Babble Chat

:warning: Please note that this plugin is no longer maintained and will likely cause problems in its current state:

Babble is an simple, lightweight chat plugin for Discourse. It re-skins the existing topic view into a sidebar, allowing for quick conversations in your forum. Note the tag above - Babble has been tagged a “broken-plugin.”

Check out the demo site to see it in action, or view (and contribute to!) the code on Github. If you’d like to help translate Babble to your language, join the Transifex project.

To install, use the standard method for installing plugins. Once installed, you may visit https://<your-instance>/admin/chats to add chat channels (NB that a chat will not appear on your site until you’ve created a chat in this interface)

Current feature set:

  • Creating channels specific to groups or categories
  • One-to-one messaging
  • Emojis!
  • File uploads
  • Notifying other users via @mention
  • Editing, deleting, and flagging posts
  • Toggle-able ‘full screen’ mode
  • Who’s typing
  • Onebox support
  • Optional browser sounds for new messages
  • Integration with the Who’s Online plugin for user presence
  • Per user settings:
    • Disabling the chat completely (for ‘I hate chat’ people :blush:)
    • Playing a sound whenever a new message or mention is received
    • Opening the chat automatically on page load

Feel free to reach out to me (@gdpelican) either here on meta or on the github repo if you have trouble, or want to request something!

For bug reports, please provide a screenshot of your /logs file, any errors you’re able to see in the javascript console, as well as specific repro instructions

To view the archive of conversation which has occurred about this plugin before, view the archive [WARNING: There’s lots of out-of-date information there! :smiley: ]


I am considering using this on my forum. However, I’m very curious to see how people are using it and how it affects user behavior.

Is there someone who has implemented this on his forum who would like to share the impact? :slight_smile:


Can we edit history length? I would love this, but it would have to not stick around long to be acceptable for the community I help admin


That would be fantastic! Either that, or an easy way to reset the chat every night, if possible!

Sure, I can take a look at this this weekend.


A post was split to a new topic: Using Discourse for a short while, majorly impressed!

A nice edition would be a theme similar to all those live chat plugins, like intercom.
Any ideas for or plans for that?

Nothing like that is on the list at this time, but I’m not certain what you mean by ‘theme similar to those live chat plugins’ just yet; could you elaborate some?

Check out the livechat on in the lower right corner.
I was thinking whether it’s possible to create a similar theme for the babble plugin.


@gdpelican: Silly question perhaps: the plugin offers a setting ‘babble history window’ which suggests that messages older than X days will be deleted from the chat history.

However, when I search for the chat in the search function, I get the same chat but this time rendered as a regular topic. And there the messages older than X days still exist.

Is it possible to have the messages automatically deleted completely, or, alternatively, is it possible to flush the messages completely (and clean up the chat) every so often? Apart of course from me deleting the chat and creating a new one with the same name?



I think I encountered a bug with the way the way the chat works and how posts are counted.

Tested with

  • Discourse Version 2.1.0.beta1 +115
  • Babble branch: f2e9fda

Context / background information
The chat is part of a forum where users can register freely, but many topics are only available to logged-in users. The reason for this is that it provides some form of security / safety so sensitive topics can be discussed more freely.

The chat is a fantastic way to encourage conversations which are deemed to sensitive to keep ‘on record’, so every so often we reset the chat itself by removing it and creating a new one again.

This however results in wrong/weird user post counts.

How post counts in the chat now work

  • Use the chat by clicking on the megaphone-icon. Any messages typed into the chat panel do not count towards the user post count (Preferences -> summary)
  • Search for the using the site search function, then use the chat in the normal ‘topic-view’. All messages typed into the chat as if it were a normal topic DO count towards the user post count.

Creating the chat does not register as creating a topic, so the topic count is not increased by 1.

The problem
Delete the chat: all messages posted in the chat (either by using the chat panel or the topic-view) are counted and substracted from the user post count. The topic count will be altered as well.

Active chatters will therefore end up with a negative post count, as can be seen from the screenshot below (taken from the acceptance environment I set up - hence the low numbers).

Additionally: removing the chat will decrease the ‘topics created’ counter by one, so as you can see I have now created -1 topics.


Why is this an issue?
It’s rather hard for people to reach the next trust level when the post count is lowered every time the chat is deleted.

I am more than willing to test, experiment or even grant you access to my acceptance environment, should that help.


1 Like

Thanks for the report; I’ll have a look at it this week and report back.

1 Like

Not on the roadmap at the moment, but I’d be open to accepting a contribution in that direction; seems like a floating chat might be useful for some communities


I assume you’re the only one who can review translations? I just added the missing German translations, so not sure how to get all the translations reviewed :slight_smile:

1 Like

Great, I’ll put those in today, thanks for contributing!


Is it possible to have the Chat initially open when a user visits the forum? Right now it seems like users opening the website have to click the chat icon in the header bar to open it up every time they visit the page.


That would a brilliant option to have in the forum!

1 Like

Okay, I’ve added this option to the admin panel and updated the translations. Thanks for the suggestion!


Awesome, James. You are the best.

1 Like

Yeah, so amazing, so much great work and improvements are made!
Keep up the good work James! You’re my god of chats!

1 Like