Chatroom Integration Plugin (discourse-chat-integration)


#1

@conorsch here are my notes regarding the installation of the Chatroom Integration Plugin (discourse-chat-integration) for posterity.

  • booted the last forum instance snapshot 2017-11-29-forum to verify it actually works, just in case something goes really wrong
  • ssh ubuntu@forum.securedrop.club
  • cd /var/discourse ; ./launcher rebuild app # to upgrade because it has not been done in a long time, so that we don’t mix upgrade problems and plugin installation problems
  • edit /var/discourse/containers/app.yml as suggested by the plugin installation instructions
## Plugins go here
## see https://meta.discourse.org/t/19157 for details
hooks:
  after_code:
    - exec:
        cd: $home/plugins
        cmd:
          - git clone https://github.com/discourse/docker_manager.git
          - git clone https://github.com/discourse/discourse-chat-integration.git

#2

After activating the plugin the CSS was damaged site wide and I could not figure out why. I removed the plugin and will run a test instance on a separate virtual machine at http://forum-test.securedrop.club to figure that out without disrupting the forum for too long.


#3

The problem is that the plugin is not yet available for the discourse stable version. However, the good news is that it will be compatible with the next stable version (1.9) which should be published real soon now. @conorsch do you mind if we wait a little for that to happen ? I will keep http://forum-test.securedrop.club/ around for test purposes so we can give it a try as soon as 1.9 is available.


#4

@conorsch I’ve been thinking about this and I wonder if notifications going to a chat is such a good idea. There currently is an average of a dozen posts a day and I suspect most of those will only be interesting to some people. Since this number is likely to grow, you’ll need to fine tune notifications to map topics to chat channels etc. Essentially you’ll end up being a moderator for a group of people joined to a channel. And chances are they will not always agree with your notifications preferences, to the point that some of them will ignore the notifications and we’re back to square one.

Hence the question: what does not work for you with the Discourse notifications ? Would a daily summary sent via email be enough so you don’t miss something when you do not visit ? When I want to catch your attention, I include @conorsch and this should send you an email so you see that even if you don’t connect to the forum.

I have nothing against chat notifications in general, but I’m curious to understand why this would be better than email notifications :wink:

Cheers


#5

Hey! I can add here @dachary -

At least personally for me email is a super annoying notification medium. I think for personal pings its fine but the daily digests are not a good way to sift through data (at least for me).

Most definitely the background motivation for this request was because we utilize github activity -> chat notification pings that has really helped the team sift through a lot of activity across multiple repos. I think you are right, we’ll have to monitor the situation as the popularity of this site grows. Maybe even making dedicated chat channels just for processing discourse pings. I agree though - don’t think dumping that activity to our current gitter channel will be very useful we could set up a secondary channel just for tracking notifications at least externally.

But yeah – if the plugin doesnt support our version we have to wait regardless i suppose :slight_smile:


#6

I even get a desktop notification because the page is still displayed in my browser :wink:


#7

Thanks, @dachary!

The problem is that the plugin is not yet available for the discourse stable version

Ah, I should have caught that in the discussion myself. No problem at all to wait for the stable version. We’d all prefer that to running a buggy version wrecking the styles on prod. :innocent:

Essentially you’ll end up being a moderator for a group of people joined to a channel. […] Hence the question: what does not work for you with the Discourse notifications ?

@mike’s comments summarize my own concerns: email is too noisy already for me, and the interface isn’t compatible for real-time notifications. You mentioned in-browser notifications for the Discourse instance… I have not tried relying on those, but they work quite well for Gittr (included the favicon overlays for mentions). Will try the in-browser notification flow while we want for a stable plugin version—perhaps that will be enough!


#8

Maybe the deeper issue is about dealing with asynchronous notifications and not miss a message of importance or someone trying to catch your attention. If that’s what you’d like to have, maybe the easiest way would be to connect once a day at https://forum.securedrop.club/ and click on your icon to see a list of notifications. The one in blue are the one you did not read and it can be dealt with like an inbox.


#9

https://github.com/discourse/discourse/releases 1.9 still in beta


#10

Still in beta, but getting closer! For the record, I’m having a pretty good time with the pinned tab approach. Willing to evaluate a chat integration, but getting more and more adjusted to the existing flow.

I don’t believe I’m getting in-browser notifications of changes as I do with other webchats (e.g. Gitter), but will need to watch more closely to confirm.


#11

1.9 has been released today ! @conorsch unless you tell me this is no longer of interest, I’ll schedule an upgrade and the installation of the plugin.


#12

@dachary I’ve gotten the hang of the notifications via the pinned tab—you were right!—so I’m largely satisfied with the status quo. However folks have specifically asked for this, and it should indeed help with engagement. So please proceed, and thank you for being so accommodating.


#13

I’m glad this worked for you, it’s a relief :slight_smile: I’ll take care of the plugin installation.


#14

@conorsch http://forum-test.securedrop.club/ is a test clone upgraded to 1.9.0 and has chat integration activated. When you’re satisfied with the tests I’ll install it on production.


#15

The forum was upgraded to 1.9 and has been very stable since. I feel good about activating chat integration and testing directly in the the forum, without the need to go though a test instance first. Worst case scenario we’ll need to restore the daily backup: it’s not a major catastrophy. But I very much doubt it will come to that :wink:

Enjoy !

P.S. Unless someone objects in the next 24h I’m going to destroy the forum-test instance.


#16

The forum & chat plugin were upgraded to their latest versions an hour ago (this is done manually via the web admin panel)