[GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

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akbarhashmi
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[GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by akbarhashmi » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:34 am

Hello, I'm a CS undergrad hoping to work with phpBB this summer. I've already begun contributing and I'm in the process of having my first MR merged (yay!)
This particular project is of high interest to me as I have done relevant mini-projects before and because many users would directly benefit from this.

A couple of questions which come to mind right away:

Since it's non-real-time, how would it compare to the AJAX mods out there?
As a modern chat based system, do we get rid of the separate SUBJECT text field? Older format messages could be migrated accordingly.

Perhaps other veteran board members can weigh in on what changes they'd like to see :D
I'll design a few mockups for my proposal based on that.

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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by koraldon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:22 pm

Not sure about the definition, but chat based should be something like Facebook private messages, which popup on every page you are browsing and you can respond to in real time.
There was an abandoned extension for this https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtop ... &t=2303081

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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by 3Di » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:34 pm

All the *CPs (ACP/MCP/UCP) are still decoupled from the core, means old school.

PMs belong to the UCP (User Control Panel).

IMO should be revamped (at this point) the whole UCP, therefore the ACP and MCP as well.
Sort of rounding in circles, ofcourse being myself not a phpBB Dev it's just my opinion. :)
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Senky
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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by Senky » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:32 pm

akbarhashmi, thanks for your interest! Requirements are vague on purpose to let you decide on many aspects. Original idea does not count with ajax/push updates. The main idea is to redesign PMs to show as one stream of messages instead of many "topics". So yes, subjects would be removed and all "topics" between two users merged into one stream.

That said, you need to cover all cases here. Let's say two users talk about 3 different topics in 3 separate message streams. How can we merge them in a meaningful way so that they are not lost in conversations after admin updates the board? The same applies for group chats. For example global moderators can have up to 10 message streams ("topics") discussed at the same time. We need to merge them meaningfully as well.

Obviously, we are going to loose some features here (multiple message streams between two users, folders, ...), but for the sake of simplicity. Also to be similar to many chat systems out there, so user already knows how to use it.


--------------------------------
EDIT: (after discussing with other team members we've gotten to a better idea)
We decided to keep "topics", because many users get advantage of this feature. So what we would like to see is redesigned PM page that is not divided into "latest message" on top and "message history" below it, but instead one ASC ordered stream of messages (exactly like you are used to in Messenger, Twitter direct messages, WhatsApp, etc.). Obviously, we need to keep the quote, report and delete options as well as allow BBcodes and smilies, so design can't be that simple as in above mentioned chat apps. I don't want to get into details, because it's up to you to define it.
--------------------------------

So if you have any more questions, just ask. We are here to help. Also, if you have some ideas already in your mind, write it down in a google doc or something and share with us as soon as possible so that we can help you with your proposal as well.

koraldon wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:22 pm
Not sure about the definition, but chat based should be something like Facebook private messages, which popup on every page you are browsing and you can respond to in real time.
It's completely different idea. We don't want realtime chat on the bottom of every page. Just redesign current PM system.

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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by CHItA » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:36 am

Keep in mind, that you're free to propose any implementation (as you are also free to propose your own idea as well). Thus everything you read here is more of a suggestion than a requirement.

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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by akbarhashmi » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:01 pm

Thanks for the response everyone!
Really exciting to know I have the freedom to explore different options.
Senky wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:32 pm
We decided to keep "topics", because many users get advantage of this feature. So what we would like to see is redesigned PM page that is not divided into "latest message" on top and "message history" below it, but instead one ASC ordered stream of messages.
This sounds less messy and is probably a more practical approach.
Keeping that in mind, one way to implement this could be having a log of recently contacted profiles (with topic) on the left and the ASC order of messages in the middle as before.
https://designshack.net/wp-content/uploads/whatsapp.jpg
Something similar, but can have multiple conversations with the same user as mentioned above.
Obviously, we need to keep the quote, report and delete options as well as allow BBcodes and smilies, so design can't be that simple as in above mentioned chat apps.
I agree many of previous elements could and should be kept but a few other ones could be left out such as PM icons.
Additional features such as a search functionality would be very useful but I'm not certain if those can be completed within the timeframe.

Mentors for this project are Máté Bartus and Derk Ruitenbeek. May I know their usernames?

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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by CHItA » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:00 pm

Derk's username is Derky, and I'm Máté. You can find all usernames here. The mentor allocation for projects may change, as we plan to have at least two mentors for each project, and also one mentor shouldn't have too many students, so in general it is best to keep all conversations public, unless you have a good reason to keep something private.

I would also add, that I generally like the option to be able to send someone a private message in a separate thread (read: add a subject to it). This could be useful for example, when you would contact a moderator, as if you have multiple issues, it is easier for both sides to follow the conversation that way. But then again, you're free to plan any system you see the most beneficial for users, so I'm glad to see that you asked the community about their ideas.

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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by hanakin » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:10 am

Not to mention messaging groups not sure how that would play out in you example above as any member of said group can respond

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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by Senky » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:49 am

akbarhashmi wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:01 pm
Keeping that in mind, one way to implement this could be having a log of recently contacted profiles (with topic) on the left and the ASC order of messages in the middle as before.
https://designshack.net/wp-content/uploads/whatsapp.jpg
Something similar, but can have multiple conversations with the same user as mentioned above.
Sounds and looks great! Regarding timeline, the best way to rationalize it is to write it down. That way you can see detailed steps and you can assign enough time for every step. That said, I again advise you to draft a proposal asap. You don't need to include all the stuff already (personal intro, project desc, ...), just timeline (best divided into weeks), so that you can see what feature takes how much time. Also if in doubt, you can share it with us and maybe we can help you with estimating timespans as well.

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akbarhashmi
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Re: [GSOC 2018] Revamp PM system to chat based

Post by akbarhashmi » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:30 pm

CHItA wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:00 pm
I would also add, that I generally like the option to be able to send someone a private message in a separate thread (read: add a subject to it). This could be useful for example, when you would contact a moderator, as if you have multiple issues, it is easier for both sides to follow the conversation that way.
I'm convinced that the subject should be kept. Another idea I just thought of is to allow renaming the subject. (Again, one subject per conversation, not for every message) This can prevent unnecessary multiple chats.
I do not know the exact working behind this yet so it could be easier said than done.
One drawback I see is for someone looking for previous conversations of a specific topic may find it difficult but then again this is up to the user to choose.
hanakin wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:10 am
Not to mention messaging groups not sure how that would play out in you example above as any member of said group can respond
I'm looking into group messaging and hopefully will come up with something.
Senky wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:49 am
That said, I again advise you to draft a proposal asap. You don't need to include all the stuff already (personal intro, project desc, ...), just timeline (best divided into weeks), so that you can see what feature takes how much time. Also if in doubt, you can share it with us and maybe we can help you with estimating timespans as well.
Yes I appreciate help with estimating timespans :)
Another thing I should mention is that I don't yet know the code-base well enough to point to specifics. As such my proposal might look a little informal initially.
I'll keep further proposal-specific questions off this thread; this can be solely for discussions related to the project.

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