better than any alternative just as it was; and, now you have ruined it.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface graeme1976 5/19/13 8:04 PM
Yes it is horrendous.  The issue is what led me to this page and your post.  For the love of God somebody do something.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lisabfas 5/20/13 9:01 AM
Same problem.  This new Chat History is a mess.   Hope this gets resolved quickly.    I also wish Google would fix existing problems before creating new ones.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Sincerely-Disappointed 5/20/13 11:27 AM
The new chat interface is absolutely absurd. Why is each line saved an entire message?  My sent mail box is cluttered with chat messages, which makes it a joke to navigate through sent mail.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface graeme1976 5/20/13 12:41 PM
This is the very worst part is that sent mailbox is crippled.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 5/20/13 2:12 PM
I agree with the vast majority that the new interface drastically impairs functionality, productivity, and I can't believe I've just spent 2 hours trying to figure out what is wrong with my Chat! To have all the individual lines appear in my Sent mail is a disaster. And unlike most people on this forum, I can't even get to the point of being able to scroll through to see the entire chat. For example, a 20-line exchange I had the other day with a co-workier only shows my initial Chat question to her, over and over and over and over. Not one of the 20 Chat lines in either my Sent mail or Chat label shows any of her responses to me! That is a lot of lost data and information! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE allow us to restore the old Chat!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Simone T. Cooper 5/21/13 8:28 AM
This is a terrible change for me. I use the chats to co-author documents, often in sessions using hundreds of lines and exchanges. They are now almost impossible to copy and convert into documents.

I also want to forward the chats to people who weren't involved, but the new format doesn't allow it.

Please help!

Also, does anyone here know an alternative chat interface that doesn't have this behavior? In my case, waiting on this change is time sensitive. I use (used) this product every day, and each of those days is now accompanied by a colossal waste of time.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/21/13 9:15 AM
Hello Simone and others.

I wanted to share my new system for collaborative work chats.  It is far from perfect, but it works much much better than Google's new disastrous system.  As I mentioned earlier, I was a devoted G-chat fan and user since 2006 or 2007.  I'm still really sad about letting gmail chat go, but apparently Google isn't sad to lose me, so I'm stuck finding my own way. 

I tried a bunch of different products/chat systems, including Pidgin, Microsoft's new email/chat, imu, etc.

Here is what worked for me:

1. To archive old chats in case Google retroactively rolls out the stupid system to older chats (this has happened to some users, and Google still refuses to say whether/if/when they might do it to us all):  Data Liberation Tutorial.  You will not have your labels, but you WILL have your old pre-disaster chats in a readable, emailable format. 

2.  To use, somewhat, chats that got recorded in the new stupid system.  You will need a newish version of Word to do this, I'm afraid.  Go to the chat.  Click "print" (SO STUPID).  Wait until the durn thing opens.  CTL + A.  CTRL + C.  Go to Word and a new document.  RIGHT CLICK.  There should be several paste options.  Choose the one that strips formatting and just pastes in text.  It should be a large A.  This will dump the chat into your word doc with just names, time stamps, and the conversation.  It will (huzzah!) remove the idiotic tables, icons, and some of the strange spacing muck.  IMPORTANT: It also removes the useful formatting like bolding and making time stamps different colors.  But, it's readable.  And then, if you want, you can CTRL + A, CTRL + C, and then dump THAT into an email or a Google doc or whatever.  It's a pain, but if it's mission critical, it may be worth it. 

3.  To create searchable, collaborative chats.  I have tried out several different work-focused chat systems, including Pidgin, imu (I think that's the name), Hip Chat, Microsoft's integrated email/chat, etc.  The one that works best for me is Campfire.  It is run by the same people who do Basecamp.  Here is the downside: It is a for pay service.  Sucks, I know.  There is a 30 day free trial, and somewhere, I found a link to use it at super extra basic for free, but I use it too much to stay at that level.  Overall, I'm so happy to have some workable business chat system, I'm freaking HAPPY to pay.  You can insert documents to share (a la Google docs), you can share photos, you can do conference calling, etc.  It is easy to set up rooms.  Colleagues do NOT need to join/pay for Campfire to chat with you.  I bought a Campfire account, and then I just invited my colleagues to chat.  I have control over the rooms, but I have been able to grant my colleagues the access/permissions to do what they need to do (search transcripts too, make their own rooms, etc). I can't email the chats (although admittedly, I haven't read ALL their help documentation yet), but it's so easy to access the transcripts, I just copy the chat and paste it into my email program. It is working quite well. 

The only downside I have found to Campfire is that you cannot tell when other people are typing.  That took a bit of getting used to, but it is no problem. 

Hipchat will tell you if they're typing/active, but I found their interface deeply annoying.  Please be aware that I am judging these different services based on a business use type perspective.  IE, I don't care about emoticons or that kind of stuff.  I'm in it for ease of searchability, holding lots of data/docs, decent security, etc. 

I hope some of this is helpful to others. 

If someone else has found an easy to use email system that integrates business-style chats, great transcripts, doc sharing, etc without all the bugs/lost functionality, do share! 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface gtalkuser24 5/21/13 10:47 AM
The new google chat history interface is very useless. I totally agree with all the above posts and want Google to go back to the old chat history interface which made things look neat.
This chat history format was the exact reason why I quit using facebook chats and completely relied on gtalk for everything. Hope this issue is taken seriously and some action is taken asap. There have been posts about this issue since the first week of May and we ALL are eagerly waiting for some action !
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Ac a 5/21/13 11:39 AM
I agree with all of you! I really wish they roll back to the old interface.




Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/22/13 5:48 AM
Simone, there is a vastly better way to co-author documents.  Create your documents on Google Drive - you can text chat within the documents and all collaborators can directly edit the documents and add comments.  Removes the need for copy/paste entirely.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 5/22/13 6:05 AM
No, it really doesn't supplant the need for chats in a collaborative work flow.  Nor is it 'vastly superior'.

Look, I get that you'd like to be helpful, but saying, Hey use Google Docs instead! as if what people need is to just find the right alternate Google product to chat is not actually that helpful. 

I have Google Docs.  I use Google docs.  It DOES NOT REPLACE COLLABORATIVE WORK CHATS. 

Always assume your users know why they are doing what they're doing.  Always!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/22/13 6:11 AM
VomM, my reply was addressed to Simone who is authoring documents and I made that clear.  Please don't assume your application is everybody else's application.  I can assure you that, for the application Simone described, Google Docs IS vastly superior than trying to compose text in Chats.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laurea 5/22/13 6:55 AM
KeithR, speaking as someone who has tried to author group documents in Google Docs and chat - Google Docs is NOT superior in all cases. It does pretty well for creating a single document, but if you need to talk about what changes you're making, and you want to spend more effort on talking than on editing within the document, Google Docs doesn't work as well as chat. The chat interface on Google Docs is really not up to serious conversation, and it has caused serious communication problems when I've needed to use it.

Both Google Docs and Chat have uses in creating text, but they work for VERY different types of text creation. Documenting the brainstorming process is often as crucial as having the final product. Google Docs is just not equipped to handle the sort of process that Chat was perfect for. Granted, I don't know what Simone's process is either, so my response is based on my own background and not hers. I am familiar with Google Docs and Chat, and knowing both products I can say that there are document creation needs that Google Docs doesn't meet. A blanket statement that Google Docs is better really isn't helpful to me - if it were better, I'd already be using it.

While I hardly mean to be argumentative, I'd just like to point out that from what I've seen as I follow these complaints, a lot of people seem to be having problems because Google made this change assuming they knew how people used their products, without understanding the full range of things people were doing. Assuming that document creation must be happening in a particular way and that it is automatically suited to Google Docs is just the sort of assumption that has been causing a lot of frustration.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/22/13 4:59 PM
Hi Laurea, thank you for your input.  Much more helpful than that by VomM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Simone T. Cooper 5/22/13 5:27 PM
Thanks all of you, actually, for your many ideas. I'm trying several things. Pidgin stores G-chat histories in a reasonable way, but is not as easily searchable or forwardable as the old formatting in Google Chat. Sadly, Google docs, which we actually use for other applications, doesn't do quite what I want because I need to store the chats, the doc change suggestions, and versions. 

I'm looking forward to seeing if Google Chat ends up either reverting or adding back in some of its lost functionality. Until then, I'm exploring other options.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface graeme1976 5/22/13 7:22 PM
By far the worst aspect of this is what it has done to my saved messages. I would gladly forgo chat histories if I could just have my saved messages mailbox back.

I could not find an option to turn off archiving chats.  I did recall this used to be a user configurable option.  Can anyone comment?  Please please help!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface graeme1976 5/22/13 7:26 PM
Followup:  The option to turn off chat archiving has been eliminated.  Source:  http://support.google.com/chat/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=161925  

We've made a change to the Google Chat and Google Talk chat history settings. You can turn individual chats off the record, but you'll no longer have the option to turn chat history off for all of your chats. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Zorita Dorsey 5/23/13 10:29 AM
So, let me get this straight because, like many I see on this thread, I thought I made some type of user error or some type of bug took over... 

If I search for someone that I associate with in my gmail search box - let's say "jennifer kingly" because I need to find an email that I sent to her a few months ago and I wouldn't mind scrolling a couple of pages to find the right one - I didn't know the exact date or even topic i just know there was an email sent and our general communication is chat so, that shouldn't be too difficult to find except in my search response I get every. single. individual. line. of. text. from. every. chat. that. we. have. had. in. the. last. five. months. and we chat every day. Our May 17 chat alone took up 3 pages of search results. I gave up searching for it since I apparently don't even know how to search for an email in gmail anymore. wtf?!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laura Christensen 5/23/13 1:21 PM
I second Laurea's comments on the usefulness of Gchat vs. Gdocs and would like to add that many times, Gdocs are unavailable to collaborators who have lower-quality Internet connections, such as those collaborators I work with in different parts of the world or on different devices.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/23/13 5:31 PM
Hi Zorita, the new chat history works better if you turn on Gmail's Conversation View.  Sounds as though you have it turned off.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface graeme1976 5/23/13 7:01 PM
If by "works better" you mean "does not render your sent messages unusable" then yes I suppose you are right about that.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 5/23/13 7:47 PM
Yes, sincerely, please, more incessant displeasure. This sucks. Bring back the old chat. I don't care if we need to repeat this every day. Bring. It. Back.
Stop the apologetics. Really. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Gwen Hite 5/24/13 5:18 PM
I totally agree with you!  It's quite annoying and I'm hoping many others feel the same way.  Also, I really wish they'd bring back the old webcam gmail ability instead of the downloadable gmail hangout.  Neither myself, or my friend want to have to download anything to be able to chat in 'person'.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/24/13 5:24 PM
Hi Gwen, you have always needed to install a plugin to use voice or video chats with Gmail.  There is no need to download anything to use text chat.  Nothing has changed there.
The only download required for text chat is if you choose to use the Chrome extension (or the very old Google Talk program), but neither of those are part of Gmail.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface John DuPree 5/24/13 6:14 PM
Can someone instruct me on how to create a filter to this?
I want to remove my hangouts and chat history (since May 10) from my "Sent" label or box.
However, I want to keep a record of everything, even if it's difficult to peruse until google fixes this HUGE problem.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface begench87 5/24/13 10:09 PM
@John Dupee
you can use search query: "is:sent -is:chat"
also you can create quick links with this query to always access a clean sent emails
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/24/13 10:15 PM
On Saturday, May 25, 2013 11:14:50 AM UTC+10, John DuPree wrote:
Can someone instruct me on how to create a filter to this? 
I want to remove my hangouts and chat history (since May 10) from my "Sent" label or box.

It's not possible.  The Sent mail is not a label, but a system view that lists every message that has been sent.  However, chats were not meant to appear there and a fix is in process of roll-out.  Your chats should disappear from your Sent mail all by themselves over the next day or two.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface mljkelly 5/25/13 3:54 AM
"
Create your documents on Google Drive - you can text chat within the documents and all collaborators can directly edit the documents and add comments.  Removes the need for copy/paste entirely."

None of the chats within the document themselves are saved.  Every time I close my computer, I lose the chat, which renders it useless.  Is there a way to keep the chat from clearing out?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/25/13 4:35 AM
If the comment stream is an important part of your process, you could place comments in the document instead of chatting (or copy the chats into comments).  For a thorough understanding of the use of Docs, please use the Drive Help Centre.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface mljkelly 5/25/13 4:42 AM
Why would you have a feature in Docs that would render itself useless, which a chat function that deletes itself is?  As it stands now, you can't use gchat to keep a useful or usable history of a chat, nor can you use the one in the document itself.  Why even have chat at all, then? 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/25/13 5:03 AM
Do you record all your phone calls?  Do you keep every text message you send or receive?
A chat is a chat - you talk to each other to decide what to record in the document.  If you want to make a permanent record of your brilliant idea, insert it as a comment.
However, here is not the place to debate the features of Google Drive, please post your suggestions on the Drive Forum.

If you turn on conversation view in Gmail, the chat history is quite useful.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Prem Prabhanshu 5/25/13 5:56 AM
Is there any way we can revert back to old chat history....it is the first major change by Google which I have encountered where the company has failed inch by inch. And since u people must not have been tired of reading the flaws, here it goes again:

1. Why are chats saved under "Sent Mail"??
2. Why no number of words in subject?
3. Initially each chat session was saved separately which isn't the case now, so we can't delete a small session.
4. Why have you guys removed forward chat button? Please give us one 'good' reason for that.

Please let us know by when will be able to use old chat history, or at least notify whether these changes will never be reverted back so that we start finding out new chat medium.

Regards,
A frustrated user
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/25/13 4:35 PM
On Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:56:59 PM UTC+10, Prem Prabhanshu wrote:
Is there any way we can revert back to old chat history....it is the first major change by Google which I have encountered where the company has failed inch by inch.
Yes, click on your name at the top of the Hangouts pane, then select Revert to old chat.
 
And since u people must not have been tired of reading the flaws, here it goes again:

1. Why are chats saved under "Sent Mail"??
This has been acknowledged as a bug/mistake and a fix is rolling out.  The Sent mail view should clear up in the next day or so. 

I have no answer for the rest...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 5/26/13 10:43 AM


El sábado, 25 de mayo de 2013 18:35:32 UTC-5, KeithR escribió:

1. Why are chats saved under "Sent Mail"??
This has been acknowledged as a bug/mistake and a fix is rolling out.  The Sent mail view should clear up in the next day or so. 

Will this also apply for Chats stored as a single line (from May 11 to May 13, I think)?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 5/26/13 2:07 PM
Is there any way we can revert back to old chat history....it is the first major change by Google which I have encountered where the company has failed inch by inch.
Yes, click on your name at the top of the Hangouts pane, then select Revert to old chat.

OH, you mean we can now revert to old chat?? so their whole new stupid interface can be ignored? I can't see where to do that: what do you mean by the top of the "hangouts pane"?
It seems surprising that they have suddenly agreed to listen to everyone and offer that option: i expect many people would have been relieved on here...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Cassie5squared 5/26/13 2:10 PM
Yeah, I would love the old version back, but it's doesn't see to be an available option in regular, PC gmail.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 5/26/13 2:18 PM
Vin sands

Where did you hear that they agreed to listen to everyone and offer the option? I'd like to read what they said for myself.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christy Lynn Leach 5/26/13 2:19 PM
I went digging around, and basically they're saying that if you switched to the new Hangouts format, you can switch back.  It doesn't fix the way a saved chat is displayed.  It still starts at the bottom, has to load three or so messages at at ime as you scroll up, etc.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 5/26/13 2:38 PM
@ Wildfirev

This was the message from KeithR sent at 1:35 which replied to another user:



Is there any way we can revert back to old chat history....it is the first major change by Google which I have encountered where the company has failed inch by inch.
Yes, click on your name at the top of the Hangouts pane, then select Revert to old chat.

Maybe KeithR can explain?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 5/26/13 2:42 PM
http://kimbeasley.com/2013/05/18/revert-gmail-chat/
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 5/26/13 2:53 PM
OH ok I get it now.
Now Gmail is offering this new Hangouts options! I tried it but it's even worse! Now the conversations will be displayed in bubble format with picture.
It's even more ridiculous!!

And the only option that's offered is that you can go back to where we were just now before the "New hangouts" bubble format. So we are still in the same mess! Did nobody at Google really realize that the impossibility to forward chats and have the chat archives in usable format is really making them lose a lot of users?? What the hell is wrong with the develoment team?????
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 5/26/13 4:44 PM
Oh christ. This is all playing with my emotions! I got so excited to see that someone was talking about an option to revert this but couldn't find that option... apparently I'm not alone. And bubble format can go eat a d**k. I'm not twelve. I like for things to look efficient, not silly. I'm pretty disappointed at this long, inept silence from Google staff. I've always had such faith in them, even though they steal my information with Chrome (yet another product I had to stop using, after updates). Things are just going downhill.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/27/13 3:14 AM
Hi Auryana, how much of this thread did you read?  Did you get to my post yesterday (just a few back up form here)?
It reads in part:
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface wswsws 5/27/13 3:19 AM
Hey KeithR, just gotta point out that that's how to revert back to old chat window format, not how to "revert back to old chat history", which is what you've quoted. Nothing can get the old chat history format back at the moment.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 5/27/13 3:58 AM
Yes indeed!
KeithR, what everybody is freaking out about is the new chat HISTORY, the inability to forward it, etc. If Google has now introduced something even worse (the new hangout in bubble format), I guess it's at least reassuring that this extra silliness is optional, but it really doesn't solve anything about Chat history!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/27/13 4:19 AM
Oops! Me bad!  Too many questions - driving me batty.
However, it's still the right answer for Auryana's question.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 5/27/13 9:58 AM
Can you tell me if there is, or WILL BE, a way to convert the chat HISTORY back to it's pre-Hangout settings?
I hate having to click on the previous days chat in the chat folder to get to the start of the chat I want.  I want to be able to LABEL and forward my chats again, I want the display method of the pictures and mouse-over-for-time gone.
This might work for those who only occasionly use chat, or have short chats, but this is impossible for the work I do with multiple people and even though it annoyed me SLIGHTLY I'd prefer going back to the 'click to open full chat/file' to the LOADING.
PLEASE, give us an option to revert to the old chat HISTORY as you have given us the option to NOT have the bubble format when chatting- that is all I want
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 5/27/13 11:48 AM
KeithR I've been following this discussion since my original post pages back. And no, it's not the answer to my question, because I, like everyone else here, am livid about how horrid the chat HISTORY is, not the chat appearance. I remarked that apparently someone else tried what you mentioned and now her chat is all bubble format and stupid so I'm not going to risk it. Besides, that's irrelevant, because so far there is no opt out that Google has been thoughtful enough to offer us in regards to this whole inconsiderate Hangouts/Chat mashup that has rendered our chat organization impotent.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/28/13 2:10 AM
OK, but your post spounded like you wanted to get away from the "bubble format" and that was what I was offerring you.
Actually the change to history happened a few days before the Hangouts roll out - the two are not associated.  Chat history works better if you turn Gmail's conversation view on.  I have it on and my chat histories look pretty much the same as always.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 5/28/13 2:21 AM
I've never turned Conversation View off, and I think that the old and new history formats look and behave _very_ differently.  The new format is so unusable that a friend of mine actually wrote a program to import the logs to to reformat them.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 5/28/13 4:45 AM
...I have never turned conversation view OFF but the new history is NOTHING like the old one.  Labels are gone, I click and am sent to the END of a chat, the messages all connect and constantly 'load', my only options are to 'open hangouts' and 'delete conversation history'... which deletes ALL the chats I've had with that person from the 'update' till that point.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 5/28/13 7:28 AM
On Tuesday, May 28, 2013 4:10:04 AM UTC-5, KeithR wrote:
OK, but your post spounded like you wanted to get away from the "bubble format" and that was what I was offerring you.
Actually the change to history happened a few days before the Hangouts roll out - the two are not associated.  Chat history works better if you turn Gmail's conversation view on.  I have it on and my chat histories look pretty much the same as always.

Where is that option? I can't seem to find it.


On Tuesday, May 28, 2013 4:21:19 AM UTC-5, Reese8 wrote:
I've never turned Conversation View off, and I think that the old and new history formats look and behave _very_ differently.  The new format is so unusable that a friend of mine actually wrote a program to import the logs to to reformat them.
 
Any chance he could share it with the world?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/28/13 7:37 AM
Just to let everyone know, it IS possible to label each date/time-separated segment of the chat conversation history -- one just has to drag the desired label(s) to a specific date/time separation line; the label(s) will then fall into place next to the star.

This, however, does not do much to satisfactorily ameliorate the numerous other problems with the new chat history interface that I and many others have enumerated in this thread.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 5/28/13 8:07 AM
This is not a solution for me. I despise conversation view in my email and am not going to turn it on just to be able to read my chat history. We need a real solution!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 5/28/13 8:09 AM
Oops, my comment was in regard to KeithR's solution about using conversation view, not DSingh1699's post.....I should have been clearer.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 5/28/13 10:32 AM
I use chat mostly for communication with friends and family - not for work - but I too depend on the chat history as a way to remember what was said and when, and the new history format is horrible for this. I know searchability has been mentioned but I wanted to throw in another anecdotal vote for this as a huge issue with the new format. 

So here's the anecdote: My friend Beth told me on Friday that she was going to be visiting a friend's parents' house this weekend, and I wanted to ask her today how that went but forgot the details of her plans (whose parents, what day, etc.). In the old chat history I would have searched for the words "Beth" and "parents", could pull up a discrete chat from the day she said that, ctrl+F for "parents" and get to the part of the chat where she told me about this, and then ask her "how was sarah's parents' house on Sunday?". With the new chat history I can still search gmail (but only on my PC, not on a mobile device) for those keywords and get to the correct day, but only the end of our chat that day is loaded so ctrl+F doesn't work until I scroll up to load segments of chat from earlier in the day. We apparently chatted a lot that day so I had to scroll up and load 5 additional "earlier chat" segments before I could find that part of the chat. This is doable, but it's so clunky and inefficient! And needlessly so because the old format worked perfectly. I don't see any added value in the new format at all. [Also, this example was a rather trivial social exchange but you can imagine the folks in this thread who use chat to communicate with coworkers are having the same problem only with information that actually matters, and they are wasting work time to search through their chat histories.] 

So Keith, the histories may be similar aesthetically, but I wanted to point out that this functionality is one of many that are lost with the new format. What new functionalities are we supposed to gain from the new format? Seriously, are there people who are finding the new format to be easier to work with for any reason at all? This would help me understand and rationalize the changes to myself (i.e. even if I hate the change, there are XYZ advantages to it that other people are enjoying).

Also, the Chat history has disappeared entirely on mobile devices. I've been posting about this in the hangouts forum (here - warning, I did compliment the Hangouts app, which I'm actually happy with: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/hangouts/android-mobile/Qkq6CVRZGhc) and finally got a response which is that for the time being - and perhaps forever - the only way to view chat history on a mobile device is to open the Hangouts app and scroll up.  Seriously?! Open the app and scroll up?! Again, how is this aspect of the new system anything but deleterious? If there's some added functionality here that Google's really excited about and I'm overlooking, someone please enlighten me.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 5/28/13 12:20 PM
What new might I be able to mention about how much the original chat history needs to be restored? 
Ah, yes, New Gmail Recruits. 

In the past, I could easily recruit people into Gmail because of how exceptionally efficient and organized the chat and chat history were in one centralized and portable browser-based location. Now, when I email people whom still have hotmail, yahoo and other accounts, I have no solid way to get them to sign up with Gmail and actually enjoy it enough to want to keep it. As soon as they experience the disorienting new chat and history interface, they are overwhelmed with the inefficiency and want nothing to do with it. Previously, recruiting people into gmail was easy because it was always a pleasant surprise instead of a disorienting mess with fancy looks. Now, they simply say: Meh, no thanks, this just makes my head spin, I'll keep my email and use something else for chat. 

It is so blatantly obvious how much the original chat history is better. Thus, it seems to me that some mind boggling ego might be getting in the way of fixing this. Gmail Team & Hangouts Team: Humble yourselves, please. Just give an option to revert to the original. 

What I have been doing now to replicate some sort of similar efficiency to the original chat history is to use pidgin (which requires a download and thus is not very portable, and is at times awkward to use in tandem with gmail since the log is not kept with pidgin if you even type 1 line into the gmail chat window). At the end of the chat, the history can be accessed through pidgin and I can then start an email thread in conversation view to paste the history in a thread with a subject for the party I chat with. I can then sort the history email under a new chats label which says something like "FUGmailUpdate" so that I can compensate for how the actual Chat label is so inefficient that is  almost 100% worthless (as people other than me have also said redundantly). 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 5/28/13 4:25 PM
I'll ask.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 5/28/13 4:54 PM
Sorry that it's a bit messy; this wasn't originally intended for public release.

"Good suggestion. Please direct your friend here:
http://ferazelhosting.net/~bryce/chattyhooves.txt

(should rename it to chattyhooves.py)
You can forward them the documentation / instructions I sent as well."
"How to install:
0. Have a *nix machine or cygwin and python (a reasonably modern mac qualifies)
1. Download the attachment
2. Use the terminal to go to the directory into which you downloaded chattyhooves.py
3. $ chmod a+x chattyhooves.py
4. $ sudo cp chattyhooves.py /usr/local/bin/

How to verify it works:
1. Open a new terminal window in a folder not containing chattyhooves.py
2. $ chattyhooves.py
You should see something like this this:
Myia:~ user$ chattyhooves.py
<html><body>
</html></body>
Myia:~ user$


How to use:
1. Go to the google chat log.
2. Click the printer icon.
3. Cancel the print dialog when it comes up. Save the html file to your drive. note from *: save as complete web page, then discard images
4. If the chat is broken into multiple pieces, repeat 3 for each.
5. Open terminal and go to the folder in which you saved the html files.
6. $ chattyhooves.py file1.html file2.html ... fileN.html > output.html
7. upload output.html to google docs
8. right click output.html (or whatever you called it) and open with Google Docs
9. Name it appropriately and share with the group."
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 5/28/13 6:33 PM
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:28:34 AM UTC+10, Christian Guanilo wrote:
On Tuesday, May 28, 2013 4:10:04 AM UTC-5, KeithR wrote:
OK, but your post spounded like you wanted to get away from the "bubble format" and that was what I was offerring you.
Actually the change to history happened a few days before the Hangouts roll out - the two are not associated.  Chat history works better if you turn Gmail's conversation view on.  I have it on and my chat histories look pretty much the same as always.

Where is that option? I can't seem to find it.

Gmail Settings >> General.  Just below Default text style.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GAhm 5/29/13 3:05 PM
This is really frustrating! I need to be able to forward chat messages as I get notifications via chat from clients and team members that need to be passed on to others to keep people in the loop. We could switch to emails for this but that would require a huge change in usage habits! Very very frustrating indeed.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/29/13 7:26 PM
On Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:15:11 AM UTC-4, KeithR wrote:
However, chats were not meant to appear there and a fix is in process of roll-out.  Your chats should disappear from your Sent mail all by themselves over the next day or two.

@KeithR: do you know if this roll-out is still occurring? The chats are still showing up in my Sent Mail folder/system view...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Community Manager @ Google 5/29/13 8:20 PM
@DSingh1699, there has been a slight delay. The team is still working on this!

Thanks for your patience
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 5/29/13 9:23 PM
Thank you for the heads-up, Dori. I really hope this as well as the chat transcript interface problems get resolved quickly!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 5/30/13 7:02 AM
Dori, is the team also working on the Chat history display issues that everyone is upset with? They are impossible to read! I have to click on each line to read it, and when a conversation is more than 2 or 3 lines each from me and the person I'm chatting with, it is not only very tedious but also difficult to remember which link I've alredy clicked on to read!!! Thanks!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christy Lynn Leach 5/30/13 7:12 AM
I think I found out why the history has to load in chunks, and why that's not going to change back.  Hangouts now allows inline photos and videos, and it would cause a big load on the servers if you tried to open them all at once.  Unfortunately, I don't think they're going to change back to suit us.

What I instead wish would happen, then, is let Hangouts be what they want it to be, but leave gmail chat the way it was, simple, clean, easy to use for what WE use it for.  Hangouts is already a separate app - let it  BE separate.  I feel like it got dragged into this Hangouts thing against its (and our) will, and made far more complicated than we want it to be.  Hangouts is great and awesome for its own purposes, but I wish it were a separate thing to use when appropriate.  The simplicity and clean functionality of gmail chat was very very useful for our purposes.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 5/30/13 7:38 AM
I agree! Let them be separate! I don't use Hangouts and don't anticipate the need to use Hangouts any time soon. But I use Chat daily (although I avoid it more now that it's so cumbersome to review the history)!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 5/30/13 3:08 PM
I also don't use Hangouts and am now using Gchat as little as possible.  I still use it for some large, weekly meetings (the things that that friend wrote that program for), but we're considering moving to IRC and just abandoning Gchat entirely.  We'd rather not do that, of course, but, while I'm still hoping that Google will come to its senses, it's been pointed out to me that IRC would be guaranteed free of this sort of meddling.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface kd7dvd 5/30/13 6:35 PM
Two things:

1.  I am a previous commenter unhappy about the intractable chat logs.  Just jumping back in to let Google know that I haven't "gotten used to it."  No, precious.  Still hate it.  Also, I don't need inline multimedia in my text.  That stuff can be stored elsewhere and referenced by URL if really necessary.  It may be true that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in fact there are very few sets of a thousand words that can be adequately described with a picture.

