What happened to the chatbox?


#1

While we moved to Discourse as our new forum software, you might have noticed the chatbox is gone. This is unintentional and shouldn’t have happened.

Discourse has an excellent chat plugin called Babble and I was planning to use that. Unfortunately our hosting plan doesn’t allow it, and our hosting company doesn’t want to make an exception.

Our hosting company is run by the developers of the software.This makes sure we can quickly report bugs, security is dealt with and they are the experts when anything goes wrong. They also helped to import from Vbulletin to Discourse which was a lot of work and therefore we have a year contract.

Our current plan is listed as having support for ‘advanced plugins’ and I should have clicked that. It lists a couple of plugins that are supported and that’s it.

When I signed up, I didn’t click and thus didn’t know upfront we couldn’t have the chat plugin on our site. I’m terribly ashamed and I feel very bad. Therefore I’ve tried to explain to the hosters how much I would like the chatbox back, but I was told to upgrade to an enterprise plan, which is 5x more expensive! ($1000 a month!)

That’s simply not an option. Therefore, I have to announce we can’t have a chatbox like we used to, where you could chat with your Club Myce account.

Obviously there are solutions and I will do my best to accommodate those who want to chat!

I’ve created a Slack account. It’s a powerful chat application used by millions around the web. To get in fill in your email address and you will be automatically approved. Discourse has some integration with Slack too, so if it’s get used a lot, we can turn that on.

Anyway, enough talking, if you want to join the chat, subscribe here:

https://clubmyce.signup.team/

I hope to see you there!

I fully understand it’s not like you’re used too and I can understand Slack isn’t something you’re after. Again, I terribly regret for not reading better upfront, but all I can do is to try to accommodate those who want to chat. I wish there was more I can do, if you have suggestions, then don’t hesitate to post or PM me!


The Catbox, Revised and Renewed
#2

Why not just create an IRC chatroom? That’s the closest thing resembling the old chatbox. Embed a CGI:IRC client on the top of the main page, and no one could tell the difference. If you can’t install any server-side software due to the hosting restrictions then you could embed the mibbit widget (it only requires one iframe). If that’s not possible either then a URI link to the IRC chatroom would do as well, most people browsing this forum probably have used IRC at one point in their life. Just an idea, imo this would be more practical than Slack…

By the way I see you fixed the BBcode rendering issue, thanks! :clapping:


#3

I’m now looking at the mibbit one (we can’t have server side scripts), looks good, thanks!


#5

Here it is: http://widget.mibbit.com/?settings=329c17e37ac795f255e23e691c7cb9a2&server=irc.mibbit.net%3A%2B6697&channel=%23clubmyce

Now I have to find a way to embed it only on the index for logged in users…


#6

Hmm server-side that could be done by checking the request cookie and comparing that to existing sessions in the db but obviously this has to be done in javascript and client side… I suppose a hacky way to achieve the goal (hiding widget from non-logged in users) would be to check for presence of elements that aren’t visible for logged in users, for example button[class*=“sign-up-button”]. (you can probably think of a better way though)


#7

Checking if the user is logged in would be a useful workaround.

I did a brief offline test and this is how it appeared as a 300 pixel height iframe inserted above the index:

One issue here is that there would need to be a way to hide the chatbox for those who don’t want it, like the old forum. Alternatively it could be hidden by default with a column saying “Show Chatbox”.

When I signed in, for some reason it shows the upper half of the box blue. This is probably something for DoMiN8ToR to check: :givewink:


#8

That looks very promising!


#9

This is the div container for ads. Currently this is on the mibbit free plan, although they do provide relatively cheap plans that include a widget with no ads + some protections for the chatroom, support, among other things. So the options to rid of the hideous blue box are as follows:

#1: Sign up for a premium plan @ mibbit, see here.
#2: Use a different CGI:IRC widget (there are a lot!).
#3 (user-side): Block the goddamn bar with CSS! I wrote the following Stylish userscript:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
@-moz-document domain('mibbit.com'){
div[style*="padding: 0px; margin: 6px 6px 0px; position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; right: 0px; overflow: hidden; z-index: 100; background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% transparent; height: 90px;"] {
    display: none !important;
}    
#chats > div:nth-child(1) > div:nth-child(3) {
        top: 0px !important;
    }  
#chats > div:nth-child(1) > div:nth-child(1) {
    top: initial !important;
        bottom: 70px !important;
        height: 200px  
    } 
}

This results in:


#10

Whoops, I didn’t realise it was there for the free version ads. I was trying it with the Firefox private tab to save logging out, so never thought about Firefox blocking ads on the site and the iframe with its incognito mode ad-blocker.