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Chat Overhaul

cgsweat
Jan 30, 2020 - permalink
I'm sure it's been pointed out before, but the chat is in need of an overhaul.  I have some ideas that I think should be considered. 

For instance, the PM'ing system as a whole could use some changes.  Instead of using assigned numbers attached to each user, the PM button could simply open a new private chat tab at the top of the chat window.  This tab would be unique to the user being PM'ed and only the exchanged messages between the two users would appear in this tab.  The regular chat would of course be its own tab that we would be able to go back and forth to.  Advantages to this is that users would be able to keep their PM's organized, instead of being jumbled together with regular chat messages.  As it is right now, when a user is having multiple PM conversations going on and regular chat is rather busy, it can get a bit messy and hard to keep up. 

Also, a user might be writing a message to "20" and "20" leaves chat and is quickly replaced by another user, and when that user sends the message it goes to the wrong person.  Happens all the time.  Again, with separate chat tabs, this would not happen.  If a user leaves the chat, a notification could appear in the tab. 

There could also be AFK notifications as a courtesy.  And the user could set their own AFK message, which would automatically be sent to a user trying to PM them, and they could perhaps set how much time passes before they're considered to be AFK (2 mins, 5 mins, 10 mins, etc.).
Chainer
Jan 31, 2020 - permalink
Having tabs or windows for PMs has indeed been something I've thought of and/or had pointed out. The problem is that these things would take attention away from the public chat, which is the part of chat I most want to emphasize. The existence of PMs has been much more detrimental to the quality and volume of the public chat than I originally anticipated, and something like separate PM tabs that people can look at instead of the public chat could be the killing blow.

I would be interested in ideas for how to make PMing more convenient while not de-emphasizing public chat.
cgsweat
Jan 31, 2020 - permalink
The public chat tab could blink and/or make a sound each time there's a new message, that way no one forgets it's there.  Also, since that is your concern, maybe you could have a public chat window in one half of the screen and a PM window in the other half.  PM tabs could be separated there, and the public window would remain open.  As it is (at least on PC) the chat window is excessively large, a lot of space is unused, as most messages tend to be short or simply a link to a post from the main site.
Chainer
Feb 04, 2020 - permalink
I do like the idea of having the chat split into two, one half for public chat and the other for various private chats. Would have to do some shenanigans to get this to work on the phone, but it should be possible. You wouldn't be able to display both side by side on a phone but maybe there could be a button that lets you switch between the two screens, and also tells you how many unread messages you have in the other (hidden) view.

Can't promise I'll get to this anytime soon but it seems promising.
Imagine
Jan 02, 2021 - permalink

Please add some more CSS to make the chat look a bit nicer. These here are only a few lines but they will already help a lot regarding readability and looks:

.chat-message {
    border: 1px solid #eee;
    border-radius: 5px;
    padding: 5px;
    margin: 5px;
}
Chainer
Jan 02, 2021 - permalink

Interesting, thanks for the suggestion. I tried it but am not sold on it though. The border introduces more noise and the spacing means that less of the chat is visible at any one time, which could especially be an issue on smaller screens.

Here's what it looks like for anyone who's curious (click to enlarge):

Here it is with no border and half the margin/padding:

Imagine
Jan 02, 2021 - permalink

which could especially be an issue on smaller screens

Good point. Actually, I've never used GWM on mobile :D This was just a quick and dirty experiment to kinda get these "chat bubbles" from other messengers.

Here it is with no border and half the margin/padding:

Looks better than the current chat, but this is just my opinion 👍 Not sure what others will think about it.

Just noticed that timestamps could be also useful 👀

Jan 02, 2021 - permalink

How about adding a favorite / like tag to comments line Facebook ?

Jan 05, 2021 - permalink

Likes tag for comments is a good idea. Also being able to tag a specific comment or commenter in a thread would be nice.

[deleted]
Jan 06, 2021 - permalink

good ideas about likes and tags

Chainer
Jan 06, 2021 - permalink

At some point we seem to have changed topics from the chat to the main site. Let's keep this thread to just the chat, and make another thread for regular comment suggestions.

tamarok
Jan 07, 2021 - permalink

The ability to have a audible beep would be good, though being able to enable to disable would be important.

On the more technical side, debating whether using WebRequests or WebSockets would provide any benefits?

3 days ago - permalink

I know when a user puts the app in the background, it signs them out for "inactivity". Could we see something implemented for those who just sit in chat and don't participate or interact?

Seen it too many times where chat has 12+ people. 0 private messages. And no one is posting. Like why bother sitting in chat then? Kick them out!

Chainer
3 days ago - permalink

Hmm I don't know, to me it seems like a reasonable use case to have the chat tab open in the background and periodically check it for messages to which you may then respond, or specific users to join whom you are interested in chatting with.

3 days ago - permalink

Hmm ok fair point. Would it be useful to indicate users that are idle / asleep? Using an icon or colour?

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