2.  Isn't it remarkable that Google can create a product that will . . . . . DRIVE ITS USERS TO IRC?!?!?  That's undiluted awesome sauce, seriously!

I recall Colloquy as being a fine IRC client with a strong chat logging feature.  Of course, there are any number of logging bots out there as well...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface igorsag + 5/31/13 10:12 AM
I think everything is already said. This is annoying issue. Google please fix asap.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vllr 5/31/13 11:55 AM
I thought it was mainly Microsoft who breaks something that works fine. Looks like Google joined the team. New chat is just bad. Period.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface treias 6/2/13 8:19 AM
Another vote agreeing that the new chat and history view are terrible. I'm really, really hoping that someone at Google is taking all these issues and complaints into consideration. It would be great if Hangouts were separate from chat  and we got the old chat history back. For nearly five years my co-writer and I have been using chat for collaborative writing projects, and like many of the other people above, it's extremely important for us to have a record of our brainstorming process in the chats surrounding the actual writing material. It's also important for us to be able to access and reread our previous chat sessions quickly, to print our sessions (which can be very long - printing them as a string of email messages makes them practically unreadable), and to forward sessions if necessary. We use Google Docs for some things too, but it doesn't have anything close to the functionality we need. I am not looking forward to having to find a completely new program to do the same thing the old chat and chat history were perfect for.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kalean Senretsu 6/3/13 11:19 AM
I'll go ahead and be the umpteenth person to agree with the sentiment expressed here, and I'll boil it down for any devs that are monitoring this thread. 

Please enable a toggle to revert to the old chat history display option, or else many people will simply stop using the chat.  It's that simple of an issue.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lin ling 6/3/13 11:22 AM
I want to forward my chat, but can no longer do that. The old chat works much better, please bring the old version back.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Myre B 6/3/13 11:32 AM
Posted back at the beginning of this, but I wanted to chime in again with Docs being brought in as part of functionality.

Like many people here, I use chats for collaborative works, mostly writing and brainstorming. We make use of docs as well, but for different purposes - for us, Docs become a way to save more permanent, concise, organized, and targeted records that we all can use. This way one person can make the final record bit, and everyone else can use it. 

That said? We RELY on the chat history both as backups, but also as the raw data to create our Docs from.  Many times we miss things when we're copying it over, and we need to be able to go back and refer to the original chat records (something we could do when we could just copy a phrase and search that in the chat history).  But also, many times we don't have the time or energy to record things in docs immediately, so we functioned entirely off the ability to go back and access those transcripts at any later time, in a workable format, to do our proper saving and editing.  We NEED that raw data in order to be able to make this multiple timezone, multiple country collaboration workable, and now we're SOL and scrambling to make things work as best we can without the tools we've grown dependent on, especially since one of us is in a place with rather unstable internet, and cannot access docs reliably, so even if the Docs chat saved records, we wouldn't be able to switch over to using that.

Also, I've had my own problems using the Doc chats for this sort of collaboration as our conversations are usually hours long, and my computer simply can't handle being in an active doc for that long without a break.

I don't know if that helps provide a better picture on usage for the different products, and why it's not really feasible to just switch from chat to docs, but I hope so.
Matholomew 6/3/13 1:11 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Matholomew 6/3/13 1:14 PM
I've never had to voice a complaint about a Google product before, but the new chat history is simply awful.  How disconnected from reality must Google be to fail to realize this?  Reverting to the old chat history will show Google to be an honest company that listens to its customers.  I hope this will happen.  I will not "get used to it."  Thank you.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 6/3/13 1:23 PM
So I'm not sure that this thread (however long it gets) will have the necessary impact on the future of the chat history interface. Is there any way to more directly discuss this issue with the development team? I think that this issue has evoked enough of a negative response from the users to necessitate a more direct response. Can a Top Contributor please underscore the importance of this matter to someone higher up in the chain (e.g., the development team)? Thank you!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 6/3/13 2:00 PM
DSingh1699: "Can a Top Contributor please underscore the importance of this matter to someone higher up in the chain (e.g., the development team)? Thank you"

I wish this would work. But unfortunately the only top contributor on this thread, as far as i know, was user KeithR, and he seems to have repeatedly ignored the extent of the problem, often offering contemptuous comments about people not understanding the issue, or talking about other things like the new chat bubble format (which is also horrible but which, thankfully, is made optional!) or telling us that the new chat is just as good as before, etc......
It seems that nobody really realized the stupidity of the new chat system.
Actually, I am wondering if we can have a strong enough effect: now on this thread there are messages written by 87 different users and that is surprisingly little. I don't know if most other users are suffering in silence or many are voicing their discontent on other threads, but certainly the number of users complaining about the issue is probably not overwhelming for Google...
Hey, Google, how many people need to complain so that you bother listen to us? 1000? 10000? a million?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laura Christensen 6/3/13 2:17 PM
I'm getting desperate enough to suggest everyone write a letter directly (https://www.google.com/intl/en/contact/).  I mean, Google's #1 policy is to focus on the user and all else will follow (see: https://www.google.com/intl/en/about/company/philosophy/)  but with 87 users and 2000+ page views on this thread, apparently that's not enough to bring back the much more workable chat history style that we need for our collaborations and businesses.

Putting chat histories in the Sent Mail section rather than the Chats section seems like it was a mistake and that's why they say they're going to correct it. Bubble-style chats vs. text-style chats is a stylistic choice and can be opted out of or reverted from. We're grateful.  But it's only semi-related to this discussion.  This discussion started about chat histories' formatting and all the troubles that brings those of us who need a workable chat history.

Changing the Chat History style was a deliberate choice on their part, an upgrade to their product, and that seems to be why they're ignoring our feedback. I DO understand that there will always be unhappy customers and that every change brings naysayers. But at the same time? There is such a thing as going too far and ignoring too much.

What we want is an opt-out on the new chat history style sheet.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 6/3/13 2:36 PM
Thank you for that link, Laura! I find it very interesting:

"From time to time we revisit this list to see if it still holds true. We hope it does—and you can hold us to that."

Let's see -- "1. Focus on the user and all else will follow. Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line."

If they provide an option to revert back to the old chat history interface, or if they incorporate all the necessary features that we have come to absolutely rely on from the old interface into the new interface, then I will be able to say that they've held true to their first principle. If they continue to ignore our protests, then I'm afraid that they've gone the route of any other large corporation and have put their interests ahead of their users/customers. I hope that's not the case -- but we are definitely in need of some concrete reassurance.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 6/3/13 2:46 PM
Yes, thanks, Laura! I too appreciate this suggestion and the link to the philosophy page.

I think the fact that this change was imposed without being opt-in, as has been the norm for Google for as long as I can remember, or even opt-out, is particularly upsetting. I so, so, appreciated the Google approach of introducing big changes as opt-in features -- I'm thinking of Google Buzz, Google Wave (Remember Wave?! Can you imagine if they had tried to force this on everyone as a replacement for chatting or emailing?), or any of the Labs features -- or at least toggleable ones like the new compose (IDK if this is still toggleable but at least it was toggleable for quite a while after its introduction) or the current Chats/Hangouts toggle option. I mean, I'm used to this attitude from Facebook, although I don't depend on Facebook to be very functional anyway so I don't care that much that they don't care about my opinions as a customer. From Google, it feels like a betrayal, and it's especially frustrating because we had previously been able to expect such a high standard of functionality and respect for the user.

Vin, I haven't searched the Support Forums exhaustively but there are definitely other threads about many of the issues that have been mentioned in this thread, so it's not just the 87 of us...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Katrina Helle 6/3/13 3:11 PM
I've been searching for different ways to submit feedback as well.  I just sent the link to this form along with a brief description of my frustrations using the feedback form linked from your Gmail inbox (Gear > Send feedback).  I hope that if I try enough places someone will see it! 

This is the pop up I received after submitting "Thank you for your feedback. We value every piece of feedback we receive. We cannot respond individually to every one, but we will use your comments as we strive to improve your Google experience."
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Paarul Saxena 6/4/13 3:11 AM
YEs 
u r ryt Dsingh

m also facing the same issue. and really really want to change this format, as this is not acceptable wd no upgradation.

If its new feature, thn m sorry to say that, it has nthg NEW, infact its degrading the feature use. We can not read the chat again of a particular day or some.
We can not forward this chat on our other email id like before.
We have to wait allot for loading the whole chat, if we only want to read of a particular DATE.


I wish, google chat developers improve it and make the sensible changes, if they really want to do so.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/4/13 3:23 AM
@DSingh1699 et al, I have just read these last few posts and will refer them to my Google Contact.  I agree that this change seems weird and purposeless and I wish I could guarantee that Google would listen and make changes.  However, I have not ever seen this happen and I suspect that the change was made for a reason that has not yet become apparent.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 6/4/13 3:30 AM
The 'reason' seems to be their new Hangouts, given that the chat 'history' now ends with 'Open Hangouts', the logs as they show up in the history page show up as 'Hangouts', etc.
I can understand that they wanted to make something for the increase in phone-chat users and the like, but the lack of a toggle button and the option to Opt-Out is NOT like the Google I joined up for!  It is also not the google that promised to give heed to what their customers wanted and has always given us a CHOICE about changes made prior!
I got gmail FOR the chat and chatHistory system, as system I can not use properly anymore, especially as the 'loading' function causes merry hell with my computer and I am CONSTANTLY hitting the 'ignore' button on pop-ups telling me there is a code that is 'slowing down my computer'. 
Just give us an option to opt-out of this new 'history' setting and go back to the older settings!  That is literally all I ask!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/4/13 3:37 AM
Sorry, Rialla, but I have to challenge that assertion.  Please point out one time when Google gave anyone a choice (for more than a few months).
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Andreza Cristina 6/4/13 7:58 AM
@KeithR I can give you: Priority inbox. People can opt whether to see their emails as in the classical inbox or use the priority inbox. It's a choice and people choose whats best for them. Works perfectly for me.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 6/4/13 8:01 AM
Keith, I'd also highlight the Labs features as changes that we are given a choice whether to adopt. My understanding is that Labs features are only implemented for all users after having a long time to be debugged, after receiving positive feedback from those users who tried it out, and hopefully only if they are somewhat popular; this seems to me like a great model for ensuring changes are helpful and will be well-received.

Secondly, I think that "(for more than a few months)" caveat is an important one. The few months of toggleability are important for us to try out the change and give feedback on the new content. If the change is inevitable and we really hate it, those few months give us time to figure out a new system to replace the functionalities that we are losing. If the new chat history was toggle-able, but we knew the old chat history was going to be phased out within a few months, we'd still be griping for sure -- but it wouldn't be quite as frustrating as this change has been. This was done without warning and we had no time to transition to an alternative system for logging our chats.

Conversely, Keith, can you please point out one time that Google implemented a major change like this without giving anyone a choice (for a few months)? As I indicated in my earlier post, I can't think of any examples of this approach.

To your previous post, thank you for passing on our continued feedback to your contact at Google. I'm glad to hear that the communication lines on this issue are still open, and I'm sure any updates you receive back from them will be much appreciated.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Isaiah Cushman 6/4/13 10:24 AM
Just chiming in to say that this update made my job a lot harder.

As of May 16, my transcripts are poorly sorted and effectively unsearchable due to progressive loading, difficult to read due to worse timestamping, and are fully inaccessible via mobile.

Strictly worse. If I find a better solution (ie, exactly what we had before the UI team broke it), I'll be sure to post back here in case it helps anyone else.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 6/4/13 10:36 AM
On Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:23:19 AM UTC-4, KeithR wrote:
@DSingh1699 et al, I have just read these last few posts and will refer them to my Google Contact.  I agree that this change seems weird and purposeless and I wish I could guarantee that Google would listen and make changes.  However, I have not ever seen this happen and I suspect that the change was made for a reason that has not yet become apparent.

Thank you very much, Keith. The more attention this matter receives from the development team, the happier everyone will be with Google in the long run. I also believe that if there were a plethora of options made available for the chat history interface, for Hangouts -- for pretty much any service offered by Google (or any software company, for that matter) -- nearly all complaints would stop; people are quite different from one another and have varying preferences, and having options makes it easy to satisfy a very diverse group of users! But it seems as though Google has been moving away from having a wide availability of options in the past few years?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Blah New Chat 6/6/13 11:47 AM
Why isn't there an option to keep the old chat interface? This new version is absolutely awful, I'm frankly pretty shocked at Google releasing something that makes a working product even worse.

This new chat is a terrible idea, looks bad, and was clearly not beta tested properly.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jn1988 6/6/13 11:55 AM
Hi Keith, 

My sent chats are still showing up in my Sent Mail box, it is now 14 days since your post. Any updates? I doubt any of us are forgetting and adapting to this. Looks like several people have ditched gchat completely. 

Thanks
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christy Lynn Leach 6/6/13 12:01 PM
At this point, I'm going to assume the chat history being the way it is now is intended behavior, for the reasons I stated a little while ago (Hangouts using inline images and videos, and not wanting to cause the server load by going ahead and loading them all at once).

Since I am not using this for business, it doesn't affect me quite as much as other unfortunate users.

The "solution" I have found is on days that my chat with someone is important and I know I'll want to read it again in the future, before I close the individual chat window, I copy it all out into a new google doc.  I name the doc, for example, "2013-06-06 notes on project" so it sorts nicely in my google docs.
It should be noted that I turned off animated smilies, as these don't copy out correctly.

I know this doesn't solve the problem of forwarding, or tagging, or any of that, but it at least gives me a readable history.  It copies out in a much more readable format when it's still in an active chat window, as opposed to the archived version.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 6/6/13 12:02 PM
Yeah popping in to say that this still absolutely takes failure to baffling lows; it's still horrible, we're not 'adjusting', and Google is still ignoring its customers in lieu of stupidly pushing forward with this stupid Google+ crap that a large portion of non-herd-mentality users don't want. My S.O. just posted a separate complaint because on top of all this stupid Hangounts bull, he frequently gets interrupted when posting comments on Youtube because it prompts him to sign into G+ which he doesn't use and never wants to use.

GOOGLE SOME PEOPLE DON"T WANT GOOGLE+.

I don't need to validate my existence by interconnecting every stupid bit of banal minutia I complete on the internet so that my 'friends and family' can see it. WHen I want to connect with them I connect with them intentionally; I don't want or need Google to do this for me. Stay out of my business, let me opt out of G+, and put Chats back like it was before the once-amazing Google staff went on a bender.

Thanks for your considerati- oh wait, no, Google staff is basically ignoring this. My mistake.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Daniel Angello 6/6/13 12:28 PM
Went to go look for an email I had sent a few days ago, had to sift through tons and tons of chats before I could find it.

Absolutely no reason for chats to show up in "Sent Mail."

And yes, conversation view is on! I'm just that popular.

Ugh.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 6/9/13 2:10 AM
Just posting a much needed reminder to whoever is in charge of this at Google that many people would like to punch somebody in the face until the option of original chat history is restored. Nothing personal except it is personally screwing with people's beloved communication. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 6/9/13 3:55 AM
Haha, "punch google in the face"...
Yeah it's true that now it's been almost a month with absolutely no feedback. It's not only ridiculous, it's plain unacceptable!
For the millionth time, GIVE US OUR OLD CHAT HISTORY BACK!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/10/13 3:59 AM
Marking this thread as a duplicate of the thread where a Google employee commented: https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/chat/Mm8A1ZkMK2g/Pl6tGctrGB0J.  Please subscribe to that thread for the fastest updates.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/19/13 9:19 PM
I removed duplicate status from this thread.  If you are wanting to comment on the issue of chat history appearing in Sent mail, please go to:
If you don't read this message and post here on that subject, I will probably move your post and all replies to it without further comment.  The moved posts will show a link to their new position.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 6/19/13 9:22 PM
Thank you.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 6/20/13 5:22 AM
KeithR, 

You really deserve praise for this. The real issue is that nothing currently being proposed about tweaking the new chat history and it's various issues will be better than the original chat history. The only proposals that I could imagine actually being of substantial benefit are not able to be better than the original chat history, they are only able to replicate it. There does need to be an option to revert to the original chat history and Google needs to stop trying to force people to use G+ Hangouts and inefficient formatting. Thus, it is extremely appropriate for a thread with a subject that focuses on the superior comparison of original chat history vs new chat history. A more clear benefit would be a thread that was simply a poll about which version of chat history is superior: new with hangouts or original with efficient formatting and functions within gmail separate from hangouts; and, if I were in charge of Google I would consider this a big enough issue to put a small link about it on atop of home page of gmail or, more sensibly, I the option to opt out / revert would have been implemented from the start as  common sense. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 6/20/13 12:02 PM
Thank you, Keith -- I'm hoping that with everyone's combined effort, we can make sure that the new chat history interface becomes exactly what we want and need it to be!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laura Christensen 6/20/13 12:17 PM
Well, once again I try to have a crucial group chat with a workable chat history and it completely fails.

Just wanted to add in my two cents that even though I'm using workarounds with another program, it is still far inferior to what Gchat used to provide.

And I'm not just being nostalgic.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 6/20/13 10:08 PM
Just noticed a new Notifications icon that looks like a Bell in the top right of gmail / google accounts. More G+ trying to compete with Facebook and showing that there is the option of using hangouts. 
Point being: 
Google! You do NOT need to RUIN CHAT HISTORY to get us to realize that we can use G+ & Hangouts. Use other social features that do not ruin efficient communication, like the notifications mechanism. Stop trying to be Facebook or you'll just look like a desperate posing fool. Be yourself. Give us the option for getting the original chat history back. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/21/13 12:37 AM
The bell just replaces the square that has been there ever since Google Plus was launched.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Noor08 6/22/13 9:55 AM
I don't know if anyone else is experiencing this (or if this is the right topic), but ever since the beginning of this "upgrade" to Hangouts, I have not been receiving any kind of notification for messages sent offline.

The only way I can see any messages sent offline are if I happen to later open the Hangout log (which has its numerous issues, though they don't affect me as much as I don't use GChat much and certainly a lot less the past month). I also tried upgrading to Hangouts and still the same, no way to let me know if I received a message offline.

I've since again switched to Pidgin completely for GChat, as it's completely customizable, stayed the same for years, and the logs are perfectly what I need.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 6/22/13 1:13 PM
It's not just you, I think that's an intrinsic part of this hastily rolled out 'upgrade'.

I may start using Pidgin, too, the downside being that I would be using my Gmail account *through* it, and I no longer want Gmail to have my patronage. ...But then again, I could use an AIM handle, I believe. That would be sad, if I had to go back to AOL to use Pidgin just because I'm so disappointed by this horrible change in chat history.

And as a small aside, yet another thing wrong with it: Text formatting like *bold* and _italicize_ don't show up properly in the history,  they show up with the formatting I have shown, instead of the end result. It just looks so trashy.
Re: Sent emails and chats are now mixed together Maggi Malone 6/22/13 7:55 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/22/13 10:33 PM
@Noor08, the master thread on offline notifications is here: https://productforums.google.com/d/topic/chat/0nZt-LP0jtc/discussion
Please enable email updates from that thread to get the fastest updates.  Use the little arrow just under the thread Title.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 6/23/13 4:11 AM
FWIW Auryana, I have switched over to Hangouts instead of the old chat in GMail, and you can now do those formatting changes with ctrl-B, ctrl-I, etc. and then they show up in the history as such.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface pea.o 6/24/13 9:06 AM
On Sunday, June 23, 2013 1:18:15 AM UTC-4, KeithR wrote:
You can see them combined only if you are willing to switch on Gmail's conversation view.  

However, if I turn the conversation view off, I see every line of the chat in the history as a separate conversation. 100 lines in the chat -> 100 conversations. Not really useful.
 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maggi Malone 6/24/13 2:17 PM
I have to agree with pea.o. Although finally the question of seeing the chats in the sent folder is resolved, I for one don't care for the "conversation" view and seeing the chats line for line in the "chat history" is very unmanageable. I appreciate the attention that has been given to our complaints by the staff and trust this will also be looked into. Thank you again.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Stanley Huang 6/26/13 11:22 PM
Please stop messing up Google Chat and Google Mail. 

Please just turn things back two months (April 2013 would be perfect); that's it. 

Go do something else if your developers don't have things to do, they can go clean up the streets of Bay Area, please don't destroy a good web app. 

Give me back my old Google Mail and Google Chat, please (prior to May 2013). 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Stanley Huang 6/26/13 11:23 PM
Please give me back the old Google Chat and Google Email. That's it. Thanks. 
Prior to May 2013 would be perfect. Thanks. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Juliex1 6/26/13 11:44 PM
Yes! What he said...just give it back. And while you're at it, give us the chat folder option on our mobile devices. Can't find chats anywhere now when I go to gmail...not in the sent items and now no specific "chat" folder. Why fix something that wasn't broke? Cannot comprehend. At. All.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 6/27/13 2:00 AM
Yes!!
ENOUGH!!!

Is the Google team ever using their own products? Don't they find it absurd that chat history is practically unsearchable, not forwardable, saved as one huge file which loads bit by bit???

Stop messing with us now and stop delaying the fix! As was said, no need to waste time figuring out what to roll back from the old chat, just give us back the old chat from 2 months ago!!!
Re: Sent emails and chats are now mixed together phillippa 6/27/13 4:24 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 6/27/13 4:40 AM
KeithR 6/27/13 4:45 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface yellowjournalism 6/28/13 5:01 PM
Google. This is LUDICROUS. Sacrifice usability for style? That's not the Google way I knew!

Seriously, it is infuriating that I can't search chats or copy the log or DO ANYTHING. I just keep scrolling up and up and up until I tear my hair out. This has gotten in the way of my personal life and my job. This needs to be fixed ASAP.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Juliex1 6/29/13 1:20 AM
I still can't find my chats on my mobile device. I even "labeled" them and I still can't see any chats. And Hangouts is useless unless you used it for chats. Is there any way to view chats from a mobile device now that the "Chats" folder is gone???
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/29/13 1:32 AM
Hi Juliex1, apparently there's not.  The master thread on the issue of not seeing chat logs from the app is here: https://productforums.google.com/d/topic/chat/sC6kGrYm44E/discussion
You might like to enable email updates from that thread to receive fastest updates.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Drewthulhu 6/29/13 5:01 PM
Is it possible that the people who designed this disgusting change have never actually had anything resembling a lengthy chat session?  Like, I have been looking for five minutes to find this URL that I know is in this particular chat session, but because I tend to talk to my friends all day, if you can imagine, loading tiny blocks of a 12-hour-chat to find one single URL is PROFOUNDLY MADDENING.

Combine this with the new auto-labelling crap you cannot turn off and I am starting to wonder if there is something else out there like GMail but circa 2010.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 6/29/13 6:06 PM
@Drewthulhu, do you get sent lots of URLs in chat?  Have you tried a search for, say is:chat http?  You can stop the auto-labelling with a filter if it really bothers you.  You'll find instructions in the Gmail Help Centre: Gmail Help Forum
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface motorolabackflip 6/30/13 9:03 PM
Yes I agree with the posters here. And as usual, I can bet my top dollar that Google with continue to turn a blind eye to these complaints by its users and carry on with its STUPID STUPID new way of chatting just like its other 'updates' that impede usability and make using its products more inconvineient.

C'mon google - are the tons of posts and complaints here not enough for you to provide an option to change? or at least an option to forward chats?? cmon!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Daniel Bonnell 7/1/13 5:45 AM
There has to be a better way (there was, it was the OLD way, and I'm not against change if it's positive, forward progress). I'm thinking about just copying and pasting my chat session at the end of each day to Google Drive.  This is ridiculous. Is there a lab or extension that could address this issue. Like previous posters I, I chat continuously throughout the day to my wife, every day, so now I have 1.5 months of single chat lines all rolled into a single gigantic string of lines that are unsearchable!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 7/1/13 6:01 AM
Reposting from earlier, in case it helps at all:
"Sorry that it's a bit messy; this wasn't originally intended for public release.

"Good suggestion. Please direct your friend here:
http://ferazelhosting.net/~bryce/chattyhooves.txt

(should rename it to chattyhooves.py)
You can forward them the documentation / instructions I sent as well."
"How to install:
0. Have a *nix machine or cygwin and python (a reasonably modern mac qualifies)
1. Download the attachment
2. Use the terminal to go to the directory into which you downloaded chattyhooves.py
3. $ chmod a+x chattyhooves.py
4. $ sudo cp chattyhooves.py /usr/local/bin/

How to verify it works:
1. Open a new terminal window in a folder not containing chattyhooves.py
2. $ chattyhooves.py
You should see something like this this:
Myia:~ user$ chattyhooves.py
<html><body>
</html></body>
Myia:~ user$


How to use:
1. Go to the google chat log.
2. Click the printer icon.
3. Cancel the print dialog when it comes up. Save the html file to your drive. note from *: save as complete web page, then discard images
4. If the chat is broken into multiple pieces, repeat 3 for each.
5. Open terminal and go to the folder in which you saved the html files.
6. $ chattyhooves.py file1.html file2.html ... fileN.html > output.html
7. upload output.html to google docs
8. right click output.html (or whatever you called it) and open with Google Docs
9. Name it appropriately and share with the group.""
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 7/2/13 12:37 AM
RIDICULOUS!

Give an option to restore the original chat history! Swallow your pride! Sometimes new ways of doing things are better and sometimes they suck. In this case, IT SUCKS! I'm sure you can find something else to do that will actually be better. In the mean time, I know of only 1 thing that will CERTAINLY be better: THE ABILITY FOR US TO USE THE ORIGINAL CHAT HISTORY. Get. It. Through. Your. Heads. Please. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 7/2/13 4:40 AM
Hi GmailPal, there is no chance that Google will revert to the old way.  That would break more than it would fix.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 7/2/13 4:52 AM
That would break more than it would fix.

What would it break?? It's already broken!! Unless of course you assume that the current version is better...
With "top contributors" like that, I'm not sure we will go very far...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface pea.o 7/2/13 5:11 AM
Pretty sad news. Looks like the death of google chat. For me anyway. And if I find a decent replacement, gmail will follow. Kinda hard to say, after 9 years.
Re: Sent emails and chats are now mixed together Atizva Technologies 7/2/13 6:55 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface ggascoigne 7/2/13 7:24 AM
What would it break?

I personally don't care about the whole sent mail thing, but I really care that chat histories are long month spaning threads and I can no longer tag specific conversations by subject.

What possible benefit is there in having every chat with a person in one long chat?
What possible benefit is there in no longer being able to tag and file chats?

The only thing that you seem to have gained is turning gchat into facebook chat, and I wasn't using facebook chat for anything serious because it was so limited, but now gchat is heading to the bottom too.

That said, I'm honestly curious, what features did this change bring us because all I see if needed features removed.

Guy
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 7/2/13 7:58 AM
Well at this point it seems we are just uselessly complaining in a vacuum, because the google team doesn't care and the "top contributor" contact doesn't even understand the problem...
Like a long-time relationship that is hard to breakup, it's just hard to have to prepare to leave Google Chat...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 7/2/13 8:51 AM
That said, I'm honestly curious, what features did this change bring us because all I see if needed features removed.

This!!!

I just don't understand who is finding this change to be beneficial. Most of my friends haven't noticed the change because they don't look at their chat histories that often; and not a single one of them has said there is anything about the new format that they like. Were there people sending feedback on the old history format saying "I wish this was all one chat", "I wish only small segments of chat would load at a time", "You guys should make it so the timestamps are hidden unless we hover over them"? Are there people sending feedback on the new UI now who are lauding these differences? Was this tested on users at all prior to rollout, and if so what aspects did those users find so useful that allowed this to not only get past beta testing, but be implemented as the only option? Surely there was some rational justification for not even allowing the two to co-exist. What was it? Please, I would honestly be so much less frustrated if I could understand any of the rationale used at any point in the process of deciding to implement this change to all users.

Even if they are trying to compete with other communication platforms - which I don't use so I don't know how similar the new format is to what other companies offer - what user from those platforms would say, "well, I didn't like the functional old chat history, but now that the history format is flashier and much less functional and inaccessible from my mobile device, now I just have to start using Hangouts instead!" Like, who are these people?!

The only advantage I have seen suggested is the compatibility of the new history format with sending photos inline as chat messages. But surely this feature could have been toggled, and surely it neither required nor merited the losses of functionality that have come with the new format.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jsm3 7/2/13 8:57 AM
These are the changes according to KeithR in this thread: https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/chat/bbUA3anM-NE/A8vIF54Pe5AJ

  1. the saving of history has been made mandatory so there is no longer any option to turn it off.  You can still go off the record for individual chats and this setting will stick for that chat contact(s).
  2. chats are saved as single messages, but are combined if you open one or if you use Gmail's conversation view.
  3. you can no longer forward chats,
  4. chats you were involved in up till about 22 June appear in your Sent Mail.
  5. chats you are invited to join might show in your Inbox.  This can be avoided by creating a filter - put is:chat in the box for Includes the words and select Skip the Inbox on the second screen.
  6. chat messages sent to you while you are offline no longer appear in your Inbox and are not identified as unread.
  7. group chats are deleted from history if you leave the group.  They are reinstated if you are invited back.  They are not deleted if you just close the group.

Not very good enhancements, IMO.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 7/2/13 9:02 AM

El martes, 2 de julio de 2013 06:40:31 UTC-5, KeithR escribió:
Hi GmailPal, there is no chance that Google will revert to the old way.  That would break more than it would fix.

