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ATS Member Collaborative Project: Building A Better Chat

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posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 03:21 PM
As many members may have been aware, our chat provider, 123FlashChat, has been unreliable lately, causing several outages with poor response from their support.

During the discussion, I suggested that perhaps our members with programming capabilities could create a new chat client -- perhaps the ideal chat client for sites like ATS.

AnonyMason has already started, and we'll move preliminary discussion to this thread.

My primary requirement for our first member-driven collaborative project like this, is that the results be free and open source -- meaning any other website/developer may use the code either on other websites, or as the basis for other projects. We can work out the exact license later.

Other requirements are (don't worry if you don't know what these are, we're looking for members who do):

1) The chat client be a JavaScript/HTML5 web application optimized for desktop and mobile

2) Actual chat data are JASON objects, using REST between server and client

3) An XML or JSON configuration file provides all settings and customizations (like multiple rooms, etc.)

4) The client uses modern CSS3 and HTML5 markup for easy customization/responsive design

5) A secure "handshake" provides authenticated user information to the chat client

6) User roles include member and moderator

7) An additional XML or JSON file tracks banned/kicked chat users

8) No database requirements

9) User authentication happens at the site-level (ATS) and is easily modified for other discussion boards, blogs, communities, etc.

10) Censored word list as an XML or JSON file

11) Allow embedding of videos, links, tweets, etc.

I'm sure AnonyMason could use some help to make this a very robust and valuable chat system.

Also, we'd like member feedback about features and functions. So even though you may not have the necessary experience/skills to contribute to making the chat client, you can still help with feedback and testing.

So… who's in?

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 03:32 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

neat idea, but i gotta ask; "why bother?"

yes, 123flashchat is absolute garbage, and i've NEVER been able to get it to work for me...but there's still IRC, and flash/java/HTML5-based IRC plugins that you could use, that would do all the things you suggested here....yeah, it's super neato to build your own client, but why do it if you don't need to?
edit on 11-4-2014 by Daedalus because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 03:39 PM
I think this is an awesome idea. I'm a technical dummy but I would like to see a chat that is more mobile friendly (iPad, tablets, smartphones). I may visit ATS on my PC once every 6 months, it's just nicer to be able to surf in my chair with my electric blanket.

We have some awesome members with amazing capabilities and I have no doubt they can come up with something far better than what we've had.

edit on 11/4/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 03:44 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

I'd really like to see a chat room that uses IRC so I can connect via mIRC. I realize the pro and cons of running an IRC based chatroom, but I've always been fond of them for some reason.

Look forward to seeing what you all come up with be it, IRC, Java (hope not!), Flash, or HTML5.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 03:53 PM
We will not be using IRC.

Many hosting providers (ours included) do not allow linking to IRC, or IRC clients.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 03:59 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord
I don't know anything about this type of programing.
I'm happy to help with the feedback when the time comes.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 04:04 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Very glad to be involved with this.

For those of you who have looked at the github you may notice the the code available now is all very generic. For a project of this size and with the goals SkepticOverlord has laid out, the code will be changing... dramatically. I used a forked code for an HTML5 based chat just as a starting point.

I've also set up a testing server which will remain private for now simply because of security. I'll move forward with a more accessible testing space when there becomes a need for one.

In the mean time, any one who has coding experience is welcome to join the party! If theres something you think should be added to the github repository you can contact me through ATS or github. Use pastebin, or e-mail me the code as an attachment and I'll take care of the git commit && git push to the repository.

Right now I'm working on the project as time permits. It sounds simple, but the reality is this is a pretty big undertaking. Any help from the community is welcome!

Thanks for the opportunity to work on this, SkepticOverlord! Looking forward to see what we can come up with!

The outline provided in the OP is now in the
edit on 4-11-2014 by AnonyMason because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 04:05 PM
I have faith that we can make our own and it will be great. Glad you decided to go this way SO.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 04:30 PM
This is a fabulous idea!

I know so little about JAVA that I would be of zero help, but I'm happy to provide feedback.

