@gdpelican nice work on this plugin - it’s come a long way! I especially like the sound notifications, whos online integration, and notification bubbles when chat minimized. Slick!
I installed it for testing on my personal discourse, and am exploring its suitability for my work discourse… mostly to let moderators chat about what to do with discussions. I had a look through this topic and hope I have a fairly good understanding, but it’s possible that I missed some things. Bearing that in mind, some reactions and questions follow. I’d be grateful for thoughts.
The biggest question I guess is sustainability - this is an unofficial plugin, so can you talk a bit about your experience keeping it going over the years and your future plans? I realize this is open source so in that sense future proofed, but are there some more people besides @gdpelican who are familiar with the code and committed to it, who can take it forward in case you get hit by a bus? Inshallah this will not happen!
There are some issues interspersed throughout this topic that are not listed on github. Is that where you want us to post issues? Maybe streamlining the reporting so they all go to one place will help you to respond more effectively without wasting too much time, and help us to know what’s in the roadmap and (maybe more importantly) what is not.
For now here’s a laundry list of questions, thoughts, bug reports and feature requests, in no particular order and with apologies for wordiness and repetition of already stated items.
Some bugs and hopefully easy fixes:
- bug: chats shows up on the admin dashboard even when the babble plugin is not enabled
- on admin settings: translation missing: en.site_settings.babble_initial_user_count
- update: when I @ mentioned a user, they received an email notification - linking them to both the topic in the category and the chat in babble. This seems buggy and weird! Should link to maybe simply the site front page with chat open in babble, and not display the babble topic.
- Users should be able to start with zero users listed to DM, and then create their own list of people they’d like to have DM conversations with. If I set “babble initial user count” to zero, the DM option simply does not appear. Is this a bug?
edit: another bug:
- when deleting a test user and deleting their posts, the chat channels the user participated in got deleted. this is surprising.
- Where can admins see and manage the chat logs? These seem to be hidden topics which is great on the UX level for users, but for admins there needs to be a way to look in on them and manage them. Maybe admins could be allowed access and a link to eg
/t/n/1234could be provided from the channels managed in
- If a user opts out of babble in their user preferences, they might still show up on the DM list for others, can be searched for, and subsequently chatted at. These appear to disappear into the ether which is a bit disconcerting. Some indication that this user is not using babble would be helpful at least, or outright preventing chatting to someone who has opted out.
- If there is no email notification sent to offline users when they get a chat (and there doesn’t seem to be) then I think the DM feature should actually only work to chat with users who are currently online. Also, an admin setting should enable/disable email notifications, in case people want to use it for reasonably secure communication on site.
- Users should be able to remove users from the DM list. Maybe a little X to the right of their names could be provided that, when clicked, removes them from the list. Searching can let them add users back on the list as they see fit.
- I like the notification sound but can envision that others might find it annoying, or might prefer a different sound. The ability for admins to upload and make available different notification sounds for members to choose from would be interesting.
- the ability for admins to set default user preferences for babble has been mentioned and I would support adding it.
- chat is prominent enough that having a link to the babble prefs from within the chat interface would be worthwhile. At least a toggle to enable/disable sound notifications.
- on user card and user profile, for users who are currently online, can you add a button to start a chat alongside the button to start a message? This would be a great way to connect directly with folks. Enabled via admin setting because I can imagine alot of folks would not want this in their communities.
edit after a day of use:
- within babble, seems not to be using the group flair, or even the standard favicons for groups, which is a bit jarring visually.
- when I select a group channel, it would seem logical to see a list of members in that group who are currently online for direct messaging or mentioning in the chat.
- when on right side, for some reason the emoji selector still pops up on the left side which is a bit far to go to select an emoji on a big screen like mine.
- notification bubble has a shadow which the other discourse notification bubbles do not
… and one last bug report before leaving this alone for a bit and give others a chance to respond. I noticed that the DMs are showing up on the “page not found” recent topics list with the the title as a random string. See screenshot. This is incognito mode so shows for everyone. Between this issue and that random users show up on the DM’able list who then don’t see their DMs if they don’t have access to a channel… will leave the DM functionality off for now.