Well, the "update" actually  DID break more than it could possibly fix... I mean, it was not even a "this is the next step, try it a while" as one would expect, and as Google had us used to. Happily, at least, we can revert Hangouts/Chat... I am no coder/developer, but I can think of many ways to fix it. 

I don't think it is a matter of "breaking more" (what is already broken), but of Google (or Google Team) NOT WANTING to change it. If it were the case, we'd very much appreciate you say it, so we can no longer expect anything from the team and give up, and look up for alternatives, or not; instead of making it looooooonger with no actual information updates, as Dori promised.

And this is something KeithR, who doesn't belong to Google Team, can't fix. Dori is the contact to Google Team.


Pretty sad news. Looks like the death of google chat. For me anyway. And if I find a decent replacement, gmail will follow. Kinda hard to say, after 9 years.
 
Like a long-time relationship that is hard to breakup, it's just hard to have to prepare to leave Google Chat...

I'm with you. Yet I do expect (more like "have hope") Google to redeem themselves, respecting their own policy or compromise with the user or whatever that was cited (I cannot seem to find it).


El martes, 2 de julio de 2013 09:58:51 UTC-5, vin sands escribió:
Well at this point it seems we are just uselessly complaining in a vacuum, because the google team doesn't care and the "top contributor" contact doesn't even understand the problem...

Not even a word from Dori either... If she hasn't given us any updates on the subject, does it mean there are none? Or simply they are aware but careless?
Many of which "the team is working on", as stated in older posts. (I don't know if my grammar is correct there).
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface pea.o 7/2/13 9:14 AM


On Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:57:23 AM UTC-4, jsm3 wrote:
These are the changes according to KeithR in this thread: https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/chat/bbUA3anM-NE/A8vIF54Pe5AJ
  1. chat messages sent to you while you are offline no longer appear in your Inbox and are not identified as unread.
Another one of my "favorites". What's next? Incoming emails not identified as unread? 
 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 7/2/13 9:22 AM
Found what Dori said, as of June 10 --> https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/chat/Mm8A1ZkMK2g/pP-F3Nup9VcJ

Hi everyone,

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. However - the upside is that I now have an update from the team for you!

We should be ready in the near future to roll out a change which will fix the behavior of chats showing up under the Sent mail label. At this time, however, I cannot offer an exact timeline.

Additionally, the team is working hard to add some of the old functionality back, such as
  • Forwarding / replying to a chat thread by email
  • Better support for adding labels to chat threads
  • Printing support for chat threads
Again, I don't have a specific timeline or any other specific information to share with you at this time - but I did want to let you know that the team is definitely aware of your frustrations and pain points and we all appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to bring you the features that you so badly need and want.

Thanks,
Dori

May I highlight "Additionally, the team is working hard to add some of the old functionality back" and  "to bring you the features that you so badly need and want".
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/2/13 10:13 AM
That sounds great, but I hope that having chats show up as separate (but whole) conversations as opposed to line by line or one long bled-together unsearchable melting pot of conversation also shows up under the umbrella of old functionality/features that we need and want.

Furthermore we REALLY need to be able to delete *messages* from within chats. Being able to label, forward, prune, organize and archive chats was entirely why I moved away from Yahoo.

And god help me if chats go bubble format I am going to suffer severe and crushing disappointment. Bubble format is ugly, it's not neat, it's immature, it doesn't look 'clean'. It's a UI for teenagers and I hope Gmail doesn't forget that not everybody using technology is a sixteen year old girl. There are adults that use it for collaboration and work (or just plain don't like it), and we don't really want to conduct a conversation that feels like it's taking place on AIM.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maggi Malone 7/2/13 10:36 AM

I just want to lend my support to what Auryana stated. We need to have the chats appear as "whole" conversations, NOT line by line. It's an impossibly inefficient system and searching through the chat becomes a long and tedious project.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface anonymous09987 7/2/13 2:43 PM
I started that thread that KeithR responded to, and his list of 7 changes left out the change that I have the biggest problem with. All of my chats have been saved not as chats but as hangouts. Instead of being able to look at the entire chat I had with someone on a specific date, only a few lines of text are displayed, and I have to scroll upward endlessly to find the beginning of that day's chat. Worse, it doesn't stop once I finally get to the beginning of that day's chat; it seems like I could just continue scrolling upward forever until I reachd the beginning of the very first chat I ever had with that person. This renders all of my chat history basically useless as it's impossible to find what I'm looking for, what with the endless scrolling.

I don't even have Google Hangouts or Google Plus. All I want is functional chat history.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 7/2/13 3:55 PM
On Wednesday, 3 July 2013 00:24:52 UTC+10, ggascoigne wrote:
What would it break?
 The whole of the new Hangouts system.  Google is working on improvements.

On Wednesday, 3 July 2013 00:58:51 UTC+10, vin sands wrote:
Well at this point it seems we are just uselessly complaining in a vacuum, because the google team doesn't care and the "top contributor" contact doesn't even understand the problem...
Not useless - Google is hearing.  I understand the problem and have expressed my dismay to Google as has TC @bkennelly, but TCs are just users like yourselves and Google doesn't bow to our demands.  Here is @bkennelly's latest post on chat logs (just to let you know clearly how we feel):

On Saturday, 29 June 2013 08:38:15 UTC+10, bkennelly wrote:
Yes, offline message notifications are broken, and chat history is FUBAR since about a week before Hangouts were announced.  
Both problems are being worked on, but we don't know what changes to expect, or when.

On Wednesday, 3 July 2013 02:02:55 UTC+10, Christian Guanilo wrote:
And this is something KeithR, who doesn't belong to Google Team, can't fix. Dori is the contact to Google Team.
Spot on - and even Dori is a long way from a position of influence on the design direction.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 7/2/13 4:37 PM
Keith:
It's funny that you keep saying you "understand the problem", yet you tell us in the very same message that restoring the old chat would be risky because it might "break the whole of the new Hangouts system.  Google is working on improvements."
GOOGLE IS WORKING ON IMPROVEMENTS...

Am i the only one getting extremely frustrated and annoyed by these repeated comments?
Thanks for your invaluable contribution Keith, seriously it's wonderful.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 7/2/13 5:03 PM
I understand the problem, but I can't tell you lies.  I am trying to do several things here:
  • collect information to let Google know how users perceive the product.  You don't see that correspondence.
  • give users as reliable information as I can about what to expect from Google
  • provide solutions where available
  • provide work around instructions where available
What exactly makes you think I don't understand?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 7/2/13 5:17 PM
On Wednesday, 3 July 2013 02:02:55 UTC+10, Christian Guanilo wrote:
These are the changes according to KeithR in this thread: https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/chat/bbUA3anM-NE/A8vIF54Pe5AJ
  1. ...
Not very good enhancements, IMO.


I wish that you had included the sentence that followed the list in the original post:
I don't know which of these behaviours are intended or permanent.
My list is not a list of "enhancements".  It is a list of "changes", all of which are negative in impact.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 7/2/13 6:09 PM
Hi Keith! 2 things.

1. On Tuesday, July 2, 2013 7:17:24 PM UTC-5, KeithR wrote:
My list is not a list of "enhancements".  It is a list of "changes", all of which are negative in impact.

So I think that post from Christian was in response to posts from me and others asking what beneficial impacts we were supposed to be seeing from the new format, since we all agree that the changes you've listed are deleterious. In your correspondence with Google have they given you any indication of what are supposed to be the good aspects of this format? I'm assume they haven't, but if you could add that to the list of "questions raised by the angry mob" I'd be genuinely curious to know what the perceived benefits are, either of this or some better-realized incarnation of this new UI.

2. As to this question:
What exactly makes you think I don't understand?

I'm taking a stab in the dark here but I think Vin took issue with this: 
On Wednesday, 3 July 2013 00:24:52 UTC+10, ggascoigne wrote:
What would it break?
 The whole of the new Hangouts system.  Google is working on improvements.

Because to many of the folks in this thread we'd like to see the entire Hangouts system scrapped. Especially if it meant we would have the old chat history format back. I get what you're saying from a rational perspective, Keith, but saying reverting to the old history isn't feasible because it would break a system that we don't care about except that it messed up our histories... We'd prefer to see it broken, so that rationale doesn't resonate with us. (Vin, of course correct me if I misread you.)  
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/2/13 6:25 PM
Exactly.

Reverting would break Hangouts?

Good. Break it. Burn it. I never want to see it again, and since AT BEST there are people out there who don't mind it one way or the other, I really doubt there is a large constituency of folks going "Wow! Yes! This new convoluted and dysfunctional UI is so much better than the previous one!" which, by the way, was every bit as crisp, minimal and intuitive as Google is famed for being.

Intuitive. Funny that that's such a large part of Gmail's appeal when this new Hangouts thing isn't intuitive at all.

Honestly, if I could be guaranteed that I would get my old Gmail back by donating three pints of blood I'd be hooked up to an IV right now. I use Gmail and Gmail's chat constantly, day in, day out, any time I am so much as near a computer, and not a SINGLE part of this update is in the least bit better than what I had, and none of it is even OKAY. All of it is bad. F-, no me gusta, garbage.

Honestly tech companies must be on a bender when it comes to these UIs. We all know what Windows did.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Shizuka 7/3/13 12:07 AM
For what it's worth, add me to those that find the new Chat history absolutely disgusting. If I had the time to wait for a 200+ chat to load in order to reread a whole chat or *gasp* quickly finding a piece of information I might need, I would chat in Facebook. Not only is the new UI inconvenient and impractical, it also sucks up hardware resources because there is always something loading up. 

I do NOT care about Hangouts, what I do care about is having a chat service that allows me to intuitively and conveniently access my chat history. I welcome changes in the UI when they make life easier for myself, or the majority of people, and when they solve problems rather than creating others. In this case, there was no need to fix something that was not broken to begin with.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 7/3/13 1:05 PM
El martes, 2 de julio de 2013 19:17:24 UTC-5, KeithR escribió:
I wish that you had included the sentence that followed the list in the original post:
I don't know which of these behaviours are intended or permanent.
My list is not a list of "enhancements".  It is a list of "changes", all of which are negative in impact.

That quote isn't mine. I was quoting someone else's post. 

Today I received an email when a friend wrote to me and I wasn't online. So, I think, the offline e-mail notification issue is solved so far...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Praveen Venkatesh 7/6/13 9:12 AM
Count me in. The new chat history is a bane to functionality.

What hurts me most is the inability to browse quickly and the inability to forward.

The new hangout-style chatbox isn't good either. You can't see others' statuses in your gmail chat window, and you can hardly see any lines in the chatbox itself because space is utilized so poorly. Thankfully, they at least left the option to switch back over there. I pray that this isn't one of those things that we will have to eventually shift to. This is one older version I would not like to see go away.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 7/7/13 12:02 AM
After initially posting about how horrible the chat history is in two other threds, which were then moved to the 'messages showing up in sent mail' thread by Keith because someone from google had commented there... Keith now posts that said thread is not the place to post as the sent mail issue has been resolved and THIS thread is about the chat history.  Which means that google was ignoring any and all posts in the thread we were told to post in FOR HOW LONG?!  Why were the two threads mostly about chat history moved to a defunct thread in the first place?  
I am not asking for much here google, just let me opt out of this STUPID 'facebook' style chat history!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Juliex1 7/8/13 6:11 PM
Has anyone else found other places to post about this issue? I just can't believe how non-user friendly this is.  Who thought of this? Who thought this was a good idea? Hangouts is such a horrible mess. Please let me know this is going away. And if anyone has any other thoughts on getting this feedback to more people in charge of this horrific new "Chat" interface, please let us know.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 7/8/13 6:23 PM
This was posted somewhere in this or one of the other threads, but here it is for newcomers -- some users have a "Send Feedback" option under the settings menu (GMail: Gear menu in top RH corner; Hangouts on iOS: Gear menu in top LH corner of Hangouts list; Hangouts on Android: three dots/menu button in top RH corner of hangouts list). My guess is that Google uses that primarily for like, "look at this weird bug I'm experiencing" feedback and not "this entire UI sucks" feedback, but can't hurt. When it was discussed previously we discovered that not all users have that option available.

Additionally someone found a contact address for Google? Or something? I'm pretty sure that was in this thread somewhere too, if someone wants to dig for it. :)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rialla Sheng 7/8/13 6:34 PM
Unfortunately the 'contact' information given when you use the 'contact us' link is for an email that no one responded to when I tried, a live chat that didn't work, and a phone number that leads to an automated voice message that was basically 'click this number to have us promote or host your sebsite', with no option to talk to a live person, leave a message or even say that I was not trying to contact them to sell/buy stuff from them.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Vaishali Bhatkar 7/9/13 11:36 AM
Hello there, After i research from the settings follow the step to compress ur chat history in one go format.

1. Open the chat 
2. select the chat conversation
3. there are 2 icon on the right hand side of the chat - "Print all" and "in new window"
4. Click on the "Print all"
5. You will get the option to select the printer
6. click on "cancel"
7. You can see the entire chat history in new window

# You can also save the chat history in PDF.
# Before clicking on the "cancel" you can click on "preview" 
# Use control all & save the chat history wherever you want



I hope this information will help you :)

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Daniel Bonnell 7/9/13 11:41 AM
WOW!  It's a bandaid, but at least a useful bandaid.  Thank you for figuring out a workaround.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Vaishali Bhatkar 7/9/13 11:49 AM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Vaishali Bhatkar 7/9/13 11:50 AM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Vaishali Bhatkar 7/9/13 11:51 AM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Blueberrys Derps 7/10/13 1:13 PM
Agree with most of everything said above, I absolutely despise the new chat history interface (as well as most of the new UI "updates" across Google products). They are extremely frustrating and counter-productive. Considering that this discussion has been going on for about two months and nothing has improved (that would be, changing back to normal, not ANOTHER horrible downgrade), it sure feels like customer feedback isn't being treated as a priority here.

What's with the craze about huge-button-user-interfaces anyway? I understand that some people have trouble using smaller buttons, but making it compulsory for everyone to use huge buttons is definitely not a good strategy. Personally, I prefer to have a lot of information visible on the screen at once, and not have to scroll through an enormous list giving only a couple messages (or emails, contacts, etc.) at a time. It shouldn't be too hard to make an option that lets the user choose which type of view he/she wants to use.

I have been a huge fan of Google products, but recently it seems that they are just going downhill; from the horrible user interfaces updates to the new unimportant features making working with them slower and sometimes even a pain. Not to mention that we can't seem to actually get in contact with any representatives. (Telling us the feedback was helpful doesn't really count, in my opinion)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maggi Malone 7/10/13 10:06 PM
Hi,
I finally had the chance to try your suggestions, Vaishali. Unfortunately they do not work for me at all. When I click on "cancel" all I get is a new window with one line of the chat.  Also I am unable to "preview" the chat and save the chat history. We need to have this "new " feature reverted back to how it was. This "new" feature that Google pushed on us is unacceptable. It's ridiculous to have to go line by line to read a chat.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Haseeb Fatmi 7/10/13 11:46 PM
Agreed, it's terrible and it still has not been fixed. I can no longer search for text in my old chat logs. 

Before the new interface, I was able to enter someone's email address and a phrase form our conversation. It would take me to the conversation, and I could do a word search to find the portion of the conversation I'm looking for. 

Now, no matter what I type, it always sends me to the end of the conversation when I click to open one. I cannot do a word search in my browser because it will only load a tiny portion of the conversation. I have to scroll all the way up or down to find that portion of the conversation, and I end up search indefinitely. 

Terrible idea Google. Please go back to the old chat log interface. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 7/11/13 1:47 AM
agreed!
In addition to the inability to forward chats, the single most ridiculous feature of the new interface is the impossibility to search into chats by keywords. We can still find all chats from a certain person, and typing a keyword indeed gives us a subset of these chats, but we invariably get to the end of the chat log and it is impossible to find where in the chat the specific keyword was located! That's because we get a full chat log which loads bit by bit as we move into the past...

Seriously, WTF??
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Community Manager @ Google 7/11/13 8:34 AM
Thank you all for your feedback, and thank you to KeithR for his dedication to helping you: whether by providing workarounds, information he's received from me, or providing me with updates about your frustrations.

Please know that I have been keeping the team updated about these pain points so they can further discuss whether and how to move forward.

At this time I don't have anything specific to report, but I did want to chime in to indicate that we are listening.

Thanks,
Dori
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/11/13 9:41 AM
Oh bless this post! It's Dori!

Good to hear that someone has actually been communicating with Google about all our rabblerousing.

I agree that the continuous scroll chat log is one of the most heinous attributes of this new update. I much preferred the old log that had a snippet of the BEGINNING text and then ended, you know, when the chat ended.

In fact, here:

The old version was like being in a book store. You could search for topics and be led to that specific aile. You could walk down the shelves lined with books and each book had a label and a precise description of the contents. You see the writer, a summary and when it was written, and then choose to pluck that specific book off of the shelf. "John Doe: Hey look at this new cooking vid I made. May 13th" Ahh! Perfect!


This new version is like walking into what looks ...more or less like the same bookstore, but the lighting is poorer and the aisles are clunky with awkward walking space. The shelves look like they were carefully organized by a teenager with attention deficit problems and a strong urge to be anywhere else but there. You go to the computer and search for a topic, and are lead to an aile, but when you get there you don't see the topic you wanted at all, even though this is where you were directed. The books list their author ...and then a random line of text in the book. "Jern Durr: and that's when I said that it couldn't Febtober Nth" ...what? And even if you liked that summary, when you pulled the book out to read more ALL OF THE BOOKS FALL OFF OF THE SHELVES! Either that, or you enter some surreal dreamlike horror scene where no matter how many pages you turn and in what direction, the book just keeps going and going and going and you never ever find what you were looking for. You just wanted that ONE THING! Why are there separate books if the pages just go on and on for eternity? Aahh! It's madness! You pull your hair and fall into a fit of Shatner-like convulsions. You break your glasses and find yourself on the steps of a library. Everything is black and white.

The End~
Felipe Podolan Oliveira 7/11/13 2:44 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 7/11/13 3:06 PM
I have been keeping the team updated about these pain points so they can further discuss whether and how to move forward.

Mmmh, yeah thanks for coming here, but... after 2 months of this mess you guys are still only just discussing WHETHER to move forward????
For the millionth time, feel free to add whatever crappy features to your new horrible interface, but just give us an option to choose to move BACKWARD to the great interface we had and which was broken!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface treias 7/11/13 8:50 PM
Thanks, Dori. A lot of the frustration (on my part, at least) comes from not knowing whether (or how well) we're being heard... so thank you for stopping in to let us know how things are going.

One other issue that I don't think has been touched on much (granted, I haven't read back through the entire thread in a while) is chat histories no longer listing the number of lines in the session, which compounds the inability to find the specific session you're looking for... and which has gotten more frustrating the longer the new "hangouts"-style histories have been piling up.  To run with Auryana's (really, really apt) bookstore metaphor, it's like picking a book called Trees off the shelf and not knowing whether you're going to get a five-page survey on the subject or a 500-page catalogue of every known species. Especially with project notes and writing sessions, it's really helpful to be able to tell at a glance, "oh yeah, this one is that really long session from the other day," and "this one is the little addendum that got jotted down over our lunch break," without having to add more and more labels to conversations to tell which is which.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface John DuPree 7/11/13 9:11 PM
People, forget about Google Chat's history getting fixed.  There's an alternative out there.  Stop using this bogus program.  I'll be posting a Gmail / Gmail Chat alternative for you asap.  Has anyone noticed how difficult it is to use even this forum?  Nothing makes sense!  The entire line of Google products suck!  It's like an alien from 50 billion light years away dropped in during the Gmail's union coffee break and gave them this retarded program!  Dump it!  The alien's laughing all the way back home!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/11/13 9:26 PM
Haha thanks, treias. :bows:

Hey so Dori, look. We all know G+ is trying as hard as it can to compete with Facebook for users and ad revenue. That's publicized fact. But considering that facebook is losing more and more users every day can you please please please please forward to those above you that trying to pose as their competition not only has irritated your loyal users but will also be irrelevant in the very near future?

So Gmail, please go back to being you. That's why we showed up in the first place. Trimmed up. Efficient. Simple. Intuitive. Crisp. Functional. And don't get the wrong idea, either. I don't wanna check my email tomorrow and find out that I can only send people pictures.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/11/13 9:27 PM
Also John not gonna lie you sound a little crazy.
John DuPree 7/11/13 10:19 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface John DuPree 7/11/13 10:26 PM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/11/13 11:17 PM
lol oh wow
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 7/12/13 4:50 AM
Thanks Dori; but, yeah, it's not like we can't see the implication in "whether". 

Since nothing else is working, as if Google "Geniuses" are suddenly incapable of reading and acting at an Elementary level of education....
Ideally:
We should all just post random images of people flipping the bird until they give an option to revert to the old chat history. I'd love for all of us to just go to their office and sit there staring at them with our middle fingers in the air until they revert. 

This $H!T is ABSURD! Apparently this new chat team is composed of the equivalent of over-thinking philosophy majors with a specialty in Absurdism with no real world practical and efficient application and with no common sense. Seriously, if I were your boss, I'd give you an ultimatum: Give an option to revert by the end of the week or you're FIRED. Period. It's been months. This is PATHETIC. What are you thinking?!?! "Oh, just wait, after we tweak this and that, they'll see how smart we are." NO! THIS. SUCKS. The more you delay, the dumber you look, and it will always appear that you were just trying to save face. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Suspended. Fired. Middle Finger. 
Oh, what's that you say?!?! 
You think *I'm* acting immature? 
I'M TRYING TO SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE, AT YOUR LEVEL. YOU DON'T TAKE ACTION ON MONTHS OF INTELLIGENT AND RESPECTFUL POSTS. 
This asinine implementation, without any revert option, with total ignorance and silence minus Dori being your sacrificial goat and saying "gee, umm, sorry, nothing I can do" IS YOU ALL FLIPPING US ALL THE BIRD EVERY DAY, CALLING US ALL STUPID EVERY DAY, TELLING US ALL YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT US EVERY DAY. HEY!! GUESS WHAT?!?! WE ULTIMATELY ARE WHY YOU HAVE A JOB AT ALL! YOU'RE JUST LUCKY WE CAN'T FIRE YOU!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 7/12/13 5:00 AM
Thanks GmailPal, couldn't agree more.
Glad to see i'm not the only one who can't remain civil in that kind of situation. YOU. GUYS. SUCK.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 7/12/13 5:25 AM
Thank You, too, Vin. We're not the only ones. We just say what other people are thinking. And the numbers of other people reach many times beyond the active users of this forum. 
Again Gmail Chat Team...
SERIOUSLY, FIRED. 
I haven't been using your chat system at all. And, it just makes me hate the idea of G+ social even more. Oh, and don't think we can't see that you tried to make YouTube look like Facebook too. Guess what one of my favorite youtube channels has as their [Facebook posing] banner? "This layout SUCKS!"
HEY BOZOS! Like Auryana said, and like common sense should tell you: WE LIKE YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT FACEBOOK. STOP TRYING TO BE FACEBOOK. FOOLS!
Yes! Bozos! Fools! Seriously! Oh, did I hurt your feelings?!?! Why should we care when you don't care about us?
I MEAN, REALLY! HAVE YOU USED THIS PIECE OF TRASH YOU CALL NEW CHAT?!?! WHAT A JOKE!!! SERIOUSLY!! THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN ROLLED OUT FOR ONE DAY ONLY.... APRIL FOOLS DAY!

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface TechnicallyBackward 7/14/13 2:09 PM
Well said, GmailPal, although I have to disagree with you about them being 'over thinking philosophy majors' - they're clearly not all that well educated and most certainly not in business philosophy. If they were, we'd not be in here voicing our hostility to their stupidity. 

Quite aside from that, their 'head' is clearly keen on seeing Gmail destroyed and hastening the facilitation of the loss of more jobs than just his, because his obvious lack of education extends to not understanding the simple business philosophy - and truth - that "THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT".

Added to that, I want to see a photo of the face of the person at the top of the Gmail food chain (together with his name) who's making these idiotic decisions and destroying everything that was ever good about gmail, because it seems to me he's deliberately trying to see how quickly he can lose Gmail's entire user base - and the world has the right to know the face and the name of the person who's trying to make things as irritating and as useless as possible.

Keep it up. These stunts you're pulling have a use-by date, after which you'll be standing in a welfare queue if you don't pull your head in, get real, and RESTORE GMAIL TO IT'S FORMER GLORY. 

It is, after all, THE ENTIRE REASON people abandoned the likes of yahoo and hotmail in droves, and came to Gmail in the first place.

I can't believe we're even having to make these complaints and have these discussions!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/14/13 6:24 PM

Okay let's not get hyperbolic here, Larry Page will never be in a Welfare queue. He hasn't after this Prism business and he didn't after that antitrust investigation, so let's stay within reasonable terms.

However, for the sake of information the quote "Google plus is Google. [...]the integrations are more every day." was offered by Google's VP Bradley Horowitz.

Hope that helps.

THat being said, for as much as they don't want to publicly admit that, the tech/user world pretty much unanimously knows that this is all due to the continued effort to compete with Facebook, and we'd like Google to stop. This is apples and oranges. I don't want granny-smith flavored citrus. It makes sense to just be good at what you do and innovate there. Stop trying to be something you're not.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface John DuPree 7/15/13 12:13 AM
giggle antroad programs, are basically some breed spun off of window pain,  while giggle techs are all getting high on Thai Stick.   It takes forever to try to figure out how to maneuver around in this realm of giggle.  Circles crap galore, labels, it's all fxcked up ROYALLY.  After chat's demise, I'm now realizing their ENTIRE product line is HOPELESS.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Sarah E. Burton 7/15/13 5:17 AM
I hate, HATE, the new layout. At least I've found others who feel the same. Hope fully this will lead to changes. Best is if they revert to old UI. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface magner 7/15/13 11:28 AM
What a fuck google did to chat history :( Are they completely crazy? Don't they see that it is unusable? That one can't find anything without endless scrolling if god knows which direction waiting for next portion to load? Google, what an idiot got to define your features without any notion of basic functionality? I don't get it, they are mad :(
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 7/18/13 8:48 AM
We still hate the new format! I'm very concerned about the "whether to move forward" bit in Dori's post, although I am heartened to see that she is at least still around. I still haven't seen an explanation for what the positive ramifications this change has for users, or any positive reviews from anyone on the Internet. I feel like people either don't make much use of their chat histories, or they are here complaining, because I have yet to hear from anyone who uses the chat history and likes any aspect of the new format. I really hope Google will revert to the old functional UI.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 7/18/13 8:51 AM
If enough people complain to valleywag.com then maybe that will get their attention.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Bhagwat Singh 7/18/13 12:33 PM
Yeah i am agree, i do not like this option of saving single message as individual chat. i prefer what there was before.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Bhagwat Singh 7/18/13 12:34 PM
agrre Jean, its really weird
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface HamOnThePizza 7/23/13 2:09 PM
I just want to throw in as objecting to this. The scrolling chat log doesn't even have date and time stamps, so trying to find something you know was shared on a certain date/time is next to impossible. This really is unpleasant and unnecessary.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface drrelyea 7/23/13 7:36 PM
Agreed. Chat history used to be very navigable and wonderful. I could find what I was looking for easily, and conversations with people (when we were brainstorming) were saved as mail, which was really nice.

It is not a long feed, which is absolutely fantastic for the zero people who requested this format. I'm not sure why they thought this was a good idea, but it's terrible for archiving.

Please, please put it back, Google. You make me miss AIM more and more with each day...  (And horridly, facebook's chat, which barely works and still maintains message integrity)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Haseeb Fatmi 7/25/13 1:29 PM
So what's the deal? It still hasn't been fixed. Any word?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 7/25/13 4:37 PM
@Haseeb

I think they decided we're all moaning myrtles and have stopped looking at the complaints.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/25/13 4:48 PM
I really hope not. This new asinine chat archiving method STILL does not allow for labeling of chats into different categories, which makes the ability to save them in the first place sort of pointless- especially since saving them isn't so much a feature as it is a standard, now.

I'm still incredibly unhappy with this, hasn't changed. This stupid eternal scroll thing is horrible, too. I have so many backlogged chats and that bothers the heck out of me because I like to keep my correspondences organized ( the main reason I CAME to Gmail), but I can't do that at the moment so everything's a mess. Plus, the fix/change won't be retroactive, I'm rather sure, so with every day that goes by, that's more and more chats that are going to be in this unsearchable, unorganizable, endless scrolling poorly designed format FOREVER.

God... dammit, Google. Do better. This is some ground tier crap, you are supposed to be so much better.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 7/25/13 6:06 PM
I hope they have not given us up as well. 

However, if Google is still reading this, I would like to pass on some additional information. 

Based on Google's poor handling of this chat rollout and the difficulty I have experienced in getting any resolution for it, I have stopped using Google chat.  Dorrie can say that KeithR has posted workarounds for us, but, uh, there are no workarounds for the chat logs.  PERIOD.  All KeithR can do is bump our communications to the powers that be.

I used Google chat for business-related brainstorming.  My work is too mission-critical to rely on such a shoddy and poorly-supported tool as the new chat system.  That's just a fiscal fact which I think Google appears not to have grasped.  I have switched to Campfire, which is a for-pay business chat service.  I used to chat a couple hundred lines in Google chat per day.  I haven't chatted with anyone in weeks.  It's not personal, it's just business.  I'm sure there are many more like me.

