Introducing Discourse Chat (BETA)

I’ve just installed this on my self-hosted instance. Testing it with some staff users right now.
Just playing around so far I like this! It will definitely find a place in my community.

Some things that I’ve not yet 100% figured out – so here is some early first impressions from kicking the tires.

  • Right now, only staff/admins can see chat - but if I add it to a public topic, are they the only ones who can see that button?
  • I like tying a topic and chat channel together, but aside one link they’re basically separate entities. I would like to see something indicate that chats/posts have happened in another spot in case they’re relevant.
    • When it comes to permissions I am not sure how “Reply” and “Create” apply to chat messages, but I assume “Reply” means people can chat…
  • Initially I found the “Category” channel term confusing, since there can be multiple channels per category. Not sure I have a better alternative, but just a note.
  • From a category’s page, I would love to see all of the of the associated chat channels.
  • In the browser channels page, and in the sidebar, I would love to see channels grouped by their category, following the order we defined for categories. Right now it seems to be alpha ordering, which is fine, but I think a category grouping would reduce things like “category-X-Y” “category-X-Z” channel names.
  • The UX for creating / editing channels is a little confusing. Which doesn’t the browse page also have a new channel button? It was a little unclear to need to go to browse in order to edit a channel.
  • Finally I think i’d like to dock the chat window to the right side, so its no longer floating and not covering content but still visible. I’ve got a wide screen, the posts will still be fine on the left side. :wink:

I’m sure some of these things are on your roadmap, or you know are gaps. The tool still seems really awesome and I’m still looking at how we can enable this widely in our community. :+1:

I did also encounter one bug:

Unhandled Promise Rejection: TypeError: t.canModifyMessages is not a function. (In 't.canModifyMessages(this.currentUser)', 't.canModifyMessages' is undefined)

I created a topic in a staff-only category. Then I clicked enable chat on that topic. The chat window popped up in the upper right, but this error occurred and I could not post. I used the < icon to get to theist of all channels, then selected the topic’s new chat channel. After that, posting worked correctly. Not really sure what else might have caused this one.

Anyway, hope that feedback is a useful point of view. thanks for all this work!

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Great feedback @Michael_Ball! I think it makes sense to untangle this out into specific #feature / #bug /#ux topics tagged #chat so we can better focus on improvements.

Regarding the canModifyMessages error @joffreyjaffeux any ideas?

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Hats off for the new era. Appreciated this one …

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Is there a way to disable one-to-one chats overall or by group membership basis?

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I found a workaround for the moment, using CSS to hide the start new personal message button from users who are not admins. Using the group classes component, you might be able to focus that on specific groups.

This could be easy to get around if people know CSS, so it might not work for you if you want it fully blocked.

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Is there any way to connect a chatbot to the discourse-chat plugin at the moment, or is that on the roadmap? Maybe a way to redirect all the discourse-chat-integration stuff to the new chats?
If there was a way to use hubot or errbot chatbots in the new chats I think Discourse could serve as a very nice ChatOps solution too :slight_smile:

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It’s too early for us to dive into this just yet, we are still trying to get very good foundations.

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@Michael_Ball I think I fixed this few days ago, could you confirm please?

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