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Shoutbox - Official Support


Hexsplosions

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I've just seen the announcement that JLogica made about leaving the site. It's a real shame because he was a good developer, but it seems the attitudes of a few have ruined it for the many. But that's not the point of this post, so onto busines...

When I was looking for a forum board software one of the prerequisites was, oddly enough, a shoutbox feature. I came from SMF on which I could get a mod installed that gave me this feature, so the new forum software needed an equivalent. I came across the Shoutbox for IP.Board which was maintained by Michael at considerable expense (in terms of time), but he did a great job. I did my research, decided that Michael's Shoutbox seemed like a safe bet and proceeded to purchase IP.Board. I stress that the Shoutbox was one of the prerequisites of the purchase, it was not the only one.

The Shoutbox is a core feature of my community. The members use is to talk, exchange banter and bond. It's helped us to gel together and without it we'd be quite lost. I doubt I am the only person who views this addon as a critical component of their community. I'd therefore like to suggest and request that IPS take this on as a part of the community suite, perhaps bundling it as part of the core or with the Board. The number of users who rely on this modification, along with the below stats, should more than justify it's continued development and the support of IPS. It adds a huge amount of value to the IPS suite.

Free Shoutbox

http://community.invisionpower.com/files/file/4320-shoutbox-free/

  • 23,108 downloads

http://community.invisionpower.com/topic/340044-download-shoutbox-free/

  • 143 pages
  • 2,852 replies
  • 41,322 views

Paid Shoutbox

  • 368 downloads

http://community.invisionpower.com/topic/371486-download-shoutbox/

  • 10 pages
  • 190 replies
  • 2,752 views

Based on the number of of downloads of each one, the number of pages in each support topic, the number of replies to each support topic and the fact that this mod has passed through at least two developers, I believe this mod is too big to be supported for the sums that people are willing to pay for it. It's used by far too many IP.Boards for a single person to reasonably support it. I've read many of the replies and some of them are blatantly rude and critical of the developer, even when it was a paid mod! I admit to being one of those critical voices on one occasion, for which I apologised profusely in PM afterwards (it was to Michael and he in no way deserved my outburst) and I apologise now. It's simply symptomatic of the mod being so critical to my community and the need for support. This is further evidenced by the outcries when JLogica moved to a paid version of the mod. Please do not get hung up on this point and debate this move, this is not about paid mods versus free mods. I am merely using the reactions as evidence of how valuable this is to the community.

Please IPS, consider taking this on as part of the community suite. Of all the mods available in the market place, this is the one that I've witnessed generate an incredible amount of passion in this community because so many of us use it, and rely on it, for their own communities. The addition of a fully supported Shoutbox would add further value to the current IP.Board offering and would satisfy a huge number of your customers. It would also prevent this being taken on by another developer who will, in the end, only likely suffer the same unreasonable demands as Michael and JLogica. It's just too big for a single developer.

To Michael, JLogica and the entire modding community, I'd like to personally thank you all. You make IP.Board a brilliant product with your addons.

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It was never really owned by IPS, it was a community project run unofficially by some IPS modders, not an official product. I would almost certainly guarantee that IPS has no interest in ever giving official support to it, especially because of the known resource usage problems it has.

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I think the OP is right, IPS needs to take the Shoutbox back since it seems to have become such a vital part of the IPB experience.

Vital? Maybe for a specific demographic. But that demographic isn't businesses.

I have never personally used a shoutbox. Nor have I ever installed on any of my boards.

I don't doubt it's useful, and well written, but is prone to abuse and can bring a server to its knees if not configured properly.
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especially because of the known resource usage problems it has.

but is prone to abuse and can bring a server to its knees if not configured properly.

I don't see them even looking at this. its resource hungry and is used as a chat system.

It has been known to cause problems, but it's also been enhanced by two developers to improve this situation... to good effect!

Someone else is going to take it over.

And then burn out because the community demands too much of them.

I don't doubt what you are all saying is true, that IPS are unlikely to take it on, but based on the evidence in the support threads, the number of downloads and the value it adds to many communities I decided it had to be suggested. I've not got the answers though, how IPS would ever incorporate this is beyond me. It's just such a great feature. My community absolutely love it.

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Vital? Maybe for a specific demographic. But that demographic isn't businesses.

I have never personally used a shoutbox. Nor have I ever installed on any of my boards.

I don't doubt it's useful, and well written, but is prone to abuse and can bring a server to its knees if not configured properly.

I wouldn't class it as vital, I entirely agree it depends on the demographic. I don't see many businesses using it, but social and community groups, certainly.

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I would rather see greater integration of ips's chat system into the forum area, then see them take up the shoutbox mod.

I do remember having this thought quite a while back, but I forget the reasons as (at the time, at least) it did not seem viable to run it in the 'forum' space as such. I guess I was thinking of an old iframe or suchlike.

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I would rather see greater integration of ips's chat system into the forum area, then see them take up the shoutbox mod.

Perhaps, but currently it takes a few seconds to load whereas the Shoutbox is instant (it would be, it's a local script and local DB connections).

I just don't think IPS see the value this feature adds. It's not for every community and I'd never claim so, but the stats speak for themselves.

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I don't think IPS would pick this up for a number of reasons but the main ones in my opinion would be because it's resoucrse intensive and they already have IP.Chat. Also agree that it probably won't be used on many buniness releated sites, though in saying that you could use it as just a news feed like it was setup on Jlogica. But it's an absolute must in my opinion for community or social oriented websites (as long as you setup some premissions to not allow new users to use it and abuse it). My community has racked up over 1'500'000 shouts since i installed this a year and a half ago, definitely glad i did :)

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IIRC Shoutbox USED to be an IPS App. It has since been replaced by IP.Chat.

I don't see IPS reversing that decision...

Rephrase: I don't see them going backwards to pick up something they passed to the community years ago.

It wasn't really an IPS app but an "IPS Community Project" and I was the developer working on it before Michael took over.

Anyway as it has been mentioned a few times IPS already has IP.Chat and I'm fairly sure they will never make the shoutbox an official application. Even more so because of the known resource issues if the application is not configured properly, it's not uncommon to see people setup the refresh at 1 second crashing whole servers.

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  • Management

Yes, we're not fans of shoutbox from a hearing about "my site is slow, IPS sucks!!" or "my site was shut down, IPS sucks!" resource usage standpoint (when misconfigured, as noted above), but we recognize that many of you are, so we'd like to see it continued by someone who will do it right. Shame Michael gave it up, but I certainly can't fault him for that. It's one of the most popular apps and not for the faint of heart. :lol:

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Yes, we're not fans of shoutbox from a hearing about "my site is slow, IPS sucks!!" or "my site was shut down, IPS sucks!" resource usage standpoint (when misconfigured, as noted above), but we recognize that many of you are, so we'd like to see it continued by someone who will do it right. Shame Michael gave it up, but I certainly can't fault him for that. It's one of the most popular apps and not for the faint of heart. :lol:

It's your golden opportunity to fix it then! :lol:

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I think it's a great tool. I know my members wouldn't like to see it go. Basically it covers a different function to the chatroom, it involves less time, and you don't need to chat with anyone really. It is just for isolated shouts. I'm sorry to see that it has put off two great contributors already.

Now, here's an idea, maybe a silly one, but what about if by default, rather than having a warning about resource-intensive settings, you just don't have the possibility to misconfigure it. I have to admit that I have never adjusted the default settings and never had a problem with it. I also use it on the forum sidebar only (I never liked how it looks on top the forums). Anyway, I hope that someone comes to the rescue, and members learn to be a bit friendlier towards the developers.

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