Moreover, I think Google has not understood the impact their poorly thought out changes have had on customer loyalty in general.  They took a tool that some customers used and then broke it--with no notice, no apology, and no support.  We can't even get anyone to explain what's supposed to be superior about this new version.  (Explaining the new benefits is customer service 101.)

I admit that I thought, What are they going to break next?  And will it be worse than this?

I had to leave on an important trip out of town for two weeks where I would be using my phone as my main connection.  It was a nice android phone.  I went to the phone store and asked for a trade-in.  The phone guy asked me how come,since my phone was less than six months old and quite expensive, and I said, "I'm sick of Google.  Too many random changes."  He said, "Yeah, I hear ya.  Hey, did you hear about Reader?"  It cost me some bucks to switch, but I wanted an iphone.  Say what you like about Apple, but at least they are a company that stands behind their products.  I can go into an Apple store and talk to a human being who represents the company and who will answer my questions.  I don't have to hang out on a random forum shouting into the void.  It's true that the Apple clerks are almost painfully perky, but they are human beings.  At Apple, there is interaction, there is feedback, there is not a strange blank wall of someone vaguely muttering about 'we're aware of your pain points, please stand by, I can promise nothing, I can answer nothing, thanks.'

I'm willing to go with zero human interaction when my tools work perfectly and serve my needs.  Google's tools have ceased to work perfectly.  Instead of helping me do my work, they now impede my work.  I feel sad to let go of Google chat and Google's tools, since I've been a loyal user for many many years.  But it's just a fiscal reality that I need tools that work, period end stop.  Since Google broke my trust in chat, as a customer I let go of Google in other arenas as well. 

I sometimes feel like Google is a very young company when it comes to dealing with customer service, (perhaps because they don't do it very often?).  It's a truism in customer service that a single truly awful experience will turn away a loyal customer--forever.  That loyal customer will also tell all their friends and relations.  There were a number of ways that this rollout could have been handled that would have reduced anger, frustration, fear, hatred, and betrayal, without even changing the actual software.  People would still hate the new system, but they'd hate Google itself less.  I don't know why I'm bothering to try to explain this to Google, but I guess I'm just naively hoping that someone inside the Googleplex is sad about the lost customers and hopes to prevent that sort of thing again--for the sake of the bottom line if not out of the goodness of their hearts. 

Personally, I will come back to Google chat if they implement a usable chat log.  I loved the old system, and my replacement is not as good.  But I cannot use the new system--it does not work, period.  I would also, tentatively, come back to Google as a customer if they answered our questions in depth, fixed the system, showed a willingness to accept responsibility for the problems their weird 'upgrade' caused.  Otherwise, no.  I feel bad about that, but again, it's a fiscal reality.  :/
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Laurea 7/25/13 6:23 PM
I had a very similar experience to VomM when I bought a new phone after my old one stopped working last week. I'd had an android phone, and until now I'd been reluctant to switch to an Apple product for various reasons. However, the number one thing I look for in a phone is reliability. The chat interface wasn't directly a reason I decided to switch to an iphone, but Google's entire attitude towards their services was. Buying a phone means buying into an entire app store of programs, and this entire set of changes has pretty much proven to me that I can't trust Google to continue to offer the programs I want.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 7/25/13 6:25 PM
There's no need to feel bad about leaving a service that no longer works, run by a company that is not doing nearly enough to seem like it's attentive to your needs.

What I find extremely unconscionable about this whole thing is how damaging it is. People's work and interpersonal relationships have suffered (I can't forget the account of the military wife from a few pages prior!), and that is entirely unacceptable. Furthermore, the fact that Google didn't see this coming is baffling. Isn't this... you know... their area of expertise?

Considering the amount of money Google makes from mining my information and predicting where I'll shop and why, I would at the very least like a trade off for my lack of privacy. Just some easy to read chats, that's all! Why it should be no hassle at all, considering that they were already that way before they were broken.


I no longer have confidence in Google because I don't think that the company has confidence in itself. Scared of Facebook, it hastily revamped its chatting utility and made it an utter mess. They didn't tell us. They didn't give us an option, and now they won't hardly speak to us. It comes across to me as the actions of someone unwilling to 'man-up' so to speak, eat some humble pie and fix the situation. Too bad, Google, that's customer service.

We _want_ your service. You _need_ our patronage. It's high high high high past time that they realized that they have not only lost users, but impeded business, and that is, once again, unacceptable. People don't tend to like it very much when you mess with their ability to make money.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface treias 7/26/13 6:45 PM
Case in point for how unhelpful this new archive format is, my co-writer and I just sat down to continue a writing session from last week. We always begin by rereading the previous session, but a good bit of her "Hangouts" log from that day was missing (due to connection issues she was having at the time? I don't know). After some scrolling up and down and pasting of lines to ascertain that yes, part of her log WAS missing and she hadn't just accidentally scrolled past to the previous or following day (as there doesn't seem to be any way to see the DATE of the chats you're reading without scrolling to the beginning of the session), I sent her the part of the session that was missing from her log. I had to do that by copy/pasting into a word processor document, which I wish her luck in reading after the way the formatting pasted - my attempt at copy/pasting directly into email resulted in an even-harder-to-read table of profile pictures and text.

I HOPE someone is still working on this. We've got nearly 700 chat logs of writing material from the last five years, which up until May were fantastically convenient to work with. Now we're going to have to revamp our entire system - and most likely our entire archive - if we want to continue working on this project. As is obvious from this thread, lots of people are in similar boats. I'm not sure what else to say besides continuing to express our (still-)growing frustration.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 7/26/13 7:34 PM
@treias, I feel your pain. My sis and I have been co-writing/planning a few different ideas for the past six years and we have been able to tag them and such and the readablility was so much better. I almost dread to even attempt to re-read any of the chats since the history was messed up. It's painfully slow to re-read since I'll I can get is a couple lines at a time and frankly I don't need to see my avatar gif in front of EVERY post.  The previous way of archiving was the best.

Has any one else noticed we can no longer vote any posts up? I think that the google people are treating this as a dead thread and ignoring us. Which is a shame. I mean the people in charge of the Chrome finally listened to those of us who were complaining, so why can't the chat/mail people listen when we have been asking for a return of the history archives that a lot of us came to gtalk for?

Are we really asking for so much? All we want is a chat history archive where we can:

1. READ the previous chat in the order we chatted in. As in start from the beginning, NOT the end. 
2. Archive chats in their own separate chats, like it used to be. I did not mind clicking the 'next' button to read the next day's chat. It helped keep the archive clean
3. TAG the chats so we can find them  easier.
4. Have search be usable and not such a headache to find what we're looking for. (Funny since Google started as a search engine and the chat search is laughable.)

Is this REALLY so much to ask for?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 7/28/13 9:27 AM
I agree!! this killed the gtalk chat history.
google, go to hell!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Haseeb Fatmi 7/31/13 12:21 PM
Now now let's not get crazy. I still love Google and all the great stuff they've been building. I'm still a loyal Google user and will continue to use their products (because let's face it, they're pretty kickass). But it's just this one thing that's really bothering me.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 7/31/13 3:24 PM
Haseeb, 

Yeah, one GIGANTIC thing that is the only/main reason any of us ever switched over to gmail and all other google products other than search AND that is the essence of Google's utility: organizing information and communication. 

You're being a wimp and I'm not pointing that fact out in order to cause some unnecessary keyboard warrior nonsense but rather to awaken you and others to the fact that this gentle BS is obviously not working to fix the problem and clearly a more aggressive alternative is needed to get any results. Tell Google to shove it like the rest of us and come up with some sort of strategy that has real potential to induce change. What they have done to chat history is preposterous. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Hayley Rushing 7/31/13 4:50 PM
Considering the long silence from any Google employee (Dori? Are you still reading this thread?), I've personally accepted that the new gchat interface isn't changing.

So I've switched over to AIM for chat. It doesn't have all the features that gchat used to have, but it has more utility than gchat currently has, and that's that. At least AIM does reliable, easily searchable chat history.

Also, I've been shopping around for a new small-size laptop, and even though Chromebooks are the cheapest, I'm not going there. Google has lost my trust, so they're losing potential patronage from me, and probably many others.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface yellowjournalism 7/31/13 5:01 PM
Haseeb, I agree with GmailPal that this kind of tolerance does not help. This is already too small of a voice and we need to be heard. This is an essentially ludicrous loss of functionality, and it doesn't matter how much I love Google's other work and what else might be going on in their end. As a software developer I actually have all the understanding in the world, but if end users just laid down and accepted faulty design, it would not drive developers to make quality products.

I'll say again: This new chat design is an unacceptable loss of key functionality.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maggi Malone 7/31/13 5:10 PM
I must agree with yellowjournalism for what might possibly be, at least, my third comment in this thread, "This new chat design is an unacceptable loss of key functionality." I have yet to hear an intelligent and concise explanation from the staff as to why it can't be changed back!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/1/13 3:25 AM
Maggi Malone: I have yet to hear an intelligent and concise explanation from the staff as to why it can't be changed back!

Because there isn't any intelligent and concise explanation as to why it can't be changed back! They could do it in 1 day and they know there is good reason to! It's all ego and bullshit theory about superficial trends and competition with Facebook / Social Media. Google has gotten to the point where the founder's vision of efficient & focused utility has disintegrated due to market growth making underlings pressured and greedy about monopolizing every aspect of the internet and trying any stupid trick to get a piece of facebook. That's exactly what this is: a stupid trick. This chat history looks like 80s Atari and pinball machines in a world of PS & Xbox A/V that blur the lines of reality (& I'm not even a gamer). The Google Voice logs for texting are more efficient than this garbage. I am looking for an alternative to all things google now only because of this chat history issue being a major eye opener. Chromecast and Chromebooks won't see a penny from me either (this is their attempt to get a piece of Apple & MS). Yes, others feel the same and all of us will have much more peace with Google if they bring back an option to revert to the original chat history because it will show that they still have some common sense and customer care. Out of all the controversies that have plagued Google such as big complaints about "do no evil" with free speech, intrusion of various sorts, ads, etc, nothing that Google has done has ever so crucially ruined the most essential daily functions ...until the new chat history. Again: in addition to common sense, pay attention to some of the personal stories shared here about what is happening to families of soldiers, teams of professional collaborators, and all sorts of personal users....and remember that the numbers of complaints here should be massive extrapolated to indicate that millions of people are dissatisfied and simply have no clue what to do, how to do it, where to say it, etc.

Somebody make something like a Labs plug-in to revert to original chat history. 
This new chat history is epic trash.
This message has been hidden because it was flagged for abuse.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/1/13 7:46 PM
Gmail is at risk of being a Ghost Town if they don't provide an option to revert to original chat history, and Gmail competitors may soon pick up on this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/google-ideas_n_3691798.html

Google Has Killed Some Of Its Best Ideas.. Because Of Google+

The Huffington Post  |  By Dino Grandoni Posted: 08/01/2013 6:34 pm EDT  |  Updated: 08/01/2013 6:36 pm EDT


By most accounts, Google+ has failed to make a significant dent in people's online habits, despite having 359 million members, according to one unofficial count. But that doesn't mean it hasn't changed the way people use Google. In fact, the tech giant is letting its flailing social network dictate other services it offers -- killing some to make way for Google+.

The latest example comes from The Wall Street Journal, which reported this weekthat Google CEO Larry Page asked engineers to develop a privacy feature that would let Googlers throttle the amount of data they send to Google's servers. The would-be setting would have let you toggle through "kitten," "cat" and "tiger" modes of Google, which would tell the company whether it should collect a "minimal, medium or maximum" amount of data about those who conduct a Google search or watch a YouTube video.

But it wasn't meant to be. According to the Journal, the project faced the dizzying challenge of coordinating privacy policies across diverse products. But there was one other self-imposed obstacle: "Allowing people to select the maximum-protection setting, known as the 'tin-foil-hat option,' went against Google's newer efforts to get more people to share information about themselves on the Google+ social-networking service," sources told the paper's Amir Efrati. Google didn't answer a HuffPost inquiry about the Journal article.

This feline-inspired privacy setting isn't the only thing Google has built and then dropped because of Google+. With a small but loyal following, Google Reader was"sunsetted" -- Google's euphemism for killed -- earlier this year, after it decided it was better if people found and shared news on the social network rather than through an RSS reader. Similarly, when Google Chat was replaced by Google Hangouts in May, you could no longer display a "Gchat status" to all of your contacts. It's believed Google axed that feature as well in order to get people posting in its "ghost town."

Google created Google+ in 2011 to curb the threat that social networks posed to its business. People were increasingly using social sites, mainly Facebook, to find what to read or watch online, sucking traffic from Google search. But in the distance loomed a larger danger: What if Facebook created its own Web search engine -- not just one that brought up info about friends -- and offered better results because it knew its members so intimately?

So Google built a social network to get a Facebook-sized pile of data, but is still waiting for people to show up and spent more than an average of 3.3 minutes on the site, according to comScore research from 2012. It's been argued that while Google would have loved to dethrone Facebook, it's still content running Google+ as long as people enter biographical data about themselves, even if they never return.

It's unlikely any Google executive is going to lose sleep over doing away with any of sunsetted features, which were never going to be core moneymakers for the company. But what if, in trying to incubate Google+, it smothers the next great idea?


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204653604577249341403742390.html

  • February 28, 2012

The Mounting Minuses at Google+

Playing Catch-up to Facebook, Google's Social Network Is a Virtual Ghost Town


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 8/1/13 8:10 PM
Hahaha don't remind them that we know, they'll just get chafed about it and start 'fixing' more things about Gmail.

One thing that is very irritating about all of this is the fact that what companies like FB and my once-asylum Google understandably don't acknowledge is that there are some users who DON'T LIKE relinquishing personal information just for the sake of lazier searching. I don't want my search results more catered to what my computer knows about me, because I know me better than any social media, and the idea that there are more and more things that I won't be shown just because FB or Google has been stalking me irritates me and creeps me out.

So laugh all you want, but I'd definitely be one of the people who would have used the 'tinfoil hat option', please and friggin' thank you.
(unknown) 8/3/13 8:30 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/4/13 8:25 AM
Chaz1001: No one hears me when I use your phone service
Canada-US
It is to put it mildly a load of crap purporting to be a service

Well said. In case anyone thought this was off topic, here's how it's not:
The new chat history interface is also a load of crap purporting to be a service. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Google Community Manager 8/6/13 11:46 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm happy to announce that you should all now have the option to reply to or forward a chat by email. In addition, you can print a chat and label your chats in your chat history.

In order to see these changes reflected, please refresh your Gmail window, navigate to the Chats label, click on a chat conversation to open it, and check out the options under the little arrow menu button:

Thank you all for your feedback and your patience!

Dori



Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Haseeb Fatmi 8/6/13 11:53 AM
Thanks Dori. But we still can't search the chat logs. That was my problem in the first place. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 8/6/13 11:54 AM
Mmmm... So
- how can we copy and paste a fragment of a chat? We have to do as if we were going it by email, and THEN select that part from the email draft for copy?

- the chats are still not searchable by keywords, are they? We only get to the end of a chat that may contain the given keyword?...

Hem, thanks but no thanks. An option to revert back to old chat is all we were all asking for. Seems too much to ask apparently...

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Haseeb Fatmi 8/6/13 12:04 PM
I totally agree with Vin. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 8/6/13 12:08 PM
This still doesn't appear to fix the main issue everyone has been complaining about - the display of the chat history! They are still saved as individual lines. Virtually unusable, and certainly not worthy of forwarding by email, labeling, printing or any of these 'new' fixes if they're not grouped by a chat session and still appear as separate lines for every single exchange!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 8/6/13 12:08 PM
Thank you Dori.
This is welcome news.
However I did notice that I can't be reading a previous chat and label it from that window, which is how I usually label my chats. I generally start reading the chat, THEN label... not the other way around.

Also, the scrolling layout makes labelling that much harder as it still opens to the end of a chat. As you've previously stated, google is not going to change its mind on this rather ill-planned UI change, could you please ask about a toggle or a switch that we can use to have our chats open to the beginning of the chat rather then the end of it? 
I would really appreciate that option. (Maybe a toggle to get rid of the user icons as well... it make re-reading headache inducing.)

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Ilona. 8/6/13 12:08 PM

Hello, I been following this subject.
It's indeed the search function and the copy and paste which is not possible or even to see the time and date in front of the IM send. 
Also, I just looked and mailing is not working? It seemed to be grey out for me.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kate Butler 8/6/13 12:09 PM
Err. So I can now forward a single line of chat to someone?  Gee, thanks, Google, that's... completely useless.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Grünfeld 8/6/13 12:11 PM
Old Chat was still better.

Don't want the icons, just the names -- shorter, neater, more efficient.

Don't want the big load.  Just the self-contained Chat.  "This happened, then."

Sorry, but that's how it is.  The old Chat was better.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/6/13 12:15 PM
Thanks for the update, Dori. There are still numerous items that need to be improved in the chat history interface, but I will focus on one perhaps easily-overlooked aspect that this latest update has made even less efficient:

Before, there used to be a "Print all" button next to the "In new window" in the upper-right corner above the chat transcript. That button was useful to have because one didn't have to scroll to the beginning of the specific time-period's chat segment to print the entire chat segment's transcript. Now, one is forced to scroll all the way to the top of the chat segment (which takes a while for longer chats) to be able to get to this action menu. I think that, in addition to the action menu, the actions should be added as buttons next to the "In new window", and the actions can be made only to apply to that specific/discrete time period's chat history segment (just as the "Print all" button used to work before they removed it with this latest update).
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Community Manager @ Google 8/6/13 12:16 PM
@Haseeb - regarding keyword search not working well for searching chat history logs: this is an issue the team is aware of and working to resolve.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kate Butler 8/6/13 12:22 PM
Looking further into this, one of the biggest issues for me (aside from the line by line chat history which is absolutely INCREDIBLY ANNOYING and COMPLETELY UNREADABLE) is that when the chats were grouped together as one file, they took on the label of whoever you were chatting with (if you had a label assigned to that contact). This was great -- chats between me and my husband were quickly and easily picked out of the chat history from amongst work related or other discussions with different people. Now, his comments to /me/ are labelled, but my comments to /him/ are not, and I am still not seeing that having the ability to go through line by line and add labels is any improvement at all.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/6/13 12:28 PM
L
M
A
O
Riiiiight. Great "fix". 

REVERT TO ORIGINAL CHAT HISTORY. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/6/13 12:42 PM
Additionally, the demarcation line between two discrete chat segments is much too light and easy to miss when scrolling through the chat history. Please make this separation more easily visible, so that we can at least find the action menus.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 8/6/13 12:49 PM
Somebody please help me! I've posted this question before and got no response. I don't see how you are able to 'scroll' through a series of chat segments. In my chat history, each exchange is separate, and if I click on it to open it, there are no other exchanges from that chat session. Is this something only available on mobile devices? I'm not seeing it on my desktop version, so I don't even see these "demarcation lines" referred to by DSingh1699. Others complained that the scrolling is in the wrong order (older vs. newer chats) or that it takes a long time to load.  HUH? I'm not seeing anything to scroll!!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 8/6/13 12:53 PM
If you have conversation view disabled in Gmail, you will only see one message at a time in history.  With conversation view enabled, you will see the full conversation, and be able to scroll.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 8/6/13 12:54 PM
You have to enable Conversation view, in Configuration.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 8/6/13 12:55 PM
Is this a conversation view issue perhaps? I have conversation view turned on, and the behavior you and Kate Butler are describing sound like what happens when you have it off, now that each line of chat is stored as a separate message. (Of course turning it on changes how the rest of your mail looks, so it's really unfortunate that people who prefer not to use conversation view have their chat histories rendered so nonfunctional. But I think that's at least why you're not seeing what we're seeing...)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/6/13 12:56 PM
@Igrace88: I'm not a Top Contributor, so I probably don't have enough experience to help you, but I can try! Do you have conversation view enabled? I think you only get the new chat history interface if you have conversation view enabled.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 8/6/13 12:56 PM
Thanks Christian and bkennelly - that explains it! I simply hate conversation view and so will have to live with this unusable chat history. If I could apply it to just the chats I would consider it but I can't stand what it does to my email. Arg.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 8/6/13 12:58 PM
And Jean and DSingh!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kate Butler 8/6/13 1:01 PM
@lgrace88 I totally agree.  I'm sure conversation view is great for some people but I'm just not interested in investing the time it would take to get used to it, assuming I ever would. 

It would be nice if Google made something /more/ functional for a change by enabling conversation view to be set on a per screen or tab or whatever basis.  It would actually be quite useful in my archived mail, I just don't want it in the inbox.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface drrelyea 8/6/13 1:19 PM
Everyone here: "Scrolling chat sucks. We can't search. We can't see individual conversations. These are easy things to re-implement. Please do so."

Google: "We are listening to your pain points! We'll talk to the team!"

Us: "No just fix those things. It's easy."

Google: We added a bunch of features that entirely fail to address your simple complaint! Thank you all for your feedback and your patience!

Us: :strangles Google through computer screen:

Dori - please just have the team put in a toggle so we can use conversations the way that everyone in this thread would like to. It isn't difficult, and wow, would it help productivity. It sucks to see products with features lose them - you look around at other companies whenever that happens, and it's hair-pulling frustration.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 8/6/13 1:30 PM
@drrelyea:

Hahaha, exactly my thoughts! With their stupid fix, they have managed to look like total idiots and make everyone even more infuriated!

Seriously, Dori, we still havent heard what advantage Google thinks the new chat has compared to before!!
It's obvious you know you screwed up big time but cant admit it, so you are pushing to maintain the new crap at all costs!
Jeez, it took you THREE months to respond with this totally inappropriate fix, just give us a revert option, it will be done in days!

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 8/6/13 1:58 PM


On Tuesday, August 6, 2013 10:30:36 PM UTC+2, vin sands wrote:

It's obvious you know you screwed up big time but cant admit it, so you are pushing to maintain the new crap at all costs!
Jeez, it took you THREE months to respond with this totally inappropriate fix, just give us a revert option, it will be done in days!

they can't do this, since that would mean that all "enhancements" are piece of crap, and someone's head would fall..

However, Google, hear me!!
it is not too late  yet to admit to mistake.. Otherwise you still will be loosing users that are unhappily moving to other solutions from other companies.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface enemyofperfect 8/6/13 3:34 PM
I'd like to strongly second DSingh1699's request that it be possible to access the print button without having to scroll all the way to the beginning of a chat.  Like most other users, what I really want is the old history back, but every little bit of functionality counts.  I do appreciate the restoration of the ability to label chats -- and, theoretically, to reply to or forward chats, although those options seem to be ghosted for me, the way they are for Ilona, so... I'm not sure what's going on there.

I haven't been speaking up much, mostly out of a sense of vague despair, and partly out of the recognition that the Google representatives reading and responding in this forum are probably not the ones responsible for the change and don't deserve the ire that's being heaped upon them.  I'd like to reiterate, though, since silence can be mistaken for acceptance, that as much as I genuinely do appreciate the incremental attempts at fixing what the first round of changes broke, the new chat history is still actively painful to use.  It's difficult for me to understand how anyone who has ever used chat history could think it's a good idea not to load the entire chat at once.  I miss the old format on a daily basis, not out of nostalgia, but for the simple reason that it worked.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 7:20 PM
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 05:09:25 UTC+10, Kate Butler wrote:
Err. So I can now forward a single line of chat to someone?  Gee, thanks, Google, that's... completely useless.

Why don't you look at the function before criticising what you imagine to be the case?  The reply/forward/print/label menu is available on the start of day line, so you can reply or forward a whole day's conversation (or manually edit the copied text to use less).

[Edit: In case you are not getting email updates, see my apology below before flaming me back]
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 7:27 PM
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 05:56:33 UTC+10, lgrace88 wrote:
Thanks Christian and bkennelly - that explains it! I simply hate conversation view and so will have to live with this unusable chat history. If I could apply it to just the chats I would consider it but I can't stand what it does to my email. Arg.

This is yet another stuff up.  When the chat logs were first broken into single messages, they joined up automatically with earlier and later chats with the same party when you opened one whether or not Conversation View was enabled.  Now that has changed so they don't join up unless you have CV on.

Will report this as a bug.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 7:34 PM
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 12:20:16 UTC+10, KeithR wrote:
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 05:09:25 UTC+10, Kate Butler wrote:
Err. So I can now forward a single line of chat to someone?  Gee, thanks, Google, that's... completely useless.

Why don't you look at the function before criticising what you imagine to be the case?  The reply/forward/print/label menu is available on the start of day line, so you can reply or forward a whole day's conversation (or manually edit the copied text to use less).

Apologies, Kate - the boot is on the other foot.  As in my response to lgrace88, apparently the engineers have broken or abandoned something else that was useful.  I have reported with due disgust the great new feature of being able to forward or print one line of a chat at a time.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 7:36 PM
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 05:42:54 UTC+10, DSingh1699 wrote:
Additionally, the demarcation line between two discrete chat segments is much too light and easy to miss when scrolling through the chat history. Please make this separation more easily visible, so that we can at least find the action menus.

Instead of watching for the demarcation line, watch for the day and date at the left side. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 7:38 PM
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 04:54:17 UTC+10, vin sands wrote:
Mmmm... So
- how can we copy and paste a fragment of a chat? We have to do as if we were going it by email, and THEN select that part from the email draft for copy?
It only selects one day's chats, then yes, edit it just like replying to an email.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 7:41 PM
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 05:08:16 UTC+10, Wildfirev wrote:
However I did notice that I can't be reading a previous chat and label it from that window, which is how I usually label my chats. I generally start reading the chat, THEN label... not the other way around.

I don't get this, Wildfirev, I see the option to label right there in the window where I am reading the chat.  Click on the little arrow at the right of the day and date separation line.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 8/6/13 7:46 PM
The labeling issue is just as garbage today as it was a week ago. The only way I can label is from the chatlog screen and only if i select messages. I just really hate the way this works, I hate gmail right now, I hate the lack of functionality, and I hate that the only responses from Google employees we get DISTINCTLY ignore and dismiss the larger quantity of our problems. Ignoring them doesn't make them go away, and it's very rude and just makes us angrier! Eat crow and admit that you made something that people DON'T like, for once, Google. That's the first step in fixing  this steaming pile of UI offal.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 8/6/13 7:51 PM
I think there is something buggy and strange going on with this new 'upgrade'.  Maybe it's related to what Wildfirev is experiencing.

When I first open a chat, it opens the chat, shows a few lines, then shows this dot that turns green, red, yellow (not sure of colors or order, sorry), while saying 'loading messages' (or something similar).  I've never seen that before, but I have it now.  It's weird and slow.

Unlike before, when it opened the chat at the bottom,( or old-style, where it opened at the top), I'm now seeing a chat sort of near the end, but not quite.  I have to scroll up to reach the top and see the line where I can choose reply/print/whatever, OR scroll down to hit the next day's.  Why in the WORLD is it opening in the middle?  Is this happening to anyone else? 

Here's the other bizarre thing.  So it opens in the middle, EXCEPT, if I close the window, open something else, THEN go back, I start at the top and see the weird reply line right there.  It's very very odd.  If I close the browser window, it goes back to opening up the chat in the middle again, and I have to scroll slowly (usually it hustles past the start of that day and I have to go down again) to find the start again, with occasional pauses for the bizarre green/yellow/blue dot thing.  But if I again close that, THEN open it again, I get the start.

This has to be the most confusing and frustrating upgrade ever, but for me it is behaving very oddly.  I wonder if it's fully rolled out?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 7:51 PM
Auryana, you are wrong.  You didn't look carefully enough at the screen shot Dori posted.  To access the new features, while you have a message open click on the little arrow at the right hand side of the day & date demarcation line.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 8/6/13 7:55 PM
I don't think she's wrong.  My ability to label chats (as well as the reply/print/forward) just vanished.  I think there's some seriously odd stuff happening. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 8/6/13 8:01 PM
KeithR, I didn't see that until after people mentioned it. 
I was thinking it was going to be similar to how chat used to be with the label button outside the chat frame...  I see now. My chats aren't even showing up at the the end of the chat now, it's somewhere in the middle so the line separating days wasn't visible.

Thanks for pointing it out.

I just wish Google would actually pull their heads out of their collective backsides and either explain why they "fixed" the chat history in the first place, or just acknowledge they made a mistake and revert back to the genuine FUCTIONAL chat history.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 8/6/13 8:04 PM
On Tuesday, August 6, 2013 7:27:29 PM UTC-7, KeithR wrote:
This is yet another stuff up.  When the chat logs were first broken into single messages, they joined up automatically with earlier and later chats with the same party when you opened one whether or not Conversation View was enabled.  Now that has changed so they don't join up unless you have CV on.

No, it has been this way since 10-11 May, when the chat history changed.  I remember testing and commenting on it even before the I/O conference.  It is not a new problem, it is a zero day bug. 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/6/13 8:05 PM
When I first open a chat, it opens the chat, shows a few lines, then shows this dot that turns green, red, yellow (not sure of colors or order, sorry), while saying 'loading messages' (or something similar).  I've never seen that before, but I have it now.  It's weird and slow.

