ForumSite Announcements ► Real Time Chat
I'm going to be adding real time chat to the site to replace the existing Messages thing.

Here are some of the features/changes I'm planning on including. Basically it's going to be like a mix between the chat interface on normal modern social networks and a bit of topic-based IRC/slack/discord rooms.

  • Real time. No more hitting refresh to see new messages like it's 2003.
  • Any message you send to an individual specific user will no longer have a subject line. You will only have one conversation instance with that person.
  • Any message you send to a group of individuals can optionally have a subject line. You will be able to add and remove people from these group messages.
  • You can also create public group messages that people can join. This will work roughly like IRC. Each room has both a name and a topic that can be set. There'll also be a concept of mods.
  • When both users of an anonymous QA message reveal their names, the message does not get promoted into a normal user-to-user message. It's still categorized as a topical QA message.
  • You can see when people have read your message.
  • You can disable whether people can see if you read their message, both as a global setting or an individual chatroom setting.
  • You can mute notifications for messages and rooms you no longer care about.
  • Email notifications will occur at a 10 minute delay if you are not currently active, and will occur as a batch rather than an individual email for every message. It will also include the contents of the messages.
  • You can send images, but only ones that you draw yourself using the same editor as the profile image editor.
  • The notifications on the top of the page will also be real time even if you are not actively viewing the chat page.

When I launch the new chat service, the regular messaging monstrosity that exists today will still exist side-by-side for a while. The new chat service will be experimental and as such, I'll probably have to delete all the messages from it a few times until it's stable and doesn't corrupt data. After it's stable, I'll likely shut the site down for a few hours and migrate all the old messages to the new interface as either QA messages or titled-group chats that only have 2 users.

Please let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions, or concerns.
Blake said:
You can send images, but only ones that you draw yourself using the same editor as the profile image editor.

The current editor, or the new one that is still in limbo?

And also, ability to either embed questions or polls from the Q&A would be nice, and being able to mark questions as "link accessible only" or "message accessible only" would be nice too, dunno if that's possible.
Probably the current one until I get my act together and release the new one at which time it'll replace both.

The image sending will probably come out later anyway, so I might use it as an excuse to just finish up the new one.
Blake said:
There'll also be a concept of mods.

Will these be the same mods as the TCaS site ones, and will they be able to access user-to-user messages at any time?
If you create your very own chatroom, you have the free will to kick people out of it and set the topic heading. That's all.
I'm assuming this would be built with GET and POST with SQL, not TCP/UDP streaming sockets?

I.E. There might be rudimentary support for those willing to screw around with header packets, fetch requests, and AJAX/other data fetchers to make automated systems? It's an idea I was tossing around before you announced this update. If it isn't against the rules, that is.
Blake said:
ideas, suggestions,

Make it REALLY real-time, like Google Wave.
What is the state of privacy in our current private message system and will that change?
Will forums be in real time as well?
There's a link on your message inbox with an appropriate disclaimer.

It is not done, but it's worth getting feedback at this point.

It is horrifically broken at this point. I want to be very clear about this.

You should also know that the person receiving your message will not be receiving email notifications regardless of their settings, so please use with caution.

Also, I have done 0 testing on mobile.
Will forums be in real time as well?

Error reports dumped here, or somewhere else?

Spoiler text below. Highlight to read.
Because oh, boy are there a few. Six, off the top of my head
I'll create a new thread.

It'd be cool if messages had sound notifications when you're not on the tab, but that can definitely come later since there are a ton of bugs already
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