A feature I would recommend, due to the fast-paced (shall we say dizzying?) rate of chat-speak, that members might be able to flag certain folks who are on at the same time they are, to better keep track of individual conversations.

In other words, there is a lot of cross-talk. Someone is sharing cooking tips and having a recipe discussion, others are talking about the ATS Live Radio show, others are discussing other things entirely and text is flying by as fast as you can read it, and faster than you can respond... Cross-talk is the nature of the beast. If you could flag some folks and have it put a frame around their chat comment or something like that, it would really help someone like me try to keep up. (The other option is to mute folks in chat you don't want to hear from, but I think that goes against the free-for-all spirit of chat.)

Of course, its possible that the other chat program had this feature and I was simply ignorant to it - wouldn't be the first time! In any case - that's my idea of what would help, so if it existed, let's keep it and if it didn't I hope someone smarter than I am will make it so...

I'd also like to be able to have my current cool avatar follow me into chat.

I am full of wishes...

Thank you.


posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 04:39 PM
I'm really excited to see this being crowdsourced. It's a big project but it'll be so worthwhile. I'm no programmer, I wish I had the skills to contribute, but I'm absolutely on board to help in any way I can.

Looking forward to following the progress!


posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 04:39 PM

edit on 4/11/2014 by Kitsunegari because: double post

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 04:41 PM

originally posted by: AboveBoard
I know so little about JAVA that I would be of zero help, but I'm happy to provide feedback.

We're not going to be using Java.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 04:53 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

I see my mistake...
That's why I'm staying out of the way and letting the big guys and gals handle the programming...




posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 05:03 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

What about ventrillo? I don't know much about it except that we used it for gaming. So I know its reliable.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 05:25 PM
Personally, I am very excited about this.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 05:29 PM
I think an option for thread collaboration and group research would be awesome. Sort of like a community resource pile or noticeboard where people can start private/public groups and share the workload of projects. I don't really know how to explain what I mean properly.. I would imagine it as something like this.

Once in the chat client you can make your way to any public groups that are open and join in with the discussion/collaboration by commentating, adding to or removing from the thread. (Admin[s] for each individual group having final say on what stays in the draft) Anyone can start their own public/private group (password protected for private groups) and I guess it would look something like a thread and there could be a thread preview at the top of the screen.

Everyone in the group has a thread creation box (the console you use on the ATS forum to construct your threads) at the bottom of their screen and can edit the group thread preview and then submit it for review by the group admin who then decides whether or not the amended thread draft stays.

In the midst of both these functions you could have a uniform chat box the same as the base chat of the client. This way people could easily share info whilst at the same time working together in a 'shared thread environment' and utilise the individual skills we all have.

There are some great minds in this community and it is awesome how ATS brings people together and things get worked out. I think it would be great if we could easily collaborate with each other BEFORE the threads are published onto the site. That way a lot of the debunking, resource compiling and fact checking can be done BEFORE the public discussion starts.

I believe that if a system like this was to be implemented it would encourage a lot of positive research and discussion that would have otherwise been near impossible.

I guess what I'm basically proposing is like a wikipedia sort of gig where people work together to create and verify the validity of any given content. It could lay the foundation for all sorts of cool threads/videos/songs/competitions/awareness campaigns etc.

I hope that made at least some sort of sense.

edit on 26/10/2010 by TechUnique because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 06:42 PM
Just going out throw this out there.

Ought to make a video chat client.

That way when ATS LIVE and other shows come on there could be visual aids.

Just a suggestion.
edit on 4-11-2014 by neo96 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 06:55 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

What forum software are you running, if you want integration into the forum.

PM me with that information please.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 07:29 PM
i know nothing about scripting, but i am wholly behind the idea. I love member collaboration.

posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 09:52 PM
Great idea,

AnonyMason, I can help out with the PHP and HTML UX/UI stuff, JSON and XML are my weak points though...

Graphic Design is also something i can help with....

Im currently looking at as it allows mobile phone app design as well as HTML5/jQuery/PHP etc....

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