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4.0 - Messenger

I can distinctly remember 5 years ago reading a blog entry on this site about the "personal conversations" feature in IP.Board 3.0, which we were working on at the time. Up until then, the messenger system in community software and other websites was much like email - you sent one message at a time, with little continuity between messages. We were one of the first, on the entire of the web, to introduce what we called "personal conversations" - a sort of "private topic" between invited members - it was a really exciting idea back then.

For 4.0, we wanted to really focus on the experience of using the messenger - making it super fast and easy to compose, navigate and participate in conversations.

Starting a conversation

When browsing the site, you'll see a messenger icon at the top of every screen just like you do now. When hitting the "Compose Now" button inside though, the form to send your message will appear as a modal window, and when you send, it will disappear again with no page reload. This makes it incredibly fast and easy to send a message from wherever you are, without interrupting your flow. You can also send a message to a specific member by hovering over their name wherever you see it on the site and clicking the "Send Message" button in the hover card that shows.

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Browsing conversations

We've completely redesigned the main messenger pages. You now see a (infinitely scrolling) list of all your messages on the left-side. Clicking on any message opens it up in the main pane. All the common actions are enhanced with AJAX so you can open a conversation, add a user and reply all really quickly.

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Mobile

We've not forgotten about mobile devices! The new responsive design in IPS 4.0 means the whole messenger works and looks great whether you're on a desktop or on your phone.

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Summary

We recognise that when members send a new message, it is often as a response to content read in all areas of the suite. You can now send messages in place without disrupting your flow. We have improved all aspects of sending, receiving and managing messages and are confident these changes will make communicating with other members in private simpler and faster.

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I think they need to get into the new 4.0 framework first....  They are re-writing all of the code into the new framewor, so right now they are just getting the functionality to be equal to what we're familiar with but with some updated look and feel.... the new functionality will probably have to wait till a 4.1.

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I think they need to get into the new 4.0 framework first....  They are re-writing all of the code into the new framewor, so right now they are just getting the functionality to be equal to what we're familiar with but with some updated look and feel.... the new functionality will probably have to wait till a 4.1.

I wouldn't say that's accurate. A ton of new functionality has already been introduced (see previous blog posts) in addition to updating the framework.

 

Personally, I wouldn't want to see personal conversations becoming more like instant messaging. A message board's focus is about public discussion in forums. I worry if private messages became too quick/easy it could take away from forum discussion. If people have that much they want to discuss in private I'm sure they can take it to Facebook/Skype, I don't think IPB should be a platform to enable that anymore than necessary.

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Logan: You mean in the list when viewing messages? Yeah, when you hover over the photo, the hover card comes up.

 

Yeah! However, per my reasoning on the first page if possible (I know space is likely a constraint with that layout) I think the conversation starter +/- those currently in the conversation (truncated of course) should be displayed beneath the conversation title instead of having to hover over their avatar in order to know who sent the message.

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It looks great - my only suggestion would be to remove the "required" labels on every field and use client-side validation (jQuery Validate is quite popular) - it will result in a cleaner interface for those wanting a more minimal look (and save real-estate on mobile devices)

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I wouldn't say that's accurate. A ton of new functionality has already been introduced (see previous blog posts) in addition to updating the framework.

 

Personally, I wouldn't want to see personal conversations becoming more like instant messaging. A message board's focus is about public discussion in forums. I worry if private messages became too quick/easy it could take away from forum discussion. If people have that much they want to discuss in private I'm sure they can take it to Facebook/Skype, I don't think IPB should be a platform to enable that anymore than necessary.

 

I suppose I see most of the improvements announced so far as being improvements to the way existing functionality works rather than introducing something entirely new. 

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Realtime chat isn't programatically hard, but hosts will murder us. It's easy if you're Facebook, not so much if you don't have your own datacenter.

 

Now if only we had some kind of cloud-based chat product that supported one-to-one messaging... oh wait........ watch this space

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Realtime chat isn't programatically hard, but hosts will murder us. It's easy if you're Facebook, not so much if you don't have your own datacenter.

So if it isn't "programatically hard" why would not make it switchable option?

 

By default it can be disabled, and forum admins can enable it if their servers are capable of withstanding the load. There may also be several options to reduce the load.

 

In my opinion in nowadays this feature is very much needed.

 

Thank you.

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So if it isn't "programatically hard" why would not make it switchable option?

 

By default it can be disabled, and forum admins can enable it if their servers are capable of withstanding the load. There may also be several options to reduce the load.

 

In my opinion in nowadays this feature is very much needed.

 

Thank you.

Good idea. :)

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We have a chat solution already if you want to chat.

I have an ip.chat. But it's not a solution. It's a ....... No, I will not say that word, because I still want to communicate in this forum :smile:

 

IP.Chat is totally useless in its current form. It should be completely redone.

