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IGNOLand > Updates > Chatbox Ideas

Posted by: Atlas Nov 19 2015, 10:06 AM
Hey guys, I've been working on an open source chat program similar to cbox, but open source. It is coming along rather slowly, as I learn to code better, but it is making progress. What features would you guys like to see implemented eventually? Thanks for the feedback!

Posted by: Iris Nov 19 2015, 11:29 AM
A way to message specific people privately.

Posted by: Atlas Nov 19 2015, 11:47 AM
That will be fairly complicated, so I would probably attempt to add it in after the simpler main features like avatars, colored names, and word filters. Thanks for the input!

Posted by: SG2Tiger Nov 19 2015, 12:32 PM
Since most people use cbox, but pay for premium, an open source, ad-free alternative might be cool. There are a lot of knockoffs but they're all either terribly basic, try really hard to change the look and feel of the chat (and end up being ugly), and inevitably incorporate ads. If you could make something that's similar to cbox with maybe some of the features of krakchat I think it would be an interesting project to see.

The most important cbox features to me is autorefresh (which is the main reason we have premium), which has to be speedy and not lag the whole board. It also can't "steal" the back and forward buttons on your browser by refreshing the entire page - that's what jcink's shoutbox does and is very inconvenient when you want to have an embedded chat open while hopping around hitting threads.

For that matter, of course, being embeddable is actually even more important than autorefresh. No one wants to open a full tab for chat like this, they want it in a toggle or a sidebar that's on the page at all times while they post on the forums. If you can't embed the chat in this way with a simple html code, or javascript (though a lightweight html would be preferable), it's a dealbreaker as far as forum chat goes.

Finally, the ability to style it with custom css and make it match the board skin is also crucial. I don't want an ugly box sitting on my forum when appearance is the first thing people judge your board by. If it's basic and ugly by default, but stylable with css, that's fine.

So those are the crucials imo. As for the more fun things that are less priority (once the basic functions and crucials are in place), some reasons I like cbox over irc:

-icons. I like our cbox sprites, dammit.

-audio alert. Sure, some irc clients support this, but most xchat-based ones (the most common) only seem to allow an awful beep. Cbox's bloop is pleasant and attention grabbing. +1 if you add something cbox doesn't have - ability for staff to upload a custom sound.

-persistence. You can come later and not feel like you missed anything. Also important for guests in case they come with questions when staff isn't in the box. This one is important too but knowing you I'm assuming this was already one of your intentions.

-you can do this in irc too but I'll say it - no registration required, and you can freely change your name as you please. Changing names is important for multiple characters, and no registration is crucial for guest support.

-word filters. As we've seen, I've had fun stretching the limits of what can be done with word filters, adding macros and custom colors in addition to the tried and true "bukkake" filter.

As for things cbox can't do that I'd like to see down the road,

-+1 to what iris said about private chats. It would be a great alternative to having to use the dated forum pm system, or needing an offsite chat client like - God forbid - Skype. Everyone loves Skype. I hate it. I don't want to private chat if someone is going to require me to use Skype. So private chats would be awesome. I can see how that would be tricky, though, both coding and design-wise (most likely you'd need to design around using tabs for multiple chats to fit in the same box).

-@mentions. In irc you can highlight a user by saying their name, and while it varies by client, this is usually what gives notifications so they know someone is looking for them. @ has become the standard way to do this lately. Add the ability to have the audio notification play - or a different sound even - when someone @mentions your name. I imagine this is impossible without registration you may need optional name registration like cbox has, just don't require it.

-ability to add mods who can manage the box, delete spam, etc. Bonus points if you can delete shit right from the box like cbox, but honestly I wouldn't mind needing to log into an admin cp.

-a "save" button like krakchat has that grabs the last [x] lines of chat history, html formatting included (icon, colors), and outputs it to a file. Also this file would be in correct reading order, NOT newest-on-top the way the box reads, because I fucking hate having to reorganize the chat whenever I want to preserve an amusing conversation.

I could probably think of even more. This would be a VERY ambitious project, obviously. But I think if you can pull it off you could be onto something great. I'm sure people would love a free and open source alternative to cbox, and open sourcing it also means other people could add features like I described even if you don't know how. A cross between cbox and krakchat, with features like I described and tailored (like cbox) to being embedded on forum communities (rather than a full-tab chat like krak), could really be a hit. Looking forward to seeing what you can come up with!!

Posted by: Esjitu Jun 25 2016, 03:50 PM
I feel as though has superceded our need for a lot of these things. As far as an embeddable chat directly on the board goes, the cbox is still a fine choice, IMO.

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