@VonM: the incessant loading of earlier (or later) chat segments is something I've experienced since May, when I created this thread (see my original post from May 11): "navigating to the beginning of the conversation and/or viewing the entire chat transcript requires the loading of the entire chat, which entails a seemingly never-ending process (especially for longer chats!) of scrolling to the top of the loaded section, waiting for Gmail to load a bit more of the conversation, then scrolling to the top of the newly-loaded section and waiting even more -- ad nauseum." Sometimes the other segments load fast enough that you don't see the multi-colored circle and "Loading messages", but they've been there since May. Unfortunately, it's a huge mess.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/6/13 8:10 PM
@KeithR: I meant the day and date to be included in my generalized "demarcation line" labeling -- they are also quite small and faint (a light grey) and, thus, also easily missed when scrolling quickly to get to the top of a lengthy chat.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/6/13 8:18 PM
I have an idea: why don't we have collapsible chat segments? Then one can easily navigate between the various discrete chat segments (i.e., those that are separated by the demarcation lines and constitute different chat "sessions"), and when one expands a specific chat segment, the chat transcript starts at the beginning (rather than the end) of that segment. It's not perfect, but I think it might be the beginnings of a return to a sufficiently functional chat history within the confines of the new chat history interface (which, most likely, will be here to stay for the long haul, unfortunately). Thoughts?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/6/13 9:03 PM
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013 13:18:10 UTC+10, DSingh1699 wrote:
I have an idea: why don't we have collapsible chat segments? Then one can easily navigate between the various discrete chat segments (i.e., those that are separated by the demarcation lines and constitute different chat "sessions"), and when one expands a specific chat segment, the chat transcript starts at the beginning (rather than the end) of that segment. It's not perfect, but I think it might be the beginnings of a return to a sufficiently functional chat history within the confines of the new chat history interface (which, most likely, will be here to stay for the long haul, unfortunately). Thoughts?

That's a really good suggestion and is similar to the way an email conversation is opened on re-reading so makes the interface more consistent.  I could move your post to a thread of its own to make it more noticeable, but I believe it's also good to be here in context.  Would you please post this again under the category "I have an idea"?  If you do, I'll escalate it to the team.  No need to respond here, I'll see any new posts.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 8/7/13 7:59 AM
Thank you Keith. Yes please do report this as a bug! I can't stand conversation view and simply won't use it just to restore some usability to my chat history. I appreciate your effort on this.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 8/7/13 8:15 AM
Well, just for the record, I turned CV on so I could see what the fixes looked like and low...there is no drop-down arrow next to the demarcation line as in Dori's image. I'm turning CV back off because it's a most annoying feature and hoping Google will simply restore a usable chat history view. PLEASE!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface wswsws 8/7/13 12:29 PM
I'm also having the same problem Ilona posted yesterday- the "Reply by mail" and "Forward by mail" options are visible to me but grayed out, i can't use them. 
What is going on with this....?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dan Mihu 8/7/13 12:47 PM
Me too. The options are grayed out. And the line with the tiny arrow is so easy to miss that is barely usable. This "fix" is nix.

Google, please be reasonable and revert Chat History to what it was before. This is taking too long already and the joke is on us.

Your infinite scroll in chats is TOTALLY USELESS.
Reply and Forward options greyed out in open chat history bkennelly 8/7/13 1:05 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Reply and Forward options greyed out in open chat history Juliex1 8/7/13 1:09 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Reply and Forward options greyed out in open chat history Ilona. 8/7/13 1:15 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 8/7/13 3:19 PM
Oh, wait, I've found where you moved the print button to.  The top of the chat log!  Not the top of the chat log window, where it conveniently be, but the top of the chat in that window.  Which, of course, loads at the bottom.  Which means that reaching the print button on a long chat now involves scrolling up, waiting for the next block to load, scrolling up, waiting for the next block to load, scrolling up, etc. for over a thousand lines.  HOW IS THIS BETTER?  How is this in any single tiny little way better than what we had before this change?  And how, of course, as we have been asking this entire time, is any of this better than the simple, functional system that we had before it got replaced by an animated color loading icon?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/7/13 3:32 PM
On Thursday, 8 August 2013 08:19:59 UTC+10, Reese8 wrote:
...  HOW IS THIS BETTER?

It's better in that you can print/label/reply to or forward a single day's chats instead of the whole record. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR 8/7/13 3:40 PM
I'm going to move bkennelly's post (copied here for reference to a separate thread along with all replies to it so that we can assist with this specific issue without confusion.  A link will be left here so that you can follow the posts.  Please try all his suggestions and answer all questions to assist diagnosis.

On Thursday, 8 August 2013 06:05:54 UTC+10, bkennelly wrote:
I cannot recreate the "greyed out" menu options.  I have tried with groups and individuals, with Hangout logs and Chat logs, with Google+ users and non-users, with non-Google users and with and without conversation view.  It even worked when I replied to a user without an email address although, in that case, I got an error message about not having an address.

So, for those of you seeing the disabled menu options;
  • What browser are you using? 
  • Have you tried it with extensions disabled?
  • Do you see active entries in other logs? 
    • If so, do you see any pattern?
(Yes, the implementation is "not optimal", but it should work.)
Re: Reply and Forward options greyed out in open chat history Reese8 8/7/13 3:45 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 8/7/13 3:58 PM
Well, a group I'm in has been meeting in Gchat for years, but we're now working on changing to IRC for the foreseeable future.  It's a pity, but then, I doubt that we'd have been meeting on Gchat in the first place if it had been like this when we started.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/7/13 4:50 PM
"doubt", Reese? No need to apologize for your obvious typo because you KNOW there is NO DOUBT any of us would have been attracted to this chat history over the many other chat options. Gchat history got me & everyone I know into gmail. Before that, they all used hotmail, yahoo, skype, AIM, IRC, etc. Everyone was like "why do you ike Gmail so much, I don't get it!" Then I'd show them what the integrated chat experience was like with awesome history functionality and they'd be stuck like glue. The only reason why any of these people I know are barely hanging on to gmail by a thread is because we developed a habit of gmail and hope for the permanent Labs / Option to revert to the original chat history. I just started exploring outlook.com combined with Skype and I am looking into other options. Piggybacking Pidgin with gmail is not the automatically-integrated idealism that the original Gchat history perfectly is. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 8/7/13 5:25 PM
GmailPal, avoid Skype. It's horrible. The cursor constantly freezes as you're typing. Messages occasionally don't send, even when you have pressed enter. The friends I have on skype are rather annoyed with it.

It IS usable but it is almost as frustrating as the chat history problem. If I could avoid it I would, however my one friend won't budge... so I'm stuck with it if I want to talk to him.

Re: Reply and Forward options greyed out in open chat history Dan Mihu 8/8/13 1:06 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/8/13 5:13 PM
On Tuesday, August 6, 2013 3:15:32 PM UTC-4, DSingh1699 wrote:
Before [this latest update], there used to be a "Print all" button next to the "In new window" in the upper-right corner above the chat transcript. That button was useful to have because one didn't have to scroll to the beginning of the specific time-period's chat segment to print the entire chat segment's transcript. Now, one is forced to scroll all the way to the top of the chat segment (which takes a while for longer chats) to be able to get to this action menu. I think that, in addition to the action menu, the actions should be added as buttons next to the "In new window", and the actions can be made only to apply to that specific/discrete time period's chat history segment (just as the "Print all" button used to work before they removed it with this latest update).

Would it be possible to let the team know that they should really bring the "Print all" button back (and add "Reply by mail" and "Forward by mail" buttons, as well) as soon as possible, since that will make it much easier to access these actions -- especially for long chats! Or, they should open the chat history at the beginning of the segment so that we can access the drop-down menu right there without having to do any scrolling. At least one of these options should really be implemented to avoid endless scrolling (which I'm sure the development team didn't intend for us to have to do to get a full chat transcript).

@KeithR, @bkennelly: you should try getting to the drop-down menu for a really long chat. It's a major pain. I'm hoping to get you guys as vocal/influential allies on this specific point, as well! :) :P

Finally, can the number of lines in a chat segment/session be added back, too?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface gtalkuser24 8/9/13 3:01 AM
First of all, the "print" format of the chat history is great and close to what it used to be. Thanks a lot for that! 
I still have some complains about it. 
1) The "Print" option no longer shows the number of chat lines. For my record, I need to know the number of chat lines i've had wid a person on a particular day. 
I liked the oldest and the best display of number of chat lines (which i could view directly from the chat folder without actually clicking on the chat). Then google changed the chat history interface. Then atleast i cud view the number of chat lines when i clicked on the "print" option. Now even that is removed. Please restore it!
2) the reply and forward buttons are greyed out. I think that issue is already known. 
3) Like DSingh1699 mentioned, the "print all button" was better placed near the "new window button" since there wasnt a need to scroll all the way to the top of a chat. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/9/13 6:21 PM
Hey Google people that screwed this all up:
Notice the trend of patronizing comments being a thinly veiled suggestion to make everything EXACTLY LIKE THE ORIGINAL CHAT.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maggi Malone 8/9/13 6:48 PM
Well just thought I'd leave a farewell message. Frankly tired of Google, tired of useless innovations and tired of unproductive discussions. Today myself and a couple of friends left Google and moved over to Yahoo Messenger.  We're very happy with the interface. Yahoo may not have all the extra features that Google has, but what good are they if they don't work efficiently. At least Yahoo seems to be a stable and "ready for primetime" software. It works, and it seems to serve our purposes very well. I still like Gmail, it works for me, and I'll stick with it as a mail client,  but the chats and the hangouts are useless and inefficient.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Rapzid 8/11/13 3:39 AM
I was just wanting to share my recent experience.  Initially I disliked the new history upgrade(and chat UI but thank god I was able to revert that!) originally but it was something I had just accepted as ruined until today.  I'm in the process of gathering all my chat logs with my partner together so I can prepare them for viewing by immigration.  I was able to gather up everything pre-upgrade via labels and IMAP, however it looks like I'm going to be stuck for a few hours manually scrolling through and "forwarding" every day individually so I can copy out the text =/
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Robin 8/11/13 8:10 PM
Absolutely agreed. The old chat histories were something I liked in particular, and now being unable to copy and paste easily, or forward chats, or even to search them efficiently is extremely frustrating. 

It doesn't seem like anyone has found a good workaround for even copying and pasting, so, do people have recommendations for alternative chat clients that store histories in a manageable way? 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maggi Malone 8/11/13 8:39 PM
So far I am quite pleased with Yahoo Messenger. You can easily search the chats, print, copy and paste, and save. No way to forward them so far as I can tell, but you can always attach the saved chat and send it in an email. We haven't quite mastered the voice calls yet but we're working on that. That stopped working anyway with Google once the "Hangouts" software replaced Google "talk", another useless innovation with no useful support available.  I was fine with the old Google "Talk."  Only been using Yahoo for 2 days but so far, so good.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 8/11/13 8:43 PM
Although it is not as easy, or as well integrated, as it used to be, you can now forward chats, and that provides a way to copy and paste.  Look for the small triangle on the right of the day separator line.  It will open a menu.

Personally, I use Pidgin for a lot of my chatting.  It has a decent chat log, and supports many different chat protocols.  (A warning though, an external program may not receive copies of all messages exchanged when you are chatting through Gmail, so those will not get recorded.  On the other hand, messages exchanged in external clients will be recorded in 
Gmail.)

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/13/13 10:35 AM
On Sunday, August 11, 2013 11:43:13 PM UTC-4, bkennelly wrote:
Although it is not as easy, or as well integrated, as it used to be, you can now forward chats, and that provides a way to copy and paste.  Look for the small triangle on the right of the day separator line.  It will open a menu.

Yes; however, as I and others have mentioned numerous times in recent posts, this menu should also be placed as additional buttons next to the "In new window" button in the upper-right corner so that we don't have to scroll to the top of the chat history segment to find the demarcation line and, with it, the desired action menu. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I just want a Top Contributor to actually pass this on up to Dori / the development team, since it seems like a common-sense implementation to me. Thanks.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 8/13/13 10:45 AM
On Tuesday, August 13, 2013 10:35:34 AM UTC-7, DSingh1699 wrote:
On Sunday, August 11, 2013 11:43:13 PM UTC-4, bkennelly wrote:
Although it is not as easy, or as well integrated, as it used to be, you can now forward chats, and that provides a way to copy and paste.  Look for the small triangle on the right of the day separator line.  It will open a menu.

Yes; however, as I and others have mentioned numerous times in recent posts, this menu should also be placed as additional buttons next to the "In new window" button in the upper-right corner so that we don't have to scroll to the top of the chat history segment to find the demarcation line and, with it, the desired action menu.

That is part of the reason it is "not as easy, or as well integrated".  <grin>  

 
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I just want a Top Contributor to actually pass this on up to Dori / the development team, since it seems like a common-sense implementation to me. Thanks.


And, yes, this feedback has been passed on.  
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface magner 8/14/13 1:58 AM
@ bkennelly

>> That is part of the reason it is "not as easy, or as well integrated"

And what about the reason "group chat history grouping&search was completely broken, because it seems like not a single thought was made about those most important functional features?" Any updates on that?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 8/14/13 8:34 AM
Unfortunately, no updates on changes to chat history.  My description of the new history has been, and remains, that it is FUBAR.  
 
(OTOH, search works for me in chat histories, so I don't know why you include that as a broken feature.)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 8/14/13 8:43 AM
(OTOH, search works for me in chat histories, so I don't know why you include that as a broken feature.)

Search works in chat histories for you? How do you do that? Nothing has been solved as far as I'm concerned. We just get to the bottom of the chats that contain the keyword, and then impossible to know where that word appears in the chat!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Community Manager @ Google 8/14/13 9:18 AM
@vin sands, the team is aware of some issues with the search function for Chat history is actively working on fixing this!  
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface JudahH 8/15/13 6:52 AM
As a workaround for the lack of convenient print button, bookmark the following script as "Print Chat" or something:

javascript:(function(){var%20url=""+window.location;var%20chat_id=(url.match(/mail\.google\.com.*chats\/([a-f\d]+)/))[1];if(chat_id)window.open("http://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?view=pt&search=chats&th="+chat_id);})();
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Patrick Lessard 8/15/13 12:37 PM
Je déteste cette nouvelle interface, belle mais NON productive.
On passe à des sous-menus pour changer de fonts, on doit changer de fenêtre pour modifier le tire lors d'un forward. Puffff. Réellement emmerdant. 

I hate to manage in 3 clicks and search what i was able to do in one click before!
I don't care about fashion, I want speed and productivity!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/15/13 12:52 PM
On Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:52:55 AM UTC-4, JudahH wrote:
As a workaround for the lack of convenient print button, bookmark the following script as "Print Chat" or something:

javascript:(function(){var%20url=""+window.location;var%20chat_id=(url.match(/mail\.google\.com.*chats\/([a-f\d]+)/))[1];if(chat_id)window.open("http://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?view=pt&search=chats&th="+chat_id);})();

The script works -- thank you very much, Judah!!

Adding the action menu as buttons is clearly not too difficult to code -- it's really just a matter of whether or not the development team feels the impetus to do so in a timely manner. Get it done quickly, please!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/15/13 1:03 PM
I've noticed something and am wondering if others can confirm it: now, when I click on a specific chat from the Chats system folder, it opens that chat segment up at the beginning instead of at the end like it used to, so now the action menu for that specific chat segment is readily accessible without having to scroll up or down.

If this is indeed a recent fix, then they just need to change the previews that we see in the Chats system folder to show the beginning line(s) of the chat segments rather than the end line(s).

One (slow) step at a time...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 8/15/13 1:33 PM
Yay!!!

DSingh, I see the same behavior you're seeing.

Additionally, when I search for a keyword, the chat opens to an instance of that keyword! As far as I can tell the previewed line is the last instance of the keyword and the chat opens to the first instance of it, but I'm not quite sure how it's working exactly. But it's definitely something...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface JudahH 8/15/13 2:21 PM

That sounds like a definite improvement but I'm not seeing it myself. I imagine it's another change they're testing and/or rolling out slowly. I hope it takes.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 8/15/13 2:31 PM
The searchword functionality is working, but as for opening the chats?

It still opens the same way for me, which by the way was never at the end of a chat, but at a RANDOM POINT in the middle- not even where the blurb that displays next to the chat in the log screen happened. I like to see good stuff happening but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE more than ANYTHING make the chat logs SEPARATE so that we can keep them ORGANIZED.

We need to be able to LABEL them, and there's little help in doing that if they are still 'continual scroll' style eternity snippets. That's like being able to color code color-changing items.

I won't at all be content with this horrible new change until that happens.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/15/13 2:49 PM
Hmm, that's strange. I can confirm that mine is still working the way I described above: the preview line in the Chats system folder shows the last line of that chat segment, but if I click to open that specific chat, it takes me to the beginning of that chat segment (there *is* a bit of the previous chat segment shown above the demarcation line, but it usually takes a little bit to load anyway and, thus, is easily distinguishable -- of course, the demarcation line also serves to separate the chat segments). If I scroll down to the bottom of the chat segment (which, by the way, is much more natural than having to scroll UP to read the conversation) and read the last line before the subsequent demarcation line, I am indeed reading the same line as the preview line -- the last line of that specific chat segment. Perhaps with this added detail it'll be easier to confirm whether or not you have the same behavior?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/15/13 2:50 PM
The only chat that it doesn't seem to be working for (at least, for me) is the most recent one.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 8/15/13 2:51 PM
Auryana maybe it hasn't rolled out to you fully yet? I thought that's how it always was - unless I'm crazy, the search results worked and the preview showed a line in which the search term occurred, but then when you clicked to open it, it opened to a part of the chat other than where the search term occurred. (For me this had always been the end of that day's chat.) So you had to scroll back loading segment by segment to get to the instance of your search term, and ctrl+F of course didn't work unless you had loaded the segment containing your search term. 

I've played around with it a little more and for me it's definitely now opening to the first line in which the search term appears. The segment loaded is still finite in size, so in a longer chat I can't ctrl-F to see all instances of the search term (including the one previewed which I'm pretty confident is always the last instance in that day's chat) unless I scroll down to load more segments.

That being said, I second Auryana's points about needing to have them be separate and not continually scrolled, for them to be organizable. I would also like it if the entire day's chat would load at once instead of piece by piece within a day. If the piecewise thing is a result of inline photos taking a long time to load (which I think someone theorized once), can't the chat just be loaded without pictures and then you click to display the pictures, the way it's done in gmail?

Finally - my #1 most desired fix is compatibility between the history and mobile devices. Either make the history compatible with the GMail app or update the GMail app (and the mobile browser UI) to be compatible with the history. It's so asinine that I now have to get to a desktop (or "open the Hangouts app and scroll up" which still cracks me up for its ludicrousness) to access my chat histories.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 8/15/13 3:16 PM
Mm. Historically, for me, a chat in the log will display a blurb like "Hey are we still going to meet at 5?" and when I opened it, it would open to where that was said, not near it. The blurb would be the beginning of that chat log, and the chat log would open at the top, so that what I would open to would be something like:

Me: Hey are we still going to meet at 5?
Dan: Hey
Dan: Yeah, we are.
Dan: I went to the store and got the cooler already.
Me: Awesome. I'll probably get there a little early to help pack.

While keeping in mind these are very very truncated examples, what we are currently dealing with is something where the log would say "works for me" and it would open to this: (note that it doesn't even start at the beginning of a convo)

-------an eternity of other crap up here----
Me: those springs are awesome.
Dan: Heck yeah they are. But they're only open until the 12th :(
Me: Oh I didn't tell you! I'm off that week!
Dan: :D:D:D:D
Dan: Dude we should go there with Kelly and Jake
Me: Yessssss. How bout the 9th?
Dan: works for me
Dan: I have to go pick up my dog but yeah let's talk about this when I get back
Dan: Okay so Molly looks hilarious with her leg shaved like this
Dan: Anyway yeah how about you meet us at my place since they're over here all the time anyway
Me: Perfect. Also send me a pic of Molly
Dan: Sent
Dan: Hey can you bring that blue cooler?
Me: It's purple.
Dan: Oh I'm sorry can you bring that lilac cooler, lol
Me: lol yeah I'll bring it. I'll be there at 5, gotta go.
------------------------------loading---------------------------------------(chats from a day later)
Me: Hey are we still going to meet at 5?
Dan: Hey
Dan: Yeah, we are.
Dan: I went to the store and got the cooler already. <-----(log opens HERE, with this line center screen)
Me: Awesome. I'll probably get there a little early to help pack.
Me: I don't know how long it'll take but it's not like I have to deal with midday traffic so it shouldn't take too long.
Dan: Cool
Dan: Jake's here already and Kelly said she's on her way
Dan: She has her brother's fishing poles, so we'll see how that goes, lol
Me: It'll go awesomely because I'm awesome at fishing. >:D
------loading another eternity of crap---------------------------------

^^^^^aaand that's how the new chats open up, at the bottom of a long log, with the blurb closer to the top, but not at the BEGINNING. Why not use a blurb from the beginning like it used to? No idea. Why not just open the chat from a certain time or day instead of threading them together? No idea. Is this better just because it's newer? NO IT ISN'T.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/15/13 3:23 PM
On Thursday, August 15, 2013 5:31:28 PM UTC-4, Auryana Santos wrote:
We need to be able to LABEL them, and there's little help in doing that if they are still 'continual scroll' style eternity snippets. That's like being able to color code color-changing items.

Auryana, I've been able to label each discrete chat segment of the total (continual) chat history with one person separately, and each segment will show up independently in the correct label folder. And now, with the chats opening to the beginning of the selected chat segment (as Jean W. and I are seeing, at least), labeling has at least become more functional. I'm not at all saying that it's better than the old system (it's definitely NOT), but it's an improvement over anything they've rolled out since May 10th.

Here is a "shortlist" of features/fixes that are still needed, in my opinion, as soon as possible:
1. The preview line(s) should be taken from the beginning of the chat segment, not the end (especially now that the chats are opening up -- as they should -- to the beginning of the chat segments).
2. The number of lines in a specific chat segment should be displayed, both alongside the preview line(s) in the Chats system folder and alongside the demarcation line in the actual chat transcript itself
3. It should be possible to assign each discrete chat segment a "subject" that would also be displayed alongside the preview line(s) and alongside the demarcation line
4. Long pauses in the conversation should be clearly indicated (>10-15 minutes, perhaps?) as they were in the previous chat history interface (i.e., with a thin, grey line displaying the number of minutes elapsed to the far right)
5. All instances of the search query in the chat segment should be instantly navigable, without having to load any additional portions of that chat segment
6. Chat histories should be made available again in Gmail mobile apps!

It would be great if Dori and/or the Top Contributors could relay the above list to the development team. Thanks!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 8/15/13 3:44 PM
I can't label, still.

To clarify, yes, if you check a snippet you are given the ability to label it, but I want to be able to label a chat from WHERE I READ IT because I don't always know what category it goes in just from the blurb, and it's very asinine to have to open a chat, read it, then go BACK OUT to the chat logs to label it.

Furthermore, no, for me, when I label something it's still all jacked up.


As you can see,   I still cannot label chat -segments- in a manner that detaches them from the EVERSTREAM of log-loading, and the blurbs and logs in general still absolutely fail at being managed well. But my wallpaper is awesome.

And yes, periods of time in between chats need to be displayed, not as hover-over info, either.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/15/13 3:58 PM
Auryana, like I said in my previous posts, the preview (what you call the "blurb") shows the last line in that chat segment (when I say chat segment, I mean the discrete segment of chat separated on by time/date demarcation lines at the beginning and end of the segment). Previously, when you clicked on that specific chat segment, it would open up to the bottom of the chat segment and show that last line -- now, when you click on that specific chat segment, it opens up to the TOP of the chat segment, and to get the to preview/"blurb", you have to scroll down to the bottom of the chat segment.

What I said above was that (and if you look at my shortlist, it's #1 on the list), since the chats now open up to the beginning of the chat segment (you'll know it's the beginning of the chat segment because there is a demarcation line right there and, if you scroll down, there isn't another one until you get to the preview/"blurb" at the end of the segment), the preview/"blurb" should now correspondingly show the FIRST line in the chat segment.

Putting in another way: before May 10, the preview/"blurb" was the first line in the chat (segment), and the chat transcript would open up to the first line; after May 10, the preview/"blurb" was the last line in the chat (segment), and the chat transcript would open up to the last line in the chat segment, so that if you wanted to read that specific chat segment, you would have to scroll UP. Now, they've fixed one aspect of it so that the chat transcript opens up to the beginning/first line of the chat segment, but the preview/"blurb" still shows the last line in the chat segment -- and that's what I'm saying that they need to fix.

I hope that helps.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 8/15/13 4:18 PM
yeah dude I know. Like, everything you just said I've already said, lol. I've already waxed poetic about how the snippet used to be the first line, and the chat opened to that. No need for you to break it down for me, I'm fairly savvy.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/15/13 5:42 PM
Sorry -- was just trying to help! :P
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Robin 8/15/13 6:32 PM
Thank you everyone -- these tips have been quite helpful. For some reason the drop-down menu for forwarding chats does not appear on my university account (Google Apps), but I did find it on my private Gmail. Of course, the ability to forward chats is more important for my university account.... 

Hope we see a good fix soon. There have been a lot of changes I've been irritated by, and some good ones (the option to have tabbed inboxes now is great), but this is the first time something has seriously interfered with the way I use Gmail. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lizzyrae 8/16/13 2:21 PM
This new way of reviewing chat logs is horrible? who won that idea in a meeting? fail.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface oh_no 8/16/13 8:45 PM
I confess I haven't read all 17 pages of posts, but has anyone brought up how annoying it is not to be able to tab between chats with different people??  I don't want to tab into emoji icons...  and this new format takes up so much screen space!  Gmail has been going downhill for a while, but now it's snowballing :(

The only possibly redeeming factor is "snooze notifications".  (It'd be nice to have "scheduled send" for business e-mails, but that's an entirely different conversation.)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 8/16/13 11:25 PM
On Saturday, August 17, 2013 1:45:48 PM UTC+10, oh_no wrote:
I confess I haven't read all 17 pages of posts, but has anyone brought up how annoying it is not to be able to tab between chats with different people??

You can switch between hangouts using CTRL + COMMA or CTRL + DOT.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Damien Dasanti 8/19/13 2:49 PM
It's been months. And honestly, the shift in chat history is driving me crazy. It's not just that I can't search properly anymore, it's that I am used to using google chat to c-write with people (google docs does not work the same, for one thing it doesn't log our chats that we have in the sidebar) and trying to read our chat histories is a major, major pain. Please can we switch back to the old, tidy format where it was nicely chopped up by day and we could see everything at once or at least click a link to get the full message page instead of having to endlessly scroll? At least having it as an option for people would be nice!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/19/13 7:57 PM
I did some further investigation today, and I realized that chats that were sent three hours apart to the same person (the first ending one conversation and the second beginning a subsequent conversation) had no demarcation line between them, and, thus, they were not logged as separate conversations in the Chats folder. This has been the case in multiple instances, which makes finding separate chats particularly difficult and inefficient.

Can a Top Contributor find out what the minimum time-between-chats is to trigger a demarcation line and perhaps request that it be shortened? At the very least, there needs to be some clear indication of elapsed time between chat lines (I remember that there used to be thin grey lines that indicated elapsed times as short as 8-10 minutes in the old chat history interface).



DSingh1699 8/19/13 7:57 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 8/19/13 10:08 PM
On Tuesday, August 20, 2013 12:57:09 PM UTC+10, DSingh1699 wrote:
Can a Top Contributor find out what the minimum time-between-chats is to trigger a demarcation line and perhaps request that it be shortened? At the very least, there needs to be some clear indication of elapsed time between chat lines (I remember that there used to be thin grey lines that indicated elapsed times as short as 8-10 minutes in the old chat history interface).

My observation suggests that both the demarcation line and the chat log are based on the start of a new day in your time zone.  I will ask.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 8/19/13 10:15 PM
Nope.  I see a separation of two conversations with an eight hour gap that doesn't include midnight at either end (Australia to England connection)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 8/20/13 12:32 AM
DSingh, were your messages more than 3 hours apart or just close to 3 hours apart? I'm wondering if 3 hours might be the dividing line, because I'm looking at a chat with a demarcation line between a message at 2:07 and one at 5:16 (gap of 3:09). 

Just submitting my own anecdotal evidence - hopefully Keith can find out for sure and pass along the feedback that it should be shorter than 3 hours, which I agree with.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/20/13 5:50 AM
DSingh1699: (I remember that there used to be thin grey lines that indicated elapsed times as short as 8-10 minutes in the old chat history interface).

 I remember that line being as brief as 5 minutes. It was another perfect nuance of the original chat history (all of which should never have been changed and which is in dire need of a "revert" option in labs and always will be because the format tweaking of new chat history cannot possibly mirror the efficiency of the original format). 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/20/13 7:18 AM
On Tuesday, August 20, 2013 3:32:36 AM UTC-4, Jean W wrote:
DSingh, were your messages more than 3 hours apart or just close to 3 hours apart? I'm wondering if 3 hours might be the dividing line, because I'm looking at a chat with a demarcation line between a message at 2:07 and one at 5:16 (gap of 3:09). 

3 hours might very well be the dividing line: the two subsequent chats with no demarcation line between them are actually closer to 2:30 apart, while two subsequent chats that I found that are 3:30 apart have a demarcation line between them. Nonetheless, I agree -- 3 hours is too long (unless visible time-elapsed indicators are re-introduced, as has been mentioned in recent posts).

