Love the discussion this sparked. Plenty of ideas flying around and I love it.
Of course! All Mockups are accepted. And if they require huge changes in the UI, they need to make up for that by being incredibly awesome . But then still, we might add that as a template to be able to choose from. However, for the first (and default) iteration, I’d like to keep the UI changes light. Getting it out of the door first and then improve upon it. But, yes, please post your mockups however strange and invasive
@purldator, @ZeroFlux, I consider (and am currently approaching) chat as a casual feature alongside the more meaningful conversations that happen on the community. Something like the chit-chat at the kitchen of the office or over coffee on breaks at conferences, while the big important stuff is discussed in meetings and on stage, the conversations are needed to feel taking part, catch up on each other and just be connected on a more human level.
Out of that, I do like the idea that this actually off the record of normal DC and not too tightly integrated or to be confused with more meaningful messaging and important conversation. We are actually pondering to add End-To-End-OTR-Chat on it, too. Another reason to opt with a protocol (and backbone) that has already systems for spam and abuse blocking in place, as even the hosting server won’t have access to the content then. But I am drifting off topic here (though I’m happy to discuss any of that with anyone interested). Point being, I see chat more as an entertaining side-feature to catch up on a more personal level, binding the community on the different level and bring people closer with it, while browsing the latest updates and changes of the “proper conversations”. And as such, the design needs to support that notion.
Aside from that very conceptional reason, I have also a very pragmatical point why I won’t be doing anything to the composer window: the composer is a beast of its own. I have had the fun of having to work on it and it a highly complex and stateful piece of the UI that is rather fragile and easy to break. Supporting an external plugin that does major changes on it, is going to be impossible in the long-run. Unless the core team decides to open up extensibility here (which I don’t think is easy either), touching the composer just is too much work…
Non-the-less, I’d like to see mockups about any of this. It sparks other ideas and allows to copy concept to other areas. Love the discussion, keep it going!