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Future of IPB Chat?


Ocean West
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If I recall correctly from prior posts, it's not a big focus of their development attention.
Honestly, my site never used the separate IP.Chat and has fallen in favor of the Shoutbox.
Unfortunately, Shoutbox is more resource intensive given the nature of it's design.

At some point I'd like to look for something similar that I can expose on the "mainpage" but has better and/or externalized resource usage.
If that was a direction of IP.Chat, I would consider using it again...but for now, I probably won't renew that feature next time around.

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I was a huge advocate of the Shoutbox (and I still am, really) but have since put IP.Chat on one of my sites in favour of the Shoutbox and it's been quite well received. There are some who resist change or simply don't like it, but as a simple chat function (which, if you're using Shoutbox, it more than suffices) it's pretty good.

I'd like to see more features for sure, like multiple rooms.

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Yeah definitely, I agree. It seemed like the problem my site was having is guys are tied to that mainpage...navigating outside of it to go elsewhere just to chat was "pulling them away" from the content they wanted to see. Shoutbox kind of compliments their view now, and gives them the chat exposed at the same mainpage without having to sacrifice the content they want to see.

Not sure if that same thing is possible with IP.Chat? I don't know if you could "frame" it in a similar way.

Feature wise, there's definite room for improvement, like you said, multiple rooms is a gap.

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Yeah definitely, I agree. It seemed like the problem my site was having is guys are tied to that mainpage...navigating outside of it to go elsewhere just to chat was "pulling them away" from the content they wanted to see. Shoutbox kind of compliments their view now, and gives them the chat exposed at the same mainpage without having to sacrifice the content they want to see.

Not sure if that same thing is possible with IP.Chat? I don't know if you could "frame" it in a similar way.

Feature wise, there's definite room for improvement, like you said, multiple rooms is a gap.

Why not have it open as a pop-up by default? Users would be able to navigate your main site as normal without logging out of chat. :)

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The space for chat is moving so fast right now that I think IPS can't possibly catch up.

My suggestions would be to make ip.chat a modular component that can be as easily replaced by some of these other new apps:

  • comet chat
  • whats app
  • kik
  • we chat
  • line

I found this story on Yahoo Finance very interesting:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/message-to-browsers--your-days-are-numbered-144841010.html

When I say modular, I am suggesting something as easy to plug in/out as a module in a component board where there is almost no modification needed. How can IPS pursue this in a way that is financially beneficial? Some kind of licensing agreement perhaps.

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  • Management

Those chat examples you gave are a bit different. They're a user-based chat experience where you are the controller. We offer a community-based chat experience where the community is in control and you just participate. It's a different focus.

But regardless IP.Chat is getting a big update in 4.0 along with everything else :)

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Those chat examples you gave are a bit different. They're a user-based chat experience where you are the controller. We offer a community-based chat experience where the community is in control and you just participate. It's a different focus.

But regardless IP.Chat is getting a big update in 4.0 along with everything else :smile:

Can you elaborate when you mention the word "controller?" Are you saying those examples are individual to multiple other users vs. a one room environment?

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Why not have it open as a pop-up by default? Users would be able to navigate your main site as normal without logging out of chat. :smile:


They're a fickle group...that in and out viewing and popup nature would discourage them. They want it easy and in their face, scrolling is the max they generally want to do. A little icon indicator or background flashing window title bar isn't enough to necessarily make them want to click it. :smile:
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i do not know how, but I suggest you make it also somewhat like support chat as well as a typical chat which it has been up to now.

having ip.chat to overtake something like zopim.com online support (to support for nexus users/customers) would be very nice.

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It is unlikely chat will be a direct replacement for "shoutbox". There are several issues with embedding chat on your board index.

1) It means the available user-slots are taken up as soon as 5 users (or whatever your chat package limit is) visit the page. Regardless of whether they use the chat feature or not. This is because they're technically joining the room as soon as the page loads.

2) This would be resource heavy on OUR end, if every single page load on every single client site was sending requests to our chat servers.

The shoutbox model does not work well from an efficiency standpoint. I know many of our clients have smaller sites and they barely feel the effects, if at all, but we have to consider our entire customer base and not just those with 10 people online at a time. :)

The space for chat is moving so fast right now that I think IPS can't possibly catch up.

My suggestions would be to make ip.chat a modular component that can be as easily replaced by some of these other new apps:

  • comet chat
  • whats app
  • kik
  • we chat
  • line

I found this story on Yahoo Finance very interesting:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/message-to-browsers--your-days-are-numbered-144841010.html

When I say modular, I am suggesting something as easy to plug in/out as a module in a component board where there is almost no modification needed. How can IPS pursue this in a way that is financially beneficial? Some kind of licensing agreement perhaps.

This is already the case. You can disable the chat application and install a different one if you want to. There are third party releases of several popular chat packages in our marketplace already that you can install, if you prefer them. We are certainly not trying to stifle competition or corner the marketplace.

You are certainly free to use whatever you want, and to contract developers to add other chat solutions. I've seen an ArrowChat integration at one point for instance.

Can you elaborate when you mention the word "controller?" Are you saying those examples are individual to multiple other users vs. a one room environment?

Charles is saying that most of the examples you provided are generally intended for one user chatting with another user, where the users control the chat experience. They can open the window and close the window, and when they do the chat is done. IP.Chat is a chat room, where the room is always available and the community hosts the experience that users can optionally join (or not).

i'd like to see something more akin to HipChat - that works across ALL devices. (and has dedicated apps )

(Drag & drop Attachments, Inline images, multiple rooms, private chats )

IP.Chat should work across all devices in 4.0. It already works in the mobile skin on 3.4.x. We are not intending to build dedicated apps for all devices at this time.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm anxious to hear about the updates.

Would love to see the option to add chat channels or private group chats. Chat has been an important part of my community but one thing I worry about is having too many people in the chat and it being too clustered with groups of people discussing different topics. For instance, if we have sub-groups within our communities, it would be good to allow them a place to chat without having to share one room.

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  • 7 months later...

I would like to see IP.Chat expanded to more than 5 users for the free version. I don't think expanding that to 10 users for the free version would be too much. Currently, I don't use chat on my site and still use shoutbox. My community simply never took off with it and they tend to use IRC more than the chat service.

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I find it highly unlikely IPS would allow for self hosting of this app. They make money on product upgrades depending on how many users are allowed in at one time. If you self hosted it then it wouldn't matter if you had 5 people or 750 people, IPS would have no way of making you upgrade to a higher package on their server, and as a result they wouldn't get the income associated with the user upgrade packages :)

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I find it highly unlikely IPS would allow for self hosting of this app. They make money on product upgrades depending on how many users are allowed in at one time. If you self hosted it then it wouldn't matter if you had 5 people or 750 people, IPS would have no way of making you upgrade to a higher package on their server, and as a result they wouldn't get the income associated with the user upgrade packages smile.png

Right, but they're the ones providing the infrastructure so that's their prerogative.

If it's self hosted, the resources being used are those of the server it's installed on, it has nothing to do with IPB at that point.

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