But to throw a wrench in this whole theory -- I have a demarcation line between two subsequent chats at 11:27 pm and 11:28 pm from last night. I was having some internet connectivity problems, so perhaps that's why the line appears, but this entire demarcation line / hovering time-stamps / loading chat portions issue is very messy, inefficient, and undesirable.

Furthermore, if you click on a specific conversation and want to scroll upwards to an earlier conversation, you have no way of knowing what day that conversations took place on without reaching a demarcation line (and you have no way of knowing when it will appear, so you might be scrolling for a very long time) or backing out to the Chats folder to see what date the previous conversation took place on. This is another area where displaying chat lines per conversation segment and having collapsible chat segments will help.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 8/20/13 7:23 AM
On Tuesday, August 20, 2013 8:50:01 AM UTC-4, GmailPal wrote:
DSingh1699: (I remember that there used to be thin grey lines that indicated elapsed times as short as 8-10 minutes in the old chat history interface).

 I remember that line being as brief as 5 minutes. It was another perfect nuance of the original chat history (all of which should never have been changed and which is in dire need of a "revert" option in labs and always will be because the format tweaking of new chat history cannot possibly mirror the efficiency of the original format).

I agree with you that the old chat history interface was nearly perfect is almost every way, but I highly doubt that Google will actually ever revert to it. That's why I'm trying to push so hard to have all the things that we loved about the old chat history interface incorporated into the new one.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface enemyofperfect 8/20/13 8:48 AM
On Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:23:27 AM UTC-4, DSingh1699 wrote:

I agree with you that the old chat history interface was nearly perfect is almost every way, but I highly doubt that Google will actually ever revert to it. That's why I'm trying to push so hard to have all the things that we loved about the old chat history interface incorporated into the new one.

And I really appreciate the effort you've put into enumerating all the features we miss and all the problems with the new version, DSingh1699.  Possibly that will get through where clamoring for a reversion won't.  I'd like to hope that something will.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 8/20/13 9:55 PM
This is definitely the only approach that will have any impact on Google. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 8/20/13 9:57 PM
On Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:18:35 UTC+10, DSingh1699 wrote:
Furthermore, if you click on a specific conversation and want to scroll upwards to an earlier conversation, you have no way of knowing what day that conversations took place on without reaching a demarcation line (and you have no way of knowing when it will appear, so you might be scrolling for a very long time) or backing out to the Chats folder to see what date the previous conversation took place on. 

Every line in the conversation will show a time stamp if you hover over it, but not a date.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 8/20/13 10:40 PM

Another impact they notice, when people stop using gtalk
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 8/20/13 10:46 PM
Keith, and pls convince me, that this another crap from usability standpoint,  is a nice feature.
Who designs this? 14y old kids or just short-seeing persons?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface gtalkuser24 8/20/13 11:25 PM
I really want the number of lines in a chat feature to be back! 
I donno why is it removed. @KeithR, will you please let the development team know about this request. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/21/13 1:45 AM
@The mentality that Google cannot be persuaded to simply add a Labs feature for revert to old chat history:

This is weak, asinine, defeatist, bullshit. 
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ― Henry Ford

Persistence, logic and user-action (and words) make all the difference. Don't let them give you what you don't like, period. No, it's not magic and it's not easy; but, it's true.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 8/21/13 2:50 AM
I do not see that happening.. this discussion thread has like 17 pages.. over 300 posts.. and what we achieved.. I think, it is a black hole.. we can scream, should, swear, ask, and they simply did not get it
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/21/13 5:24 AM
They get it. They're counting on your attrition ...your lack of persistence and lack of finding a better and more effective way to influence them. They simply hope everyone will do what some of you are doing: expressing a mentality of tapping out.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 8/21/13 6:27 AM
Does moving all of my chatting to IRC count?  I suppose that you can stop your customers from complaining by making them not your customers anymore, but most people would probably find it more logical to their complaining instead.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface MicheleLeeRRD 8/21/13 12:58 PM
I agree with wholeheartedly to all the numerous comments raised here.  I most especially hate the fact that chat messages are clogging up my sent folder.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 8/21/13 3:57 PM
On Thursday, 22 August 2013 05:58:03 UTC+10, MicheleLeeRRD wrote:
I agree with wholeheartedly to all the numerous comments raised here.  I most especially hate the fact that chat messages are clogging up my sent folder.

Hi Michele, the problem with chat messages being classed as Sent Mail was fixed on 22 June.  Please post again if you see any chats sent after that in your Sent Mail.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface MicheleLeeRRD 8/21/13 4:34 PM
I have a filter that routes all my sent mail into a folder called "Follow-up".  I clear about 50% of my sent emails out of the folder immediately but the rest I keep in there until I receive responses.  Basically so I don't forget about the outstanding/pending issue.   My darn chats are routing in there too.  And I haven't been able to get any exceptions to the filter to work.  
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 8/21/13 4:43 PM
On Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:34:28 PM UTC-7, MicheleLeeRRD wrote:
I have a filter that routes all my sent mail into a folder called "Follow-up".  I clear about 50% of my sent emails out of the folder immediately but the rest I keep in there until I receive responses.  Basically so I don't forget about the outstanding/pending issue.   My darn chats are routing in there too.  And I haven't been able to get any exceptions to the filter to work.  

Add -is:chat to the filter to exclude chats from matching. (Ignore the warning about using is: in a filter.) 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface MicheleLeeRRD 8/21/13 6:51 PM
I'll give it a shot.   I did try several angles a few months back, but it may have been before they implemented the corrections to the "Sent" folder issue.   Thanks.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface aciff1 8/23/13 10:51 AM
Agreed. This chat is terrible now, and it used to be great. I actually switched back to AIM initially when this update came out, because despite all of the bloatware that came with it, it still at least functioned like a proper chat program. 
I've mostly moved to Trillian now at home, but I'm still stuck with Gtalk at work.

The lack and arbitrary use of time stamps is deeply aggravating, even months into this update. And while thankfully I don't need to use my chatlogs for work, scrolling through months and months of conversations (especially when there's NO TIMESTAMP wtf??) is still irritating
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Grant_Andrew 8/24/13 7:33 AM
Obviously this is the best format for the NSA and they are doing their best to comply.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Grant_Andrew 8/24/13 7:33 AM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Grant_Andrew 8/24/13 7:33 AM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Grant_Andrew 8/24/13 7:33 AM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 8/24/13 11:24 PM
Hi Grant, we heard you the first time!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 8/25/13 9:13 AM
this one would be good to switch then -> https://heml.is/
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Ilona. 8/26/13 3:30 AM
Reasons for me now to switch to an other e-mail provider is:
  1. When I look into chat history I don't see: [23-08-2013] 21:30: [name] yadayadayada, blabla bla. Instead I see a picture and when I hoover with my cursor over the chat line, I actually see a time notation. I wonder what is more important, a picture or date and time? Ai ai ai.
  2. Copy and paste is still a crime even with the last change;
  3. I don't see the numbers of IM lines written when looking in overall history interface, like: chat with [name] 38 lines;
  4. The overall history interface has for example multiple chats on same date: 23 of august 2013 with one person but when you actually open it it can go back to infinity of the chat history?;
  5. Within my browser when I use 'search option on the chat page' I don't see if it searches go upwards or downward because of the scrolling colour mode. When I found a sentence or word what I was looking for, I have to scroll and load again on which day it was: see my point number 1;
  6. I don't have a nice clean layout;
  7. Also when I open chat history it doesn't open at the last line written or received;
  8. On my phone last archive of chat is 15th of may, so I can't search there or see anything on my mobile whiles on the road and if I want to look in my web browser because I received an offline messages, I can't see it until I login on a computer or I am forced to use hangouts;
  9. Today I found out I cant switch back to the old style to compose an e-mail and the new style I can't move around or toggle its just right in the middle on top of my received e-mails;
  10. Giving "Hangout"a try contacts on/offline is not well displayed;
  11. Constantly being bugged on my mobile to update to hangouts even if I don't want it.
Actually I can continue this listing with more and more. I'm disappointed. I waited for a good few months (actually since may)  to see new updates. I have this feeling now old compose is disabled, Google will stick to their plan.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 8/26/13 3:43 AM
Very well said, IIona. 

And, yes, again:
BOTH Original Chat History and Original Email Compose have FUNCTIONAL ADVANTAGES over the new style. This is NOT simply a typical psychological phenomenon of a disdain for adjusting to change out of comfort or nostalgia or X reason. 

Original Chat history is the most major advantage in so many ways that it is ridiculous to list them all, thus ridiculous to tweak them all in the new interface, this the only efficient solution , for Users and Google Corporate, is to simply have the option to revert to original chat history interface. 

Original Compose has more minor advantages but frequent use will indeed illuminate them. The most annoying to me is the system of attaching files is not directly under the subject line at the very top of all emails and thus not easy to constantly keep track of during multiple uploads and/or multiple drafts as it was easy and efficient to do in the Original Compose, rather than, with the New Compose, having to constantly scroll to the very bottom of a long thread of emails (not only the particular reply in the Conversation / Email Thread which users are adding attachments to) and often find that, due to some reason of various possibilities, you have not uploaded a file you intended or it has disappeared for some reason that did not used to be a problem with the original compose. 




Re: The new Gmail chat history interface magner 8/26/13 3:48 AM
"Actually I can continue this listing with more and more ... BOTH Original Chat History and Original Email Compose have FUNCTIONAL ADVANTAGES over the new style"

That's the point.

It looks like Google people working on the chat just don't want to admit that they simply FUCKED UP what was functionally quite good interface. For some reason it's either still not clear to them, or they simply don't have enough courage to tell to whoever made the new chat design - it's not about improving the functionality people are complaining, it's only about simple fact, that existing functionality was FUCKED UP without any visible thought like "ok, that's the basic use case, how would it work with new design?"
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Ilona. 8/26/13 3:58 AM
Oh yeah, before I forget

#12: I really dislike history chat mixed within my mailbox and e-mails.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Ilona. 8/26/13 4:25 AM
Thank you Gmailpal,

I am sure this has all been said before. I miss the flexibility of the major companies. Example: I use to love bookmarks from Google in combination with Firefox until Google introduced 'Chrome' and Bookmarks or Google toolbar was not available any more for Firefox. (sorry for being off topic) but it illustrates what is going on at the moment. What my reaction was to this: I did NOT use Chrome and NOT use Google toolbar any more.
I hope someone out there is willing to 'think out of the box' to understand that happy costumers, will stay. :-)






Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 8/26/13 5:00 AM
Agreed with all the feature Ilona listed and with Magner's analysis that Google team seems to not have the courage to just admit they screwed up. (Otherwise, they might have explained what advantages the new format is supposed to bring in their opinion). But it's clear it's totally inferior and doesnt add anything positive.

So what are the alternatives? At this point, I'm seriously interested. A user above mentioned https://heml.is, but that seems to be only for smartphones. Others mentioned Pidgin as an alternative. Any info on that?i guess it's not totally free and a bit inferior to the old Gmail (yet obviously easily superior to the new crappy Gmail). Any other options some of you guys have tested?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Noor08 8/26/13 5:10 AM
Pidgin IS free, available for most OSs (as far as I know) and the logs are well-organized, by chat session. It also works with nearly every IM service and has hardly changed over the years.

The only issue I have is that the only way to get offline messages is through Gmail (on a desktop), but I just reply to them on Pidgin, so I think that would create gaps in the log. I don't get offline messages much, but you could always just reply in Pidgin quoting the offline message so Pidgin stores it in the chatlog.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Ilona. 8/26/13 5:57 AM
I am really interested as well for suggestions.
Preferably IM in combination with E-mail. Otherwise I will consider to go back to use my e-mail account from my ISP provider.

Lets see:
  1. Microsoft/ msn/ skype/ outlook don't show my contacts that I had; I lost most of my contacts, lol.
  2. Yahoo spams your mailbox
  3. Google and privacy?

All of them forces Social Media down your throat to connect to FB, Twitter, Youtube, Circles and others.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 8/26/13 7:30 AM
On Monday, August 26, 2013 3:58:10 AM UTC-7, Ilona. wrote:
Oh yeah, before I forget

#12: I really dislike history chat mixed within my mailbox and e-mails.

I have to disagree.  Mixing chat and email is what I miss the most from the old format.  We could freely mix chat and email in a single conversation, and it would stay together.  I liked having my chat logs and email mixed together.  The new chat has broken that completely.

I would love it if someone in Google could figure out how to get Hangouts messaging to feed the old style chat logs, so that the chat history can be reverted.  The current state of affairs has got to be an incredible embarrassment. (It would break my heart if they just abandoned Hangouts messaging, either, and went back to using Chat as the "unified messaging application", a role if filled almost perfectly before May.)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 8/26/13 7:30 AM
@vin sands and Ilona:
Well, all of my chatting has now been moved to IRC.  In addition to the format's lengthy history, there is, as a friend of mine put it, "no King of IRC" who will suddenly declare that the whole thing needs to be overhauled.  There's quite a variety of different IRC clients out there, but I personally have found X-Chat Aqua to work well.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Community Manager @ Google 8/30/13 7:55 AM
Hi folks,

We recently rolled out another change in Gmail such that you can now opt to exclude your saved Chats from search Gmail search results and Gmail filters. 

By clicking the check box (shown below), Chat messages will now be excluded from your search/filter results.


Thanks for your continued feedback, as well as your patience and understanding,
Dori


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 8/30/13 10:49 AM
Is there any chance, that Google will one day allow to download the chat history.

I miss one funny feature - like on Facebook, - chat lines/messages count with specific person..
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 9/3/13 6:26 AM
Dori,

Thanks for interacting with us to show that the thread is still being paid attention to.

*Excluding* searching chats, with the new easy click, is a semi useful feature; however, any careful look at the thread here will illuminate that most people are complaining that the new chat history is already almost impossible to search and we all prefer the excellent searching capabilities of the original chat history interface. Again, these "improvements" are almost exactly opposite of what people want, which is an astounding trend in this new bizzare backwards world of "expect the unexpected".
Again:
There should be such an easy click for "revert to original chat history".

Again:
The only improvement I ever really saw in original gmail would be the ability to search the truncated portion of emails and chats. Typically, a general search would not find keywords in the truncated portions of the emails and chats but rather I would get lucky and have to open the truncated portion and use CTRL F.

Again, to all:
Stop distracting from the real need of functionality via a revert to original chat history.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Auryana Santos 9/3/13 7:13 AM
Indeed. The idea that while we have clearly but vehemently been complaining that the new chat is horrible and we want the old one back, Gmail has been working to fix something we never even ASKED for is ridiculously asinine. Like, this is like a modern day greek comedy.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface schoolgirl2013 9/5/13 12:55 PM
Just wanted to chime in here as one of the ones great displeased with the endless scrolling business for chat history. It's NOT user friendly in any way. Finding things, copying and pasting things, everything in general has become *such* a hassle. It *doesn't* look better, either! Nothing was wrong with it before... why try to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place? The fact that there are so many complaints about it for months and google doesn't seem like they care is also quite frustrating.

 I was reading the google mission statement earlier and the first statement is about focusing on the user... I think that got lost somewhere along the way. It's become more competition oriented. Don't get me wrong, I love google. I just hate that they feel the need to change things up so much like this. Please give us at least the option to revert back to the old chat history interface. My chats aren't meaningless and I need them... need to find content within them quickly for others. What took me five minutes before takes me an hour at least because I'm dealing with the dumb *loading messages* circle. Sometimes modernizing and updating things just makes it all the more complicated! 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Reese8 9/5/13 1:01 PM
Well, I think that I'll go ahead and unsubscribe from this thread.  I've gotten used to IRC now, and it seems obvious that Google has no intention of fixing Gchat.  So... Congratulations, Google!  You have successfully stopped me from complaining about one of your products.  By convincing me to give up on using said product and thus having no complaint-causing stake in it.  I can only hope, though, that in the future you respond to complaints by actually fixing the problems.  Or at the very least explaining why you can't do so.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 9/5/13 1:25 PM

 I think this is very good idea to unsubscribe. Google representatives already did unsubscribe as well, so they not seeing anymore what we all are posting anyway

 
On Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:01:10 PM UTC+2, Reese8 wrote:
Well, I think that I'll go ahead and unsubscribe from this thread.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 9/5/13 1:59 PM
But wait! Maybe it's worth waiting! Maybe in 3 months, Dori will come back and be super excited to announce that they have made the line separating daily chats a bit more visible and thicker, and that it's so great that now everybody should be happy!
Or in 6 months they will announce that they have changed the background color slightly and this is sooo cool.

Yeah, Google, you are just pathetic on this.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 9/6/13 7:21 AM
Exactly.
Still, be persistent to tell them we need the labs option to revert to original chat history. Keep giving them the accountability they deserve for their absurdity. Quit using gmail / G+ chat; but, don't unsubscribe from this thread and don't quit telling them they should wake up and restore what was never broken and what was more functional. If you do this long enough, and you keep finding creative ways to be persistent in any more effective way possible, there is no reason the revert option should not eventually happen. What are they going to do? Look at threads that are many years old about this and STILL not do anything....isn't that about as useless and pathetic as life gets for them....that they can't even do their job right?
Yep.
The only wrong thing to do is to EVER stop telling them to give a Labs option to revert to original chat history.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 9/6/13 7:45 AM
Well, unfortunately, it seems that even if we asked for years, they would just not care at all.

For example, people have been complaining for years that it's impossible to select non-adjacent columns in Google spreadsheets (for example, to plot Column F vs. Column A, etc.) and nothing has happened: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!searchin/docs/select$20non$20adjacent$20columns/docs/Lf3eNpF-kZ4/7Wgqq3CZsY8J
And there are many other stupid examples like that where Google is just so stubborn that they prever to defend their mistakes instead of backtracking.

So yeah, good luck with being persistent. I dont have the patience. Bye Google
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 9/6/13 11:33 AM
Excellent citation and reasonable conclusion, Vin. It felt like reading a peer reviewed study, lol. The principle of persistence + power in numbers > attrition and apathy still applies; and, it seems common sense that many millions more people are displeased with chat history and not going to use the more technical products.
(unknown) 9/8/13 3:41 PM <This message has been deleted.>
vc_tech_guy 9/9/13 5:22 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 9/9/13 11:12 AM
That check-box option does not show in my search window.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 9/9/13 11:16 AM
I should clarify - I'm referring to Dori's post of 8/30 which shows how to exclude Chats from the search results. Not that this is the fix we're all looking for....we just want the old chat history back!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface MattLacey Maurer 9/10/13 10:09 PM
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 9/11/13 4:30 AM
On Tuesday, 10 September 2013 04:12:56 UTC+10, lgrace88 wrote:
That check-box option does not show in my search window.

LGrace, is everything else from Dori's picture visible?  Try doing a browser refresh. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 9/12/13 7:21 AM
yes everything else is visible. I've not only refreshed browser, I've rebooted computer many times since her post.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 9/12/13 7:05 PM
OK, this is a long shot, but you might have a conflicting add on.  Please try with a different browser (just for diagnosis).  Then try with all add-ons, plug-ins, extensions, etc disabled.  If you need help with how to do that, let me know which browser you are using.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface gtalkuser24 9/13/13 1:43 AM
ok so something that was working fine so far also broken down! so you know how gmail chat over 1000 lines is a separate entry in the chat folder and then the rest of the chat becomes a separate entry. So today morning I tried too open this chat and I could only see the chat messages that were a part of chat AFTER 1000 lines.
1) I can't open the first 1000 lines of chat . It gives me an error saying the conversation can not be load.
2) we I open the last part of the chat (after 1000 lines) and scroll up to load the previous chat messages, I can't view them at all. It shows me the messages from the previous chat. My 1000 lines of chat are just simply deleted!!!!!!
LIKE SERIOUSLY WHAT IS GOING ON !!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 9/13/13 2:22 AM
Just get used it, and to information given indirectly by Google, that they do not care, and they keep ignoring us, saying "it is not a bug, it it feature"

Gtalk was already a very good product, and those times are gone.. it will be only worse..
It is like a story with Midas king, whatever he touched became a gold. In google version, whatever that touch become a sh*t nowadays.

On Friday, September 13, 2013 10:43:42 AM UTC+2, gtalkuser24 wrote:

LIKE SERIOUSLY WHAT IS GOING ON !!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 9/16/13 6:41 AM
I'm using Department of Interior Gmail, and we are only allowed to use Chrome to access. Even so, I tried opening in Internet Explorer, turned off all extra features in Labs, and nothing changed, i.e. no Chat filtering in advanced search.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 9/16/13 5:15 PM
On Monday, 16 September 2013 23:41:33 UTC+10, lgrace88 wrote:
I'm using Department of Interior Gmail, and we are only allowed to use Chrome to access. Even so, I tried opening in Internet Explorer, turned off all extra features in Labs, and nothing changed, i.e. no Chat filtering in advanced search.

Knowing that you are using an Apps account makes a difference.  I tested with an Apps account and still got the Exclude Chats option, but my Apps domain is set to introduce new features immediately.  A departmental domain is probably set conservatively and will have introduction of new features controlled by the Administrator.  Looks like you're stuck with using -is:chat in the Has words box for now.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 9/16/13 10:40 PM
What a really helpful advice Keith! just brilliant..
Instead of doing this please go to dev team and ask them to fix it for this customer.
Or at least verify with them what you say, instead of saying "probably" Thx
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 9/16/13 10:55 PM
Michael, please follow the drift of the conversation.  Neither the developers nor I can go into the department's account and check what settings they are using.  lgrace88 is the only person who has posted so far that they can't see the this option on the search box so it's most likely to be an account setting.  You really should mind your own business.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Winston Miller 9/17/13 8:00 AM
So first off, not sure if i'm doing this correctly by replying to the last post in the topic, so forgive me if I am doing something incorrectly.

I just wanted to bump this topic, and inquire as to whether there are any plans / fixes that allow you to simply download a logged chat into a simple text format, ie:

User | TimeStamp | Chat Line

While I understand that the layout in gmail is very pretty and flashy with the hover over timestamp and bubble layout, in terms of usability for the customer it is practically useless.  Attempting to simply copy and paste a few lines of chat requires the user to then go about formatting the text so that it is readable, and when i tried to do it in Google Docs I had to remove tables and delete columns using the g+ photos that i really don't need at all in a text log of chats.  I tried doing a search to see if there had been any updates / improvements that resolve this problem, which led me to this forum.

Are there any plugins (planned, or third party)  that can simply output a selection of chat history in a notepad / Word doc readable format?  and if not, any way that someone like me (a software developer) can use the google sdk to parse out chat history and make a tool that does this?  I haven't delved too much into the sdk's released by google, so I'm not sure if it's at all possible, but that may have to be the next avenue I look into, as the current History Logs are simply unusable and un-helpful from a customer point of view, unless all you want to do is look at one line of chat.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 9/17/13 8:25 AM
On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 11:00:57 AM UTC-4, Winston Miller wrote:
While I understand that the layout in gmail is very pretty and flashy with the hover over timestamp and bubble layout, in terms of usability for the customer it is practically useless.

This is, I believe, the underlying problem with all software development these days -- development teams are trying so hard to make their programs, apps, user interfaces, etc. "pretty and flashy" because that is the seeming trend of present-day society. The majority of people these days seem to desire emoji and simple-to-a-fault, functionality-repressing interfaces over efficient, practical, and option-filled ones that would actually satisfy a diverse set of users, including -- most importantly -- power users. I see it increasingly with each subsequent update to desktop programs and mobile apps, and it is exceedingly frustrating. For a while, Google resisted this unfortunate onslaught of "dumbing down" in the realm of software, but now they've apparently embraced it wholeheartedly (cf. many of their recent updates to their various products).

Google (and software developers in general) -- please stop this madness and re-introduce sophistication into software before it's too late.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Winston Miller 9/17/13 9:28 AM

This is, I believe, the underlying problem with all software development these days -- development teams are trying so hard to make their programs, apps, user interfaces, etc. "pretty and flashy" because that is the seeming trend of present-day society. 

I agree, and being a developer myself, I can understand that its simply moving towards what i'd call the "Apple" mindset:  Just make it work for the basic functions that every user is looking for... customization is the last thing you want there, because then you have to account for a large variety of use cases and error handling gets to be a huge mess.

My problem here though, is that from a user point of view, i only really see two use cases that matter with regards to chat history:

1)  I (the user)  want to find out exactly who said what in a certain conversation. 

This part works fine, i don't mind the pretty and flashy stuff if all i'm trying to do is search for a certain phrase and then hover over it with my mouse to see what time it was said.

2)  I then want to share this information with others, by copying and pasting it (or some other method)  into a word doc or an email. 

This is where Google is completely dropping the ball.  If they want it to "just work"  then when I highlight a selection and copy and past it into word, i should be getting a reformatted version that takes out the pictures and table and text formatting, and adds in the time-stamp.  

I'd settle for a button that allows me to download the log in said format (even nicer if it gives me options, comma delimited?), so that i can open it in word or wordpad and quickly copy out the information I need.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 9/17/13 11:08 AM

On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 8:00:57 AM UTC-7, Winston Miller wrote:
I just wanted to bump this topic, and inquire as to whether there are any plans / fixes that allow you to simply download a logged chat into a simple text format, ie:

User | TimeStamp | Chat Line


You can use the Print function from the menu separating chats to get that.  Depending on your browser and OS, you should be able to print to a text or PDF file to save it.  (In Chrome, you can save it to Drive as a PDF file.)  

Or, you can cancel the print dialogue and copy and paste the text from the web page, with the timestamps. 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 9/17/13 11:20 AM


On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 9:28:05 AM UTC-7, Winston Miller wrote:
My problem here though, is that from a user point of view, i only really see two use cases that matter with regards to chat history:

1)  I (the user)  want to find out exactly who said what in a certain conversation. 

2)  I then want to share this information with others, by copying and pasting it (or some other method)  into a word doc or an email. 

There is a third, which is now completely broken.  I want to be able to have conversations that include both email and chat logs.  Prior to May, when the chat history changed, it was easy to switch back and forth between email and chat, and have the entire conversation in one place.  Now, they are completely separate.

In other words, in an effort to give us a "unified messaging platform", Google broke the existing integration and made messaging much less "unified".  (They also broke the ability to view history on mobile devices.  So what exactly did they "unify"?)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kelly Goris 9/17/13 12:34 PM
I have the exact same problem. Now if you want to see the whole chat, if it is long you have to scroll down, wait for it to load, scroll down, wait, etc. I don't know how many people do this, but I like to copy paste certain parts of chats and save them, which is now a difficult issue with columns and rows and messed up interface and it takes quite some editing in Word to make it representable. Please please change it back so that a chat is saved as a chat, and it is simple and fast to read and to copy-paste and it does not get into some awkward table format. 
And it seems that chats with a same person on different days get chucked together in one extremely long chat. Not convenient! 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface gtalkuser24 9/20/13 8:09 AM
I had requested to bring back the number of lines of chat for a particular chat log. This was functional before the new reply/forward and the new print format was introduced.
How hard it is to print the number of lines of chat? I'm pretty sure it is ONE line of code somewhere! Like please atleast give a logical explanation as to why this feature can't be brought back if u cant do anything else about it.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface jackson6 9/24/13 2:26 AM
Agreed with all of the complaints I've seen so far on this thread. I'd like to mention another issue (which may already have been brought up somewhere--I haven't read everything). With the old chat interface, offline IMs were sent to my Android phone as emails. This was very useful, since I'm not normally logged into chat on my phone, and it was helpful to know that someone was trying to contact me when I was away from my computer. This happens fairly often, since people know that I'm occasionally logged in but invisible, so they send me IMs to see if I'm there. Now when I get back to my computer, I often see a bunch of chats I wasn't aware of. I miss the old system.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Sheri Ferber 9/26/13 10:19 AM
Dori, in addition to all these issues I notice last night while in google chat I was getting pop up conversations from a different person. Apparently the conversation I was in with one person was also copied and pasted to another.  THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!

Also when I am in OFFLINE mode I was told it showed to the second person that I was in fact ONLINE.  Also NOT GOOD.

I would like this addressed.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface MicheleLeeRRD 9/26/13 10:53 AM
Sheri
Google has acknowledged the issue you just mentioned.    My employer routed a bug notification to all employees.  I have not heard back yet internally that the problem has been resolved as yes.   (But on this issue, I know at least, that it is being addressed)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 9/27/13 3:31 AM
And, yet still, more evidence that I have good reason to say:

I literally just got sick at my stomach thinking of how much of a nauseating mess this entire change the chat has been and continues to be. It is like cancer. 
For what?
Broke everything that worked excellent for stupid. No, not stupid "reasons".... the root word of "reason" does not have any reasonable place in the stupid decision to cause this mess.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 9/27/13 6:11 AM
Guys! I think something is happening! 

Yesterday for quite a while I was unable to load any of my chats - I could view the chats folder in gmail but clicking on any of them to load them resulted in "error 700". This morning I am again able to load them, and the "Hangouts" UI is gone. Now each chat appears as a conversation containing individual messages for each chat message sent, but only the messages within that chat are loading. I'm viewing a recent chat in which my friend and I used the emoji and inline picture sending features of the Hangouts app, and the hangouts emoji appear but the pictures do not (those just load as blank messages).

