moderated relationship between "close chat" and "lock topic"


I'm finally trying out the chat feature. I am confused about the classification of a chat as a "topic" and the actions that can be performed on it as a topic.

I notice that you can edit an open chat from the "open chats" list, with choices "edit chat," "close chat," and "delete chat." So far, so good. But you can also edit the chat as a topic in the messages or topics list, in which the normal edit choices for a topic appear ("moderate topic," "lock topic," etc.). Moreover, all the options to edit a chat as topic from the message or topics lists still remain after a chat is closed.

1. What do the edit-topic options do to an open chat? E.g., can you merge chats? What does "locking" a chat do (it seems to bear no relationship to closing the chat - see question 3)?

1. What do those same options do if the chat has been closed? They are still still there after a chat is closed. 

2. What does "lock topic" do to a chat? I see that the "lock" icon appears next to the chat in the message and topics lists; but the chat still appears in the open chats list and remains open for posting. Is there (or should there be) any relationship between closing a chat and locking a topic?

I have not been following discussions about the chat feature, since it is web-only and I think at least half of the members of our group are email-only. But I just tried it out, and I'm confused about what kind of object a chat is (it seems to be a kind of topic) and what can be done to it. 


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