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  • Management

I have an ip.chat. But it's not a solution. It's a ....... No, I will not say that word, because I still want to communicate in this forum :smile:

 

IP.Chat is totally useless in its current form. It should be completely redone.

Perhaps to how you would use it but thousands of client use it just fine :)

 

I'm not saying it is perfect. It could use a lot of improvements. But to say it's "totally useless" is sort of myopic.

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Perhaps to how you would use it but thousands of client use it just fine :smile:

 

I'm not saying it is perfect. It could use a lot of improvements. But to say it's "totally useless" is sort of myopic.

IP.Chat is really good but there is a big problem with the design, features, etc. Should be there more features as the @ to quote a member, a notice (such as the Shoutbox) to display a message to our members, etc. Just improve the design because it is really not nice.

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IP.Chat is really good but there is a big problem with the design, features, etc. Should be there more features as the @ to quote a member, a notice (such as the Shoutbox) to display a message to our members, etc. Just improve the design because it is really not nice.

 

That's fine - you've given some feature ideas there, which is all we ask. Our issue is when people rant "xyz is completely useless [because it doesn't do what I demand]", because that is not helpful. Hundreds of sites use and enjoy IP.Chat, so evidently it isn't useless - but naturally it'll be getting improvements like everything else in IPS4.

 

We simply ask people keep some perspective and avoid ranting, because it gets us nowhere.

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That's fine - you've given some feature ideas there, which is all we ask. Our issue is when people rant "xyz is completely useless [because it doesn't do what I demand]", because that is not helpful. Hundreds of sites use and enjoy IP.Chat, so evidently it isn't useless - but naturally it'll be getting improvements like everything else in IPS4.

 

We simply ask people keep some perspective and avoid ranting, because it gets us nowhere.

Yes, indeed. People do not speak much about IP.Chat. I'd love that IP.Chat has a possibility to not be isolate (be able to display the chat on the board index page only as the Shoutbox). More features would be really great.

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RikkiCharles, yes, i understand that messages like "xyz is completely useless" is not helpful. But I did not want to go into details because this topic is dedicated to private messages, not to ip.chat. I could write a more detailed and constructive review of IP.chat problems, but inappropriate in this topic.

 

Therefore I would like to focus on this issue:

 


So if it isn't "programatically hard" why would not make it switchable option?

 

By default it can be disabled, and forum admins can enable it if their servers are capable of withstanding the load. There may also be several options to reduce the load.

 

In my opinion in nowadays this feature is very much needed.

 

Thank you.

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RikkiCharles, yes, i understand that messages like "xyz is completely useless" is not helpful. But I did not want to go into details because this topic is dedicated to private messages, not to ip.chat. I could write a more detailed and constructive review of IP.chat problems, but inappropriate in this topic.

 

Therefore I would like to focus on this issue:

 

+1

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RikkiCharles, yes, i understand that messages like "xyz is completely useless" is not helpful. But I did not want to go into details because this topic is dedicated to private messages, not to ip.chat. I could write a more detailed and constructive review of IP.chat problems, but inappropriate in this topic.

 

Therefore I would like to focus on this issue:

 

 

Brandon has already replied to that, looks like you missed it.

 

Adding a switch to turn it off (or on, defaulting to off) is not a solution.  If we include the feature, we have to support it.

 

We have a chat solution already if you want to chat.

 

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I'm worried that the ease of use from anywhere on the site will have a negative impact on content indexed by search engines. If it's too easy for a member to reply in private to another about a forum discussion or blog/article/gallery comments, they may do that rather than add their content to the the public discussion.

 

+1

 

We need to remember that it's still a forum, not a social network. Forum discussions on various topics is what drives SEO. Keep the conversation in the forum.

 

I'd rather have the forum thread be real time conversation, than having a Private Chat that never get's indexed.

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+1

 

We need to remember that it's still a forum, not a social network. Forum discussions on various topics is what drives SEO. Keep the conversation in the forum.

 

I'd rather have the forum thread be real time conversation, than having a Private Chat that never get's indexed.

 

Ugh... I hate that this meme ever got started.  

 

Forums are still places to share like a social network. Sometimes users want to share publicly and sometimes users want to share with a limited audience and sometimes users want to share privately. 

 

Rather than try and force users who are familiar with (and possibly grew up with) Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Instagram into a software model that goes back to the dial-up BBS days, we should be trying to cater to the usage habits of our users..... especially when we then want them to go out and share their posts/pictures/content on OTHER social networks in order to drive SEO and social indicators.

 

IPS is great software, but outside of the web-based interface, the basic functions and operation of Forums, Downloads, Pictures, Games, and Chat Room, have all been there since the dial up modem days. I ran such a board as far back as 1994 on WWIV software

 

Like it or not, users expect a social experience these days on all sorts of sites. Amazon is social, recipe sites are social, Adult file sites are social.... . so saying "it is not a social network, it is a forum" isn't particularly helpful or forward looking. 

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