Just wanted to share what I'm observing and would be interested to hear what behaviors others are seeing. Dori, if you're out there, can you tell us what is going on? Is this part of a transition back to the old UI? (fingers crossed!)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 9/27/13 6:18 AM
Yeah the whole thing is messed up!
I dont get the same error, but for me in some cases, I can't use the new "Forward by mail" option (you know, the option that you have to find by scrolling up to the small almost invisible grey line and find by clikcing on the arrow): in those cases i get the error message "Oops… the system encountered a problem (#414) - Retrying in ...xxx... seconds"

Pathetic!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 9/27/13 8:39 AM
Interesting. On another PC which I guess was running a different build (or whatever the appropriate terminology here is) of GMail the chats were still loading in the old hangouts history UI, including the round speech bubble icon in the chats list. I had noticed that with the loss of the hangouts UI, the icon is back to the rectangular speech bubble icon. Chat histories still aren't accessible from my mobile device.

Anyway, I didn't mean to complain or imply that this was an error per se; rather I'm very hopeful that this signals a transition back to the old UI from Hangouts, or at least that Google is doing something to the chat histories.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 9/27/13 8:52 AM
Yeah, Jean, I'm still getting the unfortunate and highly undesirable Hangouts UI.

Dori, it's time for an update. It's been too long since the last one. Thank you!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 9/27/13 8:59 AM
I should clarify that by "Hangouts UI" I mean the "new" chat history interface that was ill-advisedly implemented around May 10th. I associate this "update" to the chat history interface with the introduction of Hangouts (which, by the way, a large portion of the user base views as a major downgrade from Talk), since that occurred just a few days after -- hence the use of "Hangouts UI". In any case, some major changes need to be implemented, quickly.

What an appalling situation.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 9/27/13 9:01 AM
Yes, and I get the Hangouts UI now when I log into my gmail in incognito mode in Chrome (I checked and it's the same build). So I'm guessing when I reload gmail in the tab where I'm seeing the non-hangouts UI it'll be back to the hangouts UI. Maybe just a blip? Dori come explain!

This is what it looks like, for a test chat between myself and my other gmail account -- just to prove that I really did see this happen :) : http://i.imgur.com/T8PifQk.png
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 9/27/13 9:07 AM
I am not getting the "better" interface, either, so it is probably a glitch.  

Too bad, even with the separate messages, it could be a major improvement in usability. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Winston Miller 9/27/13 9:50 AM
Hmm, i am seeing this change, and hopefully it's not a glitch, because its exactly what i was looking for...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 10/1/13 7:04 PM
bkennelly, KeithR -- any chance you guys are at the Top Contributor Summit?? If you're up for it, you should try to see if you can get some "face time" with the development team and/or relevant Google employees to let them know first hand how the chat history interface can be improved! I dug up a "wish list" from a previous post in case you need a quick reference; I've added one item to this list, but other than that, I haven't tried to keep this list up-to-date or anything -- I just thought it might come in handy on the fly. Good luck, thank you, and -- most importantly, of course -- have fun! :)

Here is a "shortlist" of features/fixes that are still needed, in my opinion, as soon as possible:
1. The preview line(s) should be taken from the beginning of the chat segment, not the end (especially now that the chats are opening up -- as they should -- to the beginning of the chat segments).
2. The number of lines in a specific chat segment should be displayed, both alongside the preview line(s) in the Chats system folder and alongside the grey date/time demarcation line in the actual chat transcript itself
3. It should be possible to assign each discrete chat segment a "subject" that would also be displayed alongside the preview line(s) and alongside the demarcation line
4. Long pauses in the conversation should be clearly indicated (>10-15 minutes, perhaps?) as they were in the previous chat history interface (i.e., with a thin, grey line displaying the number of minutes elapsed to the far right)
5. All instances of the search query in the chat segment should be instantly navigable, without having to load any additional portions of that chat segment
6. Chat histories should be made available again in Gmail mobile apps!
7. Each separate chat history segment (separated currently by the grey date/time demarcation line) should be completely discrete, as they used to be. And load times of each portion of each segment should be greatly decreased!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 10/2/13 2:06 AM
8. Gmail Labs should include "Revert To Original Chat History". 
(which would fix all previous 7)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/2/13 12:28 PM
I've been troubled to no end about the way Google changed its chat history ever since the day they started it back in mid May 2013.  Every so often, I do a search to see if there is any solution, like I just did today and wound up here.  I see this thread has been ongoing since May and it is full of complaints about the "new" chat system.  Of course, I didn't read every single message, but if someone happens to read mine here and knows of a solution, please let me know.  I'd like to be able to efficiently search for specific information in chat histories without having to scroll and wait/scroll and wait/scroll and wait...

The old way was so beautiful.  Having changed it was counterproductive and I have seen NO benefit in the new system whatsoever.  It's been five months, Google - we're still not liking it.  Please fix it.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/2/13 12:44 PM
Reading this now, several months later, and wondering if Google is STILL working to reverse this horrible "update" (better termed a "downgrade", in my opinion).  Does anyone have any good news about a solution on its way?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/2/13 12:46 PM
"Barbara Brink
May 14
Just wanted to agree with all that has been said here and hope that Google is working to reverse this horrible update."

Oops!  I thought that by hitting "reply" to the post to which I was replying, my post would appear along with that post.  Apparently not, though, so I've just quoted it here.  So... the quoted post, above, is the one to which I was just replying in my last post.

Hope that made sense to readers.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/7/13 8:08 PM
On Wednesday, 2 October 2013 12:04:52 UTC+10, DSingh1699 wrote:
bkennelly, KeithR -- any chance you guys are at the Top Contributor Summit?? If you're up for it, you should try to see if you can get some "face time" with the development team and/or relevant Google employees to let them know first hand how the chat history interface can be improved! I dug up a "wish list" from a previous post in case you need a quick reference; I've added one item to this list, but other than that, I haven't tried to keep this list up-to-date or anything -- I just thought it might come in handy on the fly. Good luck, thank you, and -- most importantly, of course -- have fun! :)

We were indeed.  BKennelly spent hie time with the Gmail team, but I had some time with the messaging team.  I have some good news and some bad news.  While I can't reveal any of that discussion here, I can say that Google sees the Hangouts product as the path to the unified future of messaging services (this has been plain from the developments of the last few months and is nothing new).

Although not stated by any Googlers, it is my impression that very little resource will be invested in old chat and that very phrase ("old chat") implies something about the future of that application.  That's the bad news.

The good news is that the team considers the launch of Hangouts as incomplete, so improvements will be coming.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Mary Muscia 10/9/13 7:33 PM
I'm hating this new system too.  Can't delete portions, only the entire and I mean entire months' chat.  It gets unwielding long.  Makes absolutely no sense to "fix" something that wasn't broken & now is!  Bring back the old chat.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/10/13 12:46 AM
On Thursday, 10 October 2013 13:33:56 UTC+11, Mary Muscia wrote:
I'm hating this new system too.  Can't delete portions, only the entire and I mean entire months' chat.  It gets unwielding long.  Makes absolutely no sense to "fix" something that wasn't broken & now is!  Bring back the old chat.

Hi Mary, you can delete portions by selecting them from the list instead of opening the chat. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 10/11/13 9:10 AM
Stupid.
No reason to not keep the option of Original Chat History. Not "old". Original. Unique. Efficient. BETTER THAN THE "NEW" CRAP. What's great about "New" when it's ALL.CRAP.?

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/11/13 9:18 AM
"
GmailPalLevel 2
9:10 AM (5 minutes ago)
Stupid.No reason to not keep the option of Original Chat History. Not "old". Original. Unique. Efficient. BETTER THAN THE "NEW" CRAP. What's great about "New" when it's ALL.CRAP.?"

Original!  Yes!  Good way to put it, GmailPal.  Makes me think of how Coca-Cola went through something similar...

Hello, Yahoo!  You're looking better and better all the time.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/11/13 3:51 PM
On Saturday, 12 October 2013 03:18:19 UTC+11, Steeny Lou wrote:
Hello, Yahoo!  You're looking better and better all the time.

Have you looked at Yahoo lately?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/11/13 4:13 PM
KeithR Sweeper, I've not looked at Yahoo in the past couple weeks.  Has it gone haywire too??
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/11/13 4:19 PM
I've heard that Yahoo looks remarkably like Gmail these days - and the ads are as ugly and intrusive as ever.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/11/13 4:25 PM
Sorry, I meant Yahoo "chat", or messenger or whate'er it's called these days.  Nice and easy, and has a lovely stealth feature.  I've had an account with them since something like 1997 but haven't used their actual email in years.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 10/14/13 2:08 AM
I agree.. shit new interface, useless.

FUCK IT


DAMMIT

i want to see what i have been chatter like 5 minutes ago, but this FUCK throw me at the start of the chat (the  day) so i need to scroll down like 20 minutes to get to my 5 minutes ago line

moreover.. it loads 30 lines like for a minute

WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS FUCK ?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/14/13 3:20 AM
@dafaq, you are spamming this Forum and your language is unacceptable for a public site.  Desist or risk having your account banned.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 10/14/13 5:17 AM
@KeithR
Well, this is pretty much what everybody is thinking here. People have tried being polite, explaining things carefully, asking for help, but we have been largely ignored, apart from some secondary fixes.
So while I might not use this language, it's pretty understandable given how Google has been treating its users lately!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 10/14/13 8:01 AM
Exactly. 
The language is quite justified and is what most think but only don't say because, well, people whine like babies and threaten about it with much less logic than whining and threatening about this ridiculously inefficient change. 
The language caught attention, too, which is more functional than new chat.

Can't take it? Try a dose of logical realism from George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words. 
Want to make a power play about it and penalize people? Check your developmental, and current, social psychology ...and ask why.

ORIGINAL CHAT > NEW CHAT.
ALL DAY.
EVERY DAY.
FOR MONTHS.
FOREVER?
Just make the Labs Option to preserve original chat. YOU KNOW IT'S NOT DIFFICULT. Keep your new chat but stop subjecting people you have functionally hurt about it to mandatory detriment. 

Now, how is this choice of words REALLY that different? At this point. It's not. I'm really cursing at you the whole time and so is everybody else, and those of you not restoring original chat are the ones actually inflicting harm and causing the painful response of "unacceptable" words/behavior. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/14/13 9:14 AM
I quote from GmailPal:


"ORIGINAL CHAT > NEW CHAT.
ALL DAY.
EVERY DAY.
FOR MONTHS.
FOREVER?
Just make the Labs Option to preserve original chat. YOU KNOW IT'S NOT
DIFFICULT. Keep your new chat but stop subjecting people you have
functionally hurt about it to mandatory detriment. "

I repeat from GmailPal:


"Just make the Labs Option to preserve original chat. YOU KNOW IT'S NOT
DIFFICULT."

I re-emphasize:


Just make the Labs Option to preserve original chat.

(Maybe da Gmail technico peepo are da big babies and no likey to be told
what to doooooo by us big, bad whiners.)

Come on, Gmail, do the right thing.  Put your pride aside, admit you made a
mistake, and fix it.  How hard is that?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 10/14/13 1:48 PM
It would cost those folks their heads, so they simply can't admit they completely screwed it.
Would you?

On Monday, October 14, 2013 6:14:39 PM UTC+2, Steeny Lou wrote:

Come on, Gmail, do the right thing.  Put your pride aside, admit you made a
mistake, and fix it.  How hard is that?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/14/13 3:35 PM
Being civilised is the difference between what we think and how we behave.  As someone who can only comment and pass your grievances on to Google, I am glad that most of you are civilised.

However, having just returned home from the TC summit with Google, I can only pass on bad news.  Google sees the new Hangouts as the future of messaging.  It is my impression that they also see that the launch is not complete, but there will be no going back.  Hopefully developments in Hangouts will make things better.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 10/14/13 3:41 PM
It would be enough if there would be no bubles.
It is 100% ilogical to waste x % of space for "inter-bubles-space" :)
that's the point..
managers like it "kiss" (keep it simple and stupid..)
and maybe teenagers love bubles, i wont fight..
but a simple switch "bubles on/off" would make galactic difference..

same goes to qwerty (hw keyboard) mobile phones.. and so on..
too sad that majority overvote minority...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 10/14/13 3:45 PM
Keith: I know you can't necessarily divulge the specifics, but did you have the opportunity to share the negative feedback that we have been discussing for 5 months now, specifically regarding the history format? If so how did the developers respond? Did they explain at all their rationale for this vision, or perhaps relate any positive feedback that they've gotten from users about any aspect of Hangouts? I understand those of us with complaints are likely to be louder than those who like the changes, but it is baffling to me that I haven't heard anything from Google (through Dori I guess would have been our best shot) explaining what they think we, as users, will actually like about Hangouts or especially these changes to the history format. If this is the future of messaging, why?! And which of these desired attributes necessitates this new, less functional history format?

Would really appreciate any info you can relay to us in this vein... even if it's not good news, it would assuage some of my frustration to hear why Google has chosen to proceed this way. Please and thank you!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Damien Dasanti 10/14/13 3:47 PM
Oh no, that's terrible news. >_< I mean, thanks for keeping us updated but that sucks so much! I was really hoping that at the very least, they would fix the way that chat history is stored. I use it to co-write things and some of our stories stretch back over months so it's painful trying to read it in such short and tiny increments. And not being able to skip to specific scenes either.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 10/14/13 3:54 PM
On Monday, October 14, 2013 6:45:31 PM UTC-4, Jean W wrote:
Keith: I know you can't necessarily divulge the specifics, but did you have the opportunity to share the negative feedback that we have been discussing for 5 months now, specifically regarding the history format?

Jean, you always happen to steal the words right out of my mouth! I was going to ask Keith the same thing -- leaving aside Hangouts for the moment to focus on the chat history interface, what was discussed about the interface overhaul? Is the team aware that, even if Hangouts is indeed the future, there are still major improvements that need to be made to the separate chat history interface in Gmail?

They can keep Hangouts (though, incidentally, I much prefer the streamlined and elegant Talk/Gchat interface), but they need to realize that the chat history interface has been crippled.

Also, any word from the team about their intent on making chats transcripts available through the Gmail mobile app once again? Thanks!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Dori, Community Manager @ Google 10/14/13 6:25 PM
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to drop in here again to say that we have been listening. It is in large part thanks to a lot of you on this thread that certain features of Chat history returned (apply labels, reply by mail, forward, print) and were fixed (searching). I have been diligently following this thread and passing on information to the team. That being said, however, the Hangouts team has a vision for the new Hangouts product and there are certain features that have changed - including aspects of Chat history as you're all aware. One of these changes is that the Hangouts history in Gmail is only available on the web version of Gmail - not the mobile browser or the mobile app - though the team is aware of the request to have it available on mobile again.

Dori
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Kate Butler 10/14/13 6:47 PM
 
On Monday, October 14, 2013 9:25:41 PM UTC-4, Dori, Community Manager @ Google wrote:
 
 One of these changes is that the Hangouts history in Gmail is only available on the web version of Gmail - not the mobile browser or the mobile app - though the team is aware of the request to have it available on mobile again.

Well, yes, obviously we're all very much aware of this fact. While we're glad that Google has noticed their own changes, that doesn't actually answer the question of WHY this change was made, and how Google thinks it improves their product to remove (without explanation) extremely useful features that people liked.

And for those of us who find conversation view impossible to use without our brains dribbling out our ears, the chat history is still COMPLETELY non-functional, as opposed to only mostly non-functional.  If that view is going to be required to use the chat history going forward, please make it settable on a per-folder basis so it can be enabled in just the chat history and not in the inbox.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface VomM 10/14/13 7:01 PM
"I just wanted to drop in here again to say that we have been listening."  Right.  Here's the thing Dori.  As near as I can tell, Google as a company has zero experience in doing public facing customer service.  Why do I say this?  Because you should not have to keep chirping, "We've been listening!  Honest!  No really, I swear!" If your customers believe you are not listening to them, there is a reason. 

Here is what your customers are actually saying: They do not like chat.  This chat does not work for them.  They feel like Google does not care about them as a customer.  REALLY, they feel like Google not only does not care, but is actively ignoring them. 

This is important information for your company.  (It's actually a lot more important than the specifics of chat.)

People have repeatedly asked you to explain the decisions behind the change.  People have asked for information about what Hangouts is supposed to do.  What is the vision?  Why did you do this?  Why did we all have to scream with expletives to get searching fixed (I mean, you're a search company!  admitting that only because your customers screamed like banshees for months, um, wow).  What is the benefit to Hangouts?

You have said nothing, Dori to these endless requests for more information. 

People have asked, 'Is any of this going to be fixed?'' and you keep saying the same thing: We're listening!  We care!  We're listening!

Telling people that you care has not made anyone feel any better in the past, right?  So why not try something different? 

I recommend that the Hangouts team sit down and craft a response to the following questions:
1.  What was the intention behind this chat change?  Why did Google do this? 
2.  What is Hangouts' "vision"?  WHY would we benefit from having a browser only chat?  What is Hangouts' benefits?  What is awesome about it?  Surely they must be excited for some reason.
3.  Acknowledge your customers' concerns.  This does not mean saying 'we're listening'.  This means going through each message above and accepting responsibility for the impact this change on had on your customers' lives.  "I'm hearing you say that you used to be able to work on projects using our software.  Since the unexpected rollout, our software has made your work much more difficult.  I'm sorry that happened, and I'm sorry we failed to give you notice.  We will try not to do that again."
4.  Make clear the parameters of your response here.  If you have absolutely no intention of making a readable and searchable chat system ever again, hey, just say so.  Googvle has kill-filed plenty of services in the past. 
5.  Consider and accept that the message you have intended to send (we're listening!) is not the message you actually sent.  Take responsibility for this.  Think about ways to do better. 

Me, I'll tell you honestly: I traded in a brand new android phone for an iphone, cost no object, because I could no longer trust Google not to roll out some random unwanted change to me.  This is based solely on my terrible experience right here at this board and with this chat.  I don't trust your company anymore with my information networking needs.  Which is cool.  You got other customers, blah blah blah.  But I can't help but notice that Google's getting hit pretty hard here on this board, but also in the press over your policies and rollouts, your lack of customer service, and so on.  This is not helping.  If Google reaches a tipping point, you'll lose lots of business.  (See, here again, I am showing you that I do not believe you care about chat customers.  I believe, however, that you MIGHT care about revenue.  This should tell you something.)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 10/14/13 10:16 PM
Just one quick question here,,,
Is it possible (or will be ?) to download the history?
I guess it would make the server load lower, when users could download the history once and then they would search it thru offline :-)
I also miss some fun features - like chat lines cound with a certain person and so on...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 10/14/13 11:51 PM
On Monday, October 14, 2013 9:25:41 PM UTC-4, Dori, Community Manager @ Google wrote:
One of these changes is that the Hangouts history in Gmail is only available on the web version of Gmail - not the mobile browser or the mobile app - though the team is aware of the request to have it available on mobile again.

Dori, since you're following this thread, can you please give us some advice on what we should do if we need to access the chat history from our mobile devices for a chat that is more than a week old?

Also, doesn't the fact that chat transcripts are no longer available through the Gmail mobile app seem a bit broken to you, considering how ostensibly important the mobile platform has become in the present day? I don't think that this is merely a feature request -- nay, this is a rather pertinent bug report.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/15/13 2:34 AM
On the chat history issue, it is my impression that the direction is to store the history only in the "Hangout" itself.  This puts everything that relates to a particular connection set together in the one place.  So look for improvements in the management tools inside an individual Hangout entry and expect the Chats label to eventually disappear.

Re-emphasise: my impression from what I see, not based on anything I have heard.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 10/15/13 9:06 AM
On Tuesday, October 15, 2013 5:34:47 AM UTC-4, KeithR Sweeper wrote:
On the chat history issue, it is my impression that the direction is to store the history only in the "Hangout" itself.  This puts everything that relates to a particular connection set together in the one place.  So look for improvements in the management tools inside an individual Hangout entry and expect the Chats label to eventually disappear.

Re-emphasise: my impression from what I see, not based on anything I have heard.

After everything that has been said about how important chat transcripts are to users, how can this still be a possibility?? I would think that this is where Dori needs to step in to assuage us long-time users and say, "we will NOT be taking away chat transcripts". Like I've said before (either earlier in this thread, or in a related thread), keeping the chat history only in Hangouts itself would be a MASSIVE blunder -- one that would no doubt cause a multitude of users (including myself) to migrate away from Gmail/Gchat/Hangouts -- because it is NOT an efficient way whatsoever to navigate through weeks, months, YEARS of chat history. This would be completely unacceptable, and I am now becoming increasingly insulted by this continual slapping-in-the-face that we're experiencing from this development team and all associated Google staff.

In short, this had better not happen, or I believe that Google will find itself losing a significant portion of its user base that relies on chat transcripts (e.g., businesses, researchers, collaborators, etc.).
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 10/15/13 9:27 AM
VomM said it very well.

Pause and think for a moment:
How is denying a simple option to revert to original chat history, NOT Sadism?
"Yeah. We see your pain. We have total ability to stop it. We see the lack of logic. But, haha, we don't care enough to do anything about it and you can't stop us... hahahahahahaha."
"Let's tell them we're listening just to watch them go through cycles of hope and pain!"

No. No. Stop. Don't argue about how it's not sadism because of X excuse. Don't tell me I am distorting the reality of complicated X. LOOK AT HOW IT IN FACT IS SADISM: YOU SEE PAIN AND DYSFUNCTION THAT YOU CAN 100% STOP WITHOUT REALLY HURTING YOUR OTHER GOALS... BUT YOU DON'T. 
AND...
Stop acting like tweaking the new interface is fulfilling our request to restore the original. Stop acting like there is no a difference and that the original is not more functional in many ways that the new interface is proving to be inherently unable to blend with and compensate for.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Jean W 10/15/13 9:29 AM
Keith, can you please address this question: Did the developers you talked with say anything about their rationale, or what feedback from users is causing them to proceed with Hangouts and the Hangout history format? 510 posts and I have yet to hear what Google thinks I am supposed to like about these changes.

Dori or Keith, do you have any knowledge about the weight that submitting feedback through GMail (gear menu > Send Feedback, although not all users have this option available to them, as was discussed maybe 400 posts ago if my memory serves...) carries? As a user frustrated by these changes who wants her voice heard and her complaints addressed, is my best bet to: 1. submit feedback through GMail, or 2. comment on this forum?

(or 3. throw my hands up and ditch gmail because after 5 months the best the developers can do to address our issues and respond to our questions is make a few small changes -- which, while being able to forward chats is helpful, these changes do not render the new format anywhere near as functional as the traditional chat history format -- and have Dori tell us they're aware of our complaints?)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Simone T. Cooper 10/15/13 11:07 AM
I think the point we're all missing is that those of us who rely on chat
transcripts--"e.g. businesses, researchers, collaborators, etc."--are
apparently NOT a "significant portion of [Google's] user base," or we are
not a significant portion of the base they need making page views and ad
hits. Those people are 13-20 year olds; kids with disposable income who use
tons of peripherals and who communicate with each other via icons and
pictures of cats jumping out of boxes. Efficiency of searching through chat
history is irrelevant to that user.

I'm looking for a for-pay product that even begins to approach old chat in
functionality for me. Maybe some developer will see this message and
realize he could make money providing it.

--simone
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Noor08 10/15/13 11:29 AM
I think this kind of format started with text messaging (which is unified in that it combines messages and IM, with no need to see if the other person is online - they will respond when they do anyways - and chat/IM habits have changed overall over the years with online/away statuses meaning less and less, at least from my experience). This then got carried over to Facebook chat/messaging at some point and now Google wants to copy them too.

I personally didn't use GChat/Hangouts much and I'm certainly using it far less now. I actually prefer Facebook's messaging system now to the Hangouts mess.

For those looking for an alternative, I find Pidgin's (or some other multiplatform clients) chat logs to be virtually identical to the old GChat logs. Basic text, time-stamped HTML files divided by chat session. Forwarding requires a simple copypaste. And if Hangouts becomes only available in bubble format, Pidgin has a simple no-frills interface.

The downfalls are that it is a little tricky to direct Pidgin to store the logs in a cloud to make them accessible from any device, or set Pidgin up on mobile, and Pidgin being unable to receive offline messages due to Google breaking Jabber protocol.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/15/13 2:58 PM
On Wednesday, 16 October 2013 03:29:34 UTC+11, Jean W wrote:
Keith, can you please address this question: Did the developers you talked with say anything about their rationale, or what feedback from users is causing them to proceed with Hangouts and the Hangout history format?

No

Dori or Keith, do you have any knowledge about the weight that submitting feedback through GMail (gear menu > Send Feedback, although not all users have this option available to them, as was discussed maybe 400 posts ago if my memory serves...) carries? As a user frustrated by these changes who wants her voice heard and her complaints addressed, is my best bet to: 1. submit feedback through GMail, or 2. comment on this forum?

I have no knowledge of the relative weight of these.  Note that while the feedback link you describe is not available to all users, I believe all users have Gear >> Help >> Feedback.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 10/17/13 9:49 AM
Yes, that is a GREAT idea, Kate Butler! I too cannot stand Conversation View and so don't benefit from any of the so-called "improvements" in the Chat history. At the VERY LEAST, please allow us to apply Conversation View only to the Chat folder!!!!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 10/17/13 9:50 AM
Keith, Dori?

Can you please pass this idea on to Google???
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 10/18/13 4:17 AM
I just stopped believe that they are passing anything that is discussed in this thread.. This thread is like a "black hole".. it is expressed in this sentence below by Keith..

KeithR Sweeper
Top Contributor
Oct 15
On Wednesday, 16 October 2013 03:29:34 UTC+11, Jean W wrote:
Keith, can you please address this question: Did the developers you talked with say anything about their rationale, or what feedback from users is causing them to proceed with Hangouts and the Hangout history format?

No


so.. Indeed, it is better to provide them feedback via Gear >> Help >> Feedback so we sure it goes to someone from Google, and not to front men, that ignores, or do not understand what is crucial. Sorry for being honest.. but I am VERY DISSATISFIED not only with hangout crap, but also with this product forum thread as well, which simply works just as illusion, that we are being listened by anyone from Google.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/18/13 8:39 AM


Even if nobody from Google reads this thread or takes it seriously, at least it's here for anyone on the net to discover.  I'm hoping that someone(s) with the know-how and the gumption will see the need based on the desires of the people complaining in here and jump on creating a new chat site.  If I had the time and the skills, I'd go for it myself.

But, yeah, the Gear >> Help >> Feedback should also be done.  I've done it a few times but of course they don't answer. At least I've added my two bits to the pile, for whatever it is worth.  Oh, man, remember MSN Messenger and how great that was back in the day but now where is it?  What a shocker when it, and MSN Groups, were no more.  Google could die, too.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dobdo99 10/20/13 12:53 AM
Google have become microsoft, there is no way to conact Google about errors in their mail platform, will leave just like I left microsoft, got no response from them either, why to big corps get soooo stupid!?????
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/20/13 1:18 AM
@dobdo99, since this is the first question you ever asked on this Forum, how can you have already decided that you are not going to get a response?
For future reference, please note that this is the Help Forum for Google Chat. Gmail answers are better found at the Gmail Help Centre:
Gmail Help Articles
Gmail Help Forum

I could have moved your question there if you had asked one.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Corneliu Galev 10/23/13 2:43 PM
I am also puzzled by the new Google Chat / Hangout history. In a previous version, as long as both parties are responding in a timely manner in a chat session, the conversation was store in a single file (one file per session).

In current version, the chat history is keeping each response in a separate file. This is making chat view / browse / search very difficult.
I know that setting option to view messages in Conversation Mode will affect also chat messages but using Conversation mode will not affect the way chat messages are displayed for browse.

I personally dislike using Conversation Mode for emails due to the risk of deleting the entire thread instead of a single message (especially on a mobile deice). Also I prefer to have lets say 2 messages out of a conversation in Inbox (not necessary consecutive) and the rest to be archived).

Can you (GOOGLE) please change the method of storing chat history back?
Why can't I reply to a question? Lambert Lorette 10/27/13 3:37 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 10/28/13 12:49 AM
Hi Lambert, since your question is about a different topic, I'll move it to a thread of its own.  You'll be able to follow it using the link that will appear in its place.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Ilona. 10/28/13 7:49 AM

I have unsubscribe to this topic. I've seen very little change from may till now. I have been looking for a new e-mail/ chat provider for some time and some of the participants here have also asked for tips or other alternatives.

The one I found is similar to google mail and chat options with multi protocol im options. But also if you are a domain user, there are many possibilities. Next to my outlook I will be using this.
I think it's worth checking: https://www.zoho.com/
Only thing to create a free new e-mail account its not very clear to find it so I will give the url:
 https://mail.zoho.com/biz/createAcc.do

Make sure you read some info or reviews on Zoho, the things I need from a mail/ chat provider I'm sure is not necessary what others users will need.


Regards and thank you all for thinking along and putting effort in this topic.



Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 10/28/13 7:59 AM
Thanks for mentioning Zoho!  I am looking into it.  Always on the lookout for an alternative to Gmail.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 10/31/13 5:38 AM
Seriously pissed off that multiple times recently would have been REALLY USEFUL to have the Original Chat & History for business & friends & family. 
Learned of Zoho years ago for their PDF stuff & based on the quality of that experience I will definitely look into their Chat. Thanks. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Brian Yang 11/3/13 2:02 PM
I'm not a fan of the new Hangouts/Chat history either. It makes it very difficult to search for old conversations and it's just so easy to purge my entire chat history with someone now. That one delete button seems to delete everything, not just one session. Deleting the session from the chat folder listing merely deletes the link, not the individual session. How can I delete one individual chat session (or one message like Facebook does it)? 

