Away from Discourse plugin

(Alexander Wright) #1

Hi all,

I’ve been asked by my users to implement a “holiday responder” feature that would notify other users when they message someone who is on holiday, or uses the @name feature to attract their attention.

Has anyone considered this?

It looks to be a lot of work for a plugin - would it need to be a core feature?


(Joffrey Jaffeux) #2

I wouldn’t see it as a core feature as I think it goes against the asynchronous nature of a forum and don’t see so many people use it. It’s also a bit of a privacy issue for me, as I wouldn’t want anyone to know I might be away from my house.

Just my 2cents, Others might have different opinions :wink:

(Alexander Wright) #3

Yeah, I did mention the privacy issue, that would have to be stressed very strongly to anyone who enabled it.
No different to those that use email ‘vacation’ features, however. (I don’t!)

I think I’ll reply that it is “too technically difficult” and raises too many GDPR issues. That should put them off. :smile:

(Alexander Wright) #4

Their wish is to see if they were likely to get an answer in a timely manner, rather than wanting to know if people were around that second.

Some sort of “This user hasn’t been seen in a while” message might work too, based on last login information.

(Tobias Eigen) #5

I love the idea of a Vacation responder plugin along the lines you’d see in gmail. It would help in communities like mine that use discourse in an organization.

When setting it on your preferences, you could specify groups who see the message, e.g. “Only send a response to people in these groups”.

When you mention someone who has a vacation responder set, you’d see the message pop up right away, akin to the blue notice that pops up when you mention someone who is not allowed to see it - e.g. like “You mentioned @foobar but they won’t be notified because they are unable to see this personal message. You will need to invite them to this PM.” you’d see “You mentioned @foobar but they won’t respond until they return on xyz date. Here’s their message: xxx”

“offline” Avatar flair would be helpful too, visible in discussions, as well as the date return indicated on user profile, user card popup.

(Sam Saffron) #6

Before going nuts here I would recommend building a much simpler plugin.

One that adds “user defined status emoji” to all the places you see user avatars (cards / mentions / profile). Just exposing this would probably go an enormous distance in resolving the underlying issue here before going full on bulldozer.

eg: instead of seeing @sam … you would see: @sam :desert_island: (when I eventually move to the desert island)

(Jeff Atwood) #7

We also find that we need this feature internally, as @sam described, so we’re likely to build it.

Mostly we need some kind of ambient visual reminder when someone is away for multiple days, on vacation usually.

(Nichalas Petranek) #8

Please pardon my lack of experience here, but wouldn’t this request be something similar to the Who’s Online Plugin? I fell as though it could be adapted to include a user setting to set themselves on an “away” status, and then build into it the notifications functions as mentioned above.

(Kris) #9

One partial way to do this today could be to create an “on holiday” group, set it to Automatically set as primary group, and give it flair and title?

If you’re going away you can join the group, when you’re back you leave it. You’d also be able to see a list of who is currently away by visiting /groups/on-holiday.

The biggest missing piece would be mentions, but the flair/title would be visible on your profile and on any of your posts.

This would be more for internal communities than anything public-facing… for public-facing communities some sort of “who else should I contact” auto-response feature might be necessary.

(Jeff Atwood) #10

Why not simply edit your user title to “on vacation”, then? Works with zero new code.

(Nichalas Petranek) #11

That would imply that each user currently has the ability to give themselves a custom title, which currently is not the case as far as I’m aware.

(Jeff Atwood) #12

I was only referring to staff. Why would anyone care about the availability of non-staff users?

(Nichalas Petranek) #13

you’d be surprised. but i see your point.

(Sam Saffron) #14

Note if show full name on posts is enabled you can just edit your full name to “Sam Saffron On Holidays”, that is something any end user can do.

Like so:

We should probably do some “emoji” replacement magic on full names, but hey … it kind of works now.