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# What is Arbor?
Arbor is an open-source chat collaboration system that thinks a little differently about conversations. Arbor captures more of the context of messages than traditional chat, allowing you and your peers to communicate more clearly with less effort.
# Why is it called Arbor?
An arbor is an artificial structure that supports the growth of climbing vines in a garden. Arbor is an artificial structure for chat that helps conversation flourish.
# How is it different?
Arbor messages track what you were responding to when you wrote them. Every message explicitly has a "parent" message that it is a response to. This allows Arbor to visualize the relationships between messages for its users in a way that other chat systems cannot. This makes your conversation history into a [tree](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_(data_structure)) instead of a list.