When I search using Gmail's search for a conversation and open it up, it does not take me to my search term, but the beginning (and sometimes a random point) in that conversation. Because everything is loaded dynamically, I can't even use Ctrl+F. In long conversations, this is simply impossible. I don't bother using the history anymore, its useless.

I'm guessing storing history like this is what allows them to do the syncing with the Hangouts system, but they could have at least made it work like Facebook chat, with the ability to actually search in a conversation and the ability to delete individual messages.

Instead of Pidgin, I use Trillian (http://www.trillian.im). It has a very nicely designed chat history viewer w/ search that is organized by contact and date. Pro accounts ($12/yr) can get their history synced through the cloud. Easy and simple.

I wish the developers still followed this thread...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 11/4/13 12:55 AM
On Monday, 4 November 2013 09:02:26 UTC+11, Brian Yang wrote:
I wish the developers still followed this thread...

Hi Brian, the developers are being reminded of this thread regularly. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Bruce Rulapaugh 11/7/13 4:18 PM
Some Chats need to be retained in their entirety for possible future reference.  

(1)  In Google Mail Settings, when you turn Conversation view on, chats will appear in their entirety.  But that setting causes both email and Chats to be in Conversation view.  For some of us, it would be MUCH better to have capacity to have Conversation view for Chats but NOT for email.  Google programmers, can you please make that happen?

(2)  At present, to save an extended Chat:  (A) Turn on Conversation view (in the Mail Settings) so as to have all interchanges within that Chat able to be saved in one file, and (B) RIGHT click on the Chat body.  You now have 2 options: [1] select Save As, which allows only to save as a webpage; or [2] select Print, then select "Change" and instead of sending it to a printer you can choose Save As (but .pdf is the only option).  At least by one of these means you can save an important Chat.

Either of these routes is clumsy and not user friendly.  Some of us in our business setting would dump Google Chat in a heartbeat ... that is stated to be honest and to challenge Google to improve Chat.  Incidentally, Hangout is not a good alternative when you need to be careful about confidential matters -- it is too easy to select the wrong combination of people.  So, again, the plea is to improve Chat by (A) making settings available for Chat that are distinct from email settings, and (B) making a way to save chats EASILY in their entirety and in a manner that makes them easily retrievable (including a vibrant Search function).
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 11/7/13 4:36 PM
Bruce, 

Thank you for the albeit clunky method of saving in important chat. Up to now, I've been trying to be careful to leave the chat window open until the end of the day (in case I deem it important to save) and then copying and pasting the entire contents to a Word doc. Once you close the chat window, you're stuck with the stupid line-by-line parsing. I'll try your approach and see if it's less clunky than mine!

I saw this request to have separate conversation views for mail and chat in a post by Kate Butler on Oct. 14 in this thread and I seconded it. I would use conversation view to see my chats in their entirety if I didn't have to also apply it to my mail - I hate conversation view! I also asked the Top Contributer KeithR and Google employee Dori Storbeck to relay this to Google developers but got zero response to my request.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 11/8/13 1:35 AM
On Friday, 8 November 2013 11:36:37 UTC+11, lgrace88 wrote:
... I also asked the Top Contributer KeithR and Google employee Dori Storbeck to relay this to Google developers but got zero response to my request.

The developers are well aware of the requests regarding the history.  Sorry if I missed a response somewhere.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 11/8/13 4:54 AM
"On Friday, 8 November 2013 11:36:37 UTC+11, lgrace88 wrote: ... I also asked the Top Contributer KeithR and Google employee Dori Storbeck to relay this to Google developers but got zero response to my request.

 The developers are well aware of the requests regarding the history. Sorry if I missed a response somewhere."

So, the question remains: WILL something be done so we  can properly search our chat histories since mid May of 2013 or not?

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 11/8/13 2:40 PM
Score! Another point for Restore Original Chat History!

YouTube Founder Says What We're All Thinking About Google+

The Huffington Post  |  By Alexis Kleinman Posted: 11/08/2013 3:26 pm EST  |  Updated: 11/08/2013 4:15 pm EST

Share on Google+
youtube founder google
GET TECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTERS:

Stop trying to make Google+ happen. It's not going to happen.

Google's perpetual insistence upon shoving its social network down everyone's throats has finally reached a boiling point. YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim came out of the woodwork to post his first comment in eight years on the video-sharing site he helped create, bashing Google. In 2006, he and his two fellow co-founders sold YouTube to Google for $1.65 billion.

youtube founder google

Screenshot via Mashable's Todd Olmstead

Karim is reacting specifically to Google's integration of YouTube comments with Google+, a change made on Thursday. You now must have a Google+ account in order to comment on a YouTube video. Google argues that the new system will streamline the commenting system and lower the high number of inflammatory and offensive comments on the site.

Reining in YouTube trolls, among the worst on the Internet, is a worthy goal. The problem is: A lot of people don't like Google+, and are mad that they are being forced to create Google+ accounts in order to participate on YouTube.

Popular YouTuber Cr1TiKaL created this video, calling the new system "soggy dog sh*t":

Cr1TiKaL isn't the only one taking the news poorly. YouTuber Snazzapplesweet also made a video called "Dear Google," which made its anti-Google+ message clear:

As the video so eloquently puts it:

youtube founder google

Seriously.

John Pellman 11/10/13 6:21 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface John S Pellman 11/10/13 6:28 PM
Hi Googlers!

I just wanted to add my voice to this thread and mention that what people are saying here really resonates with me.  I used to occasionally archive my chats on a local hard drive using IMAP, which was cool because then I could have back-ups of all of my online moments for nostalgia-related purposes (if you recall, you got most people my age hooked on your service by offering to manage e-mail servers for free for colleges and universities; many of my precious online college convos are now on my hard drive in neatly readable text because I could archive them via IMAP before my .edu account expired).  Now I find that I can still archive chats, but for some reason each and every individual line in a chat is stored as its own message, which makes my archived chats impossible to view.  I understand that you guys are trying to build a platform with G+ (and that you've really been trying hard ever since Steve Yegge's accidental leak, as well as Jawed Karim's remarks), but this is not the way to go about it, and clashes with what your userbase really wants.  Remember- just because a technology seems cool and exciting and disruptive does not mean you should implement it without really testing it enough (keyword being 'enough'; I suspect that at least *some* testing went on before you rolled this out).  Until you design an adequate set of robot overlords, your primary users will be humans, who will spend less of their attention staring at ads and more of it on trying to find workarounds for perceived inadequacies in your UI.  Also (as obnoxious as I find this idiom), humans also have a tendency "to vote with their feet" and if they experience enough consternation with this, your engineering team will have unwittingly contributed to Yahoo's surprise recovery as the go-to provider for online advertising and free e-mail accounts (though probably not search; you guys have got that one).

Just some thoughts to mull over.

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 11/21/13 11:55 AM
So... What news from this? Are devs still aware since May but doing nothing more about it?!?!? Dori never came back with "news"...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface guisim 11/22/13 12:56 PM
Any update on this? The chat history is unusable for me.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 11/22/13 2:25 PM
Also, does the "forward" option that they implemented work for you? for me, when clicking on the small arrow to get the 'forward by mail' option in the history, i always get an error message... Anyone else with the same problem? (or maybe everybody gave up on this pathetic new Hangout by now?)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface bkennelly 11/22/13 2:40 PM
The Forward by email option still works for me.  What error do you get? 

(I will admit to using Hangouts Messaging/Google Chat far less, especially for anything important, since the conversation history was broken.)

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface enemyofperfect 11/22/13 3:24 PM
What I've discovered about trying to forward chats is that very short ones work fine, but the longer ones will time out and never recover.  (I guess whatever mechanism grabs the chat to produce the email has as much trouble with the new format as we do.)  There's a fix that works for me, but I warn you that the cure is almost as bad as the disease:  if I manually scroll all the way to the bottom of the chat, and then scroll all the way back up so I can forward it, THEN it will work, when it didn't before.

It's an incredibly inconvenient and frustrating procedure, but that's the new chat for you.  :/
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 11/24/13 10:40 AM
More functionality not met by new chat history, AGAIN.
Search function used to be nearly perfect with original chat. Completely useless now. 
Stupid. 
STUPID.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface backwardcompatability 12/6/13 6:22 AM
google... can you please make seeing the end of chat history easier.. loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait just to see an offline message that I missed at the end is very, extremely not user friendly 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 12/6/13 6:26 AM
exactly, i tried to send user feedback, but it is not even loading anymore..
google is dead
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 12/6/13 6:56 AM
this thread is dead as well.. you should not be expecting any answer from google.. they are arrogantly ignoring users.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/6/13 7:39 AM
more signs that google officially sucks yet they think they're better than ever (ironically, arrogantly, stupidly)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 12/6/13 11:50 AM


GmailPalLevel 2 said:  "more signs that google officially sucks yet they think they're better than ever (ironically, arrogantly, stupidly)"


I used to always see this when I was signing into Gmail:  "Gmail is email that's intuitive, efficient, and useful. And maybe even fun." 

I don't see that anymore.  Is even Google realizing how much fun they no longer are?


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 12/6/13 11:13 PM
On Saturday, 7 December 2013 01:22:19 UTC+11, backwardcompatability wrote:
google... can you please make seeing the end of chat history easier.. loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait.. and loading it again.. and wait just to see an offline message that I missed at the end is very, extremely not user friendly 

Try opening the Chat itself instead of the log in your Chats label. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/12/13 4:02 AM
Good point, Steeny Lou.

Industry shamelessly trying to be facebook. Look at Yahoo homepage, Youtube, this Gmail thing, etc....all layouts like Facebook. 
Ironically, they think they are "innovating". Bwahaha! 
GMAIL TEAM: YOUR INNOVATION WAS ALWAYS ABOUT BEING DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE ELSE, NOT TRYING TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. NOT ALL CHANGE TO SOMETHING "NEW" IS INNOVATION. YOU ARE "INNOVATING" BACKWARDS EVEN THOUGH IT'S NEW, BECAUSE YOU ARE TRYING TO FIT IN WITH THE CROWD AND BY DOING SO YOU ARE TAKING AWAY FROM YOURSELF THE LEAD YOU ALREADY HAD ON THE REST OF THE COMPETITION IN THE MARKET! Your best innovation at this point would be NOSTALGIA, like when Big 3 Auto started making their new cars look like their old classics: Mustang, Challenger, Charger etc. JUST GIVE US THE ORIGINAL CHAT HISTORY BACK.

Seriously! I'm stating to teach my older relatives how to use email, IM, video chat. We are all struggling in ways that would not be happening if gmail would just have the original chat & history restored, at least via a Labs Button Option. PLEASE. 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 12/12/13 7:45 AM
Yes, I like GmailPal's last ditch request of having the old chat restored as a Labs option. PLEASE. Absolutely no reason NOT to do this!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 12/12/13 8:21 AM


On Thursday, December 12, 2013 4:45:50 PM UTC+1, lgrace88 wrote:
Yes, I like GmailPal's last ditch request of having the old chat restored as a Labs option. PLEASE. Absolutely no reason NOT to do this!

there is one reason, why they did not and will never do..
They covering their asses, just pretending every user is happy.
No one, who wants to have job there would ever admit to mistake. Clear, right?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/13/13 9:01 AM
I don't even think it threatens their job really. They could simply claim: "some like the new version [which I find really doubtful], some like the original version, we decided to make a simple lab option to make everyone happy because we are a great team that cares about our users .... and we kept our boss happy by this "innovation" [to try to be facebook]"
Ego...+ major delusional paranoia about needing to be more like Facebook....
Hey geniuses,
be like Facebook if you want, not like you'll listen to all the reasons not to anyways.... just stop sucking as much as they do.... be better than them at the same time.... give us the option of original chat history back. This really is not useful....search sucks, scroll sucks, the fwd reply stuff is too difficult to use compared to the other version... having to find these little arrows etc....the history is RIDICULOUS... the chat logging is RIDICULOUS.... the search functionality is RIDICULOUS.....it looks like an atari video game instead of good data organization..... it's RIDICULOUS.
Really, my best communication tools for all things personal and professional are now ruined....and I'm one of thousands or millions that agree and you are RIDICULOUS for not doing something about it. You're lucky this isn't your main source of income or your whole stock would plummet. Likewise, since this is not your main income stream and search is.... you are really not increasing montization or user loyalty by doing this...it's NOT WORTH IT FOR YOU IN ANY WAY, REALLY. I doubt you will gain anything from this attempt to be more like facebook and even if you do it will be marginal and a NET LOSS HOLISTICALLY because you are pissing off this segment of users, making them look for the opporunity to move away from Google instead of recruit everyone more into google. It was little things like this that made a big difference and made us all want to say "google is just awesome at everything, check out all these other things they do in addition to search, start being loyal to google search and google everything"....and now you are reversing that.... people are saying "uhhh, google is the next microsoft and apple when Steve Jobs got fired.... they are starting to suck.... I wonder who else is out there that is going to make them get thir act together or makes us want to stop using them entirely...I'm going to keep looking for this other source and stop being loyal to Google because Google is not loyal to me.". 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface vin sands 12/13/13 9:17 AM
Thanks GMailPal for your posts! I couldn't have said it better.
Like many of us, I have just lost energy to complain and am using Gmail more and more rarely...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Christian Guanilo 12/13/13 10:29 AM
Total agreement with GMailPal. You should be working for Google! A pity you're not! (Maybe you are, idk).

And still, Dori doesn't seem to appear... It's funny how "certain features of Chat history returned" but NOT the one that is mentioned the most... No news so far...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 12/13/13 6:30 PM

On Thursday, December 12, 2013 4:45:50 PM UTC+1, lgrace88 wrote:
Yes, I like GmailPal's last ditch request of having the old chat restored as a Labs option. PLEASE. Absolutely no reason NOT to do this!

 
Michael B3 wrote:
 
there is one reason, why they did not and will never do..
They covering their asses, just pretending every user is happy.
No one, who wants to have job there would ever admit to mistake. Clear, right?

I like the idea of old chat being a Labs option, too.  Why the heck not??? There's no shame in saying "Back by popular demand!"
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Wildfirev 12/13/13 6:42 PM
The problem lies in them not seeing the option of the old chat history AS a popular demand.
They are ignoring the fact that they have alienated a large group of their loyal users. They have given up caring about what the users are doing, and interacting with their product and see a future in directing how people use a product. 

They are reacting like magpies. A new shiny interface that has done well in another application is now being converted and used by them because "Oh look it's SHINY! And NEW! And SOOOOO many people LUV it."  Instead of seeing how much the loyal base of users were steadfast and enjoyed the usability of the original system and rewarding those users, they basically crapped on them and said "You're stupid, we're ignoring you because YOU don't LUV the Shiny."

If my arguments sound a bit childish, I do apologise. Though, frankly, it feels like Google is treating those of us who enjoyed, promoted and sang the praises of the original chat history, as children and there for, we should be seen, not heard. 

I find their attitude to be demeaning and disrespectful of all their users.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/14/13 2:28 AM
Wildfirev, Steeny, Christian, Vin, Michael, et al many many silent people obviously thinking the same thing forever...
Agreed. 
Wildfire, love your magpie reference... bwaha.... unfortunately tin foil hats do not repel them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wHreVKgOT4
;-)

It really is important to keep giving them the SHHHHH they keep dishing out to us. The difference is, ours is more of a reality check on logic. 

This is very possibly what happens when Google starts hiring & thinking as part of those in the culture in decline of trendy consumerism instead of utilitarian production.

EFF your shiny new BS. Give us reliable useful efficiency. I'm about to barf when I admit I've even thought about using facebook stuff like their email service ONLY because of THIS change by Gmail. GET THIS INTO YOUR BRAINS GMAIL TEAM. THIS INNOVATION SUCKS SO MUCH, AND IS SO BLATANTLY FACEBOOK CLONING, THAT YOU ARE MAKING PEOPLE THINK MORE ABOUT FACEBOOK THAN YOU.
It's like. "OMF..., google sucks at being facebook. Google is good at being google. Facebook is good at being facebook. If Google is going to ruin their entire market advantage to try to be like Facebook, I may as well just use facebook."


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/14/13 2:36 AM
Oh, more of a mirror to the face of your shiny new BS, Gmail/Google Team...

I have recently used several other services to do things I used to do exclusively with Google. During this use, and in other use of online services, while discussing matters with the support team and community, all of us wound up casually discussing and ranting about the decline of Google and how they are setting themselves up to lose. You're just lucky you have deep pockets from SEARCH, like Microsoft has deep pockets from WINDOWS. There are a lot of hungry and USEFUL programmers desiring to pounce on this pathetic trendy path you are taking. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/14/13 2:42 AM
Yeah, your new "service" is just like those stupid magpie helmets in the video study I linked above: 
i.e., 
it looks like it should do something; but, it's actually useless. Watch the video and learn
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface proserpexa 12/17/13 11:53 AM
I totally agree!
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/18/13 5:30 AM
I don't remember how much this may have been said before (even though it is important to keep pointing this out in hopes that Google will finally learn and do something about it). 

Most of this seems to be about facebook; but, some of this seems to be about "busy work" and "self worth". Google grew rapidly after it's financial success from search allowed them to expand into other areas. Their search was built on very simple, useful and efficient performance and they applied this concept to everything else. Then, inevitably, you reach a point which somebody could make a buzzword about where there is saturation / peak performance / plateau; however, you have already hired a bunch of people and they want fulfill their sense of worth, to justify their hiring and give them something to do with their time, doing the next new thing instead of maintaining what is already there (which in many cases like this would cause minimal server upkeep and security monitoring, new labs tricks etc), 
which leads them to thinking... 
"well, the only thing that seems really interesting to me is changing everything, I will be known as great for doing this within my own mind and/or my inner circle regardless of what anyone else thinks.... although I hope to make everyone else think so and the only way I can is by taking the gamble of making a big change, so I will make my mark and give myself worth and my life meaning",
which leads to... 
"fixing things that aren't broken", 
which is actually... 
"breaking things that aren't broken". 

e.g.
1.
I just tried to attach things to an email and it was a horrible experience with redundant attachments and scroll issues, all because they stopped allowing me to use original compose where the attachments were monitored at the very top of the compose so now they are forced to the very bottom of the entire email conversation and sometimes can be blocked from visibility so you don't know if you need to attach something or if has already been attached. It gets buggy in various ways, all because they wanted to feel like they did something with their job that was "innovative" and "progress" etc.... when in reality it made things worse. 

USEFULNESS RUINED BY NEW INTERFACE.

2. 
I just tried to copy/paste an entire email conversation into a different email. I used to easily do this with opening the conversation into full screen view and select-all copy/paste, which transported things into a format that did not have a bunch of frames and structure that made the email need sideways-wide-scrolling. This time, that method was impossible due to the new interface. I was able to use print view to make a very choppy version of this which needed to be edited for spacing and organization in a tedious way.

USEFULNESS RUINED BY NEW INTERFACE. 

3.
Everything already said about chat history here.

USEFULNESS RUINED BY NEW INTERFACE, WORSE THAN ANYTHING ELSE EVER DONE.

Probably more examples throughout google. What has recently been done with Google Business Apps is sad. They are overpricing themselves compared to paid-competition and taking away free options, while attempting to disguise this as "the need to provide better support for our customers". 
No. You feel you need to make more profits. You feel you need progressive purpose. Your judgement about what is really needed, respected, useful, worth, enough, efficient, etc...is clouded by these other selfish motives.  
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/18/13 8:19 AM
Another friend just gave me news that they refuse to use google hangouts and have opted to use the old gtalk. 
I googled...

Found...
more people talking about using other programs because the new hangouts / chat history etc sucks....
many familiar names....
trillian, pidgin...
some new names...
thunderbird, psi
jabber
XMPP 

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Erika L 12/18/13 11:13 AM
I'm not usually one for "me too" posts, but I just wanted to add my name to the (long) list of people who are utterly disappointed with the new Gchat interface. When they rolled out the new version in May, I was convinced it was an error, and that Google would revert to the old system. The idea that somebody genuinely believed it was an improvement never crossed my mind...
I've been a loyal Google user for many years and although there have been several changes I haven't liked, I stuck with Google because they were far better than the competition. That is not the case anymore. I find I'm using Google services because they're no longer efficient. The other day I wanted to create a shared document and for the first time I went with Microsoft rather than Google Drive. I was also going to start exploring Google+ more, but I won't bother now. I'll move most of my emailing to outlook.com. At least they still have the "attach file" option in a sensible place, and they also have webchat. Probably nowhere near as good as Gchat used to be, but since the features that made Gchat so superior are gone, there's no reason not to try something different.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Steeny Lou 12/18/13 11:18 AM
"...but since the features that made Gchat so superior are gone, there's no reason not to try something different."

Yes!!!  Hey, Google, did you see that?  Excellent point.
(unknown) 12/26/13 6:02 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 12/27/13 11:49 AM
you wont win anything..
the problem is, this new chat interface is shit, i wont tell "wrong", because it is shit - useless..
sorry for tha language, but how can normal IT guy shit it up so badly?
if you would come up with this in 2003 or so, you would go bankrupt in days, if not hours...
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 12/27/13 11:50 AM
it is not bad, at least i do talk with people offline, therefore i use google less and less

thank you google for teaching me how to be more independent ;-)

i love you :-*
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 12/30/13 10:09 AM
+1 dafaq & Kim; and, stop deleting posts from users that are primarily bumping the discussion to the top for it's MUCH NEEDED AND DESERVED ATTENTION. 
There is not much else left to say.
Your job, Google, is to REALIZE the MUCH NEEDED AND DESERVED ATTENTION, and FIX the issue by providing at least bare minimum the Labs Option to revert to Original Chat History, as clearly and redundantly asked, for about 7+ months now.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 12/31/13 12:35 AM
If google reps are deleting posts, they seems to have some fear.. so keep posting.
I am guessing, they are trying to hide this bug forever.. or maybe we should do some facebook action, so people from google, who should hear, will hear our voice finally? 


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 12/31/13 1:27 AM
Posts will only be deleted if they are Spam or offensive.  The post deleted above was probably deleted by the poster.  If anyone is curious to know, it was posted by user "Kimncarlos Baumberger" and the total content was "Kim".
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface dafaq 1/3/14 6:40 AM

the usual reaction of my friend when I chat them up is "come to ICQ/QIP"
and actually it is not so bad over there..
at least we can encrypt our chat, but most importantly, the chat history is searchable, copy-able and most of all, working.

and i will attack google as much as i wish and want, becasue i can.. unless they allow us to view chat history the good old way - the working way...

Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 1/5/14 8:43 AM
+1 again dafaq
Whoever continues, at 7+ months now, to force the use of this new chat interface is being offensive. Delete their ridiculous new chat and give us the original one that worked properly.
It seemed that "Kim" was a bump for attention; and, it served as such no matter what.


Re: The new Gmail chat history interface CGrobler 1/7/14 8:26 PM
When the new horrible chat came out I thought the protests against it would surely receive some attention, and things might change for the better. Naturally, we are all disappointed with how this is not being handled and we're just being ignored. I spend a great deal of my daily time using the chat and going back through chat history, which is shit now because the search is useless and there's way too much scrolling and loading involved.

We want the original chat back. You can keep the new one, fine, as long we get to choose.

The only thing keeping me here is the shittons of chat history I have stocked up over the years, and that tiny little shred of hope that someone will be the hero and save us from this 'better' (in what world?) chat.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface yellowjournalism 1/7/14 8:38 PM
I'd like to poke my head back into this thread again to contribute to keeping this going.

Dear Google, back in the old days, whenever I needed to refer to something important in my chat history, I would find it. Happily.

Now I do not even consider that an option. If something was said and I didn't immediately record it, I now consider it lost to the ether.


That is how bad my chat experience is now. The only reason I keep using it is because my friends are all using google chat. Congratulations, you are now Apple.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface lgrace88 1/8/14 7:10 AM
Reaffirming yet again my agreement about the useless new Chat. What I simply cannot understand is why Google can't at least let us CHOOSE which version of Chat to use - via a Labs option to revert to the old and perfectly functional Chat. 

Like CGrobler and yellowjournalism, I too continue to use it - but ONLY because it's my ONLY option through my work. We are not allowed to use any other email or messaging system, so I'm hostage to using this new Chat that has rendered my workflow completely hampered. Now I have to go through crazy gyrations every day to archive my important work Chats and save as increasingly cumbersome Word documents, because the Chat history is now absolutely useless.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 1/8/14 10:14 AM
Encouraging to see that my fellow beasts-of-[BEING]-burden[ED] are still willing to mount evidence that this new chat history, and the handling of it, is beyond deplorable and useless in comparison of the original. 
heh, I wonder how long until the Anonymous group decides this is worth their time. Oh, one can dream. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Hrag Hayrabedian 1/9/14 5:37 AM
For god's sake fix this already, there is absolutely nothing beneficial about this change, so why are you so resistant to going back to a working system?
Please someone enlighten me, what are the benefits of this change?
Please google, stop peddling google+ and fix gmail, google contacts and update the calendar, they've all been left to rot.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Michael B3 1/9/14 6:06 AM

There is only one benefit of this change.. google team got a rise for introducing hangouts and all "innovations" related.
They cannot bring now money back and say "sorry, we did terrible mistake, we will revert the change" - No, they never would admit to this

Enough reason?
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 1/10/14 3:22 AM
With stuff like this: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/reach-people-you-know-more-easily.html 
.... and the YouTube commenting w G+
.... they don't need to ruin chat history to get people to use / notice G+. 

Look, Gmail Team, you really need to accept the fact that people already are pissed at you/Google for how much you're shoving G+ down their throats everywhere else; however, the Chat History is a major functional damage far beyond this other stuff that really becomes the ultimate loathing of you entirely, "the straw that broke the camel's back" (if you think it's as small as a straw, which I'd argue it's not; but, you get the point)
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 1/10/14 8:56 AM
Another experience of new chat history sucking:
Since this new chat history, many people I used to chat with have stopped using the service; however, just a moment ago I got some chats on it.
I replied to the chats, via chat.
I closed the chat window.
New thoughts surfaced for me to reply in addition. 
I opened the new history interface.
I clicked "open chat". 
Although the chat history shows the proper order of text, the chat window that was opened entirely omitted all recent context and instead chose a last context being a message sent to me much earlier, which was not even the last message this person sent me.
This NEVER happened with the Original Chat History. 
THIS SUCKS.
EVERYTHING ABOUT NEW CHAT SUCKS. NOT EVEN ONE SMALL NUANCE IS AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE ORIGINAL. NADA. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 1/12/14 1:04 AM
On Friday, 10 January 2014 22:22:57 UTC+11, GmailPal wrote:
Look, Gmail Team, you really need to accept the fact...

The Gmail Team doesn't read this Forum.  If you want to reach the Gmail Team, please use the Gmail Forum:
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface KeithR Sweeper 1/12/14 1:06 AM
On Saturday, 11 January 2014 03:56:21 UTC+11, GmailPal wrote:
I opened the new history interface.
I clicked "open chat". 
Although the chat history shows the proper order of text, the chat window that was opened entirely omitted all recent context and instead chose a last context being a message sent to me much earlier, which was not even the last message this person sent me.

If you opened the chat box by clicking on the contact name instead of the history record, you would immediately see the most recent chats. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 1/12/14 1:27 AM
Pretty sure I also tried the exact method you are referring to; and, it did not work, even 20 minutes after the context.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface Maistrye 1/12/14 11:30 AM
What you're both saying is correct.  Clicking on the person does show you recent chat history, which is useful.  However, sometimes it is glitchy and shows the chat out of order or shows chat prior to the most recent chat.  Slightly irritating, but I haven't had it happen really often, perhaps 1-2% of the time, so I can't speculate as to what causes it.
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface DSingh1699 1/13/14 1:55 PM
One of the most egregious side effects of this "new" chat history interface is that chat history is no longer accessible from Gmail mobile apps (you have to continually scroll up within the Hangouts app until you reach the desired content, and there's a limitation on how far back you can scroll). We've been fighting that battle, as well, to no avail:
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface GmailPal 1/14/14 12:09 AM
All of this is mind-blowingly-ridiculous, and beyond somehow. So obvious that NOTHING about this is an improvement IN ANY WAY. It reminds me of the idiocy of immature middle school drama, as if that's who was hired to program the new chat (and that's typically what's perpetuated in social media like G+, like an incessant middle school reunion; so, it's no surprise since that's what this is trying to promote).
The quality of responses to this has reached lows because people feel that at this point they may as well lower themselves to the immaturity of the programming and the immaturity of the response to the complaints. 
Re: The new Gmail chat history interface treias 1/14/14 8:45 PM
I've also noticed lately that sometimes chats are not coming through.  I've found lines and entire blocks of text, upon opening the chat history, that never arrived in the chat window. No connectivity issues or anything like that were happening at the time.

Though the most irritating thing that still hasn't been fixed with the new chat history is the lack of a listed number of lines for each chat session. My partner and I use chat for writing, brainstorming, and planning, and it used to be fairly easy to find specific sessions, using the number of lines to tell whether a particular chat was a long writing session or a 20-minute scene fragment. Now I have to guess which date the session was on, open it up, and scroll and scroll and wait for it to load before I can even tell whether I'm looking in the right place. I don't know why something as useful as the line count wasn't included in the new version of chat, but I'm sure a lot of people who use chat as a professional tool would love to have it back.
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