- 24 Apr 2008
- United States
PostedFeb 13, 2010 2:27 pm
Suggestions for the Beloved Shoutbox!
Well, it certainly has been a long while since anything was updated on this and so I thought it would be time to update it! =)
If any of you would like to review what was last said about this topic, you can see my first suggestions page located - here
Let's see what was asked for last time and where we have gone from here =).
The old complaints
- The Shoutbox Monster still remains!
For the most part, I can effectively say that this is no longer an issue. No longer is the shoutbox monster around. Perhaps we have forced it into hiding, or perhaps the twenty line limit has starved it to death.
- The shoutbox auto-scrolls down, making it difficult to keep track or to look back to see what was read
Well... in one sense this was fixed. No longer is there any need to try to scroll back! =P. With the new twenty line limit it would be pointless to go and scroll up.
- The 5 second waiting period has had some counter-effective results
- There is no character limit to the shoutbox, thereby there is no effective means to act as a spam deterrant
These two were listed essentially together. Again, spam in the shoutbox is a weird issue with the twenty line limit. If someone is spamming, most likely their spam will not stay long enough to be remembered anyways. Good thing? Bad thing? Or just something that is?
Looking at the issues, let's look at the proposed solutions...
The old solutions
- Allow it so that the shoutbox is able to be popped out into a separate window
- Remove or improve the 5 second waiting period
- Implement a character limit
- Give us back the "refresh" option!
- Give a status button for when we are logged in
Meebo, if activated, can essentially give us this last one. However, there are many of us that would prefer not to have this activated...
Yeap, nothing was done here at all, unless you count Meebo =P. However, the original issues that so many people raised up in the first place are somewhat resolved, a whole new set of issues have risen up. Let's see what they have been and if anything has been done with them =).
The New/Current Issues
- The shoutbox causes a large amount of resources to be used up
The issue here is that before the shoutbox cached each entry individually, line by line. If two people tried to post at the same time, one would be entered, the other would be delayed/deleted, which was essentially the origins of the shuotbox monster. Now, all of the posts are put into a cache on the server, and each time the shoutbox refreshes, it reaches the 20 lines. Even if one person makes a post, twenty new lines are essentially added to the cache, which is where the real issue in making things slower are. Though, of course, there was another reason for the slowing of the shoutbox.
- The addition of the Meebo chat bar.
For more information see the First and the Second topic on this.
Needless to say the addition of the Meebo Chat Bar was definitely a double edged sword. It served to suck away more resources. However, I have to say, the fixes done to the chatbar has been to most everyone's liking. If you wanted it, you could have it open on a profile page or on a page where there wasn't a shoutbox so you could use that and if you prefer not to use it, you are now able to shut it off. All in all, I am content with this change.
- The twenty line limit
Hrm, looking at the last poll, it is interesting to see what people had to say. People seemed to enjoy that while the shoutbox monster and some shoutbox functions didn't seem to work properly, they would at least be able to carry on or catch up onto a conversation. Sure, a lot of people would rather that we go to an IRC set up, however, the shoutbox is what we have, and I still like the shoutbox =(. However, moving onwards, no longer are you able to go and get something to eat and come back and try to catch up on the conversation. Sure, the need for disabling autorefresh for the most part is gone with since being scrolled down to the bottom won't have you lose out on most things, and manually refreshing would just cause you to lose more information.
However, at the same time, if you are in a conversation, you basically have to be stuck inside of the shoutbox at all times. Many a times I have seen a GameSage get called for in game to deal with an issue in the shoutbox, but by the time that they are able to get into the shoutbox, the issue has scrolled off the screen. Also, during busy maints, sometimes more than 20 messages are sent in the few seconds it takes to refresh, which just causes what are called "jumps" where you were able to see someone's response, but before you are able to type one in yourself, twenty lines have already been entered, and the post you are responding to has *poofed*.
So again, what can be done? What can we look forward to? What possible options are there!?
Make the shoutbox a completely separate entity.
- Scrap the shoutbox! Go for IRC!
This has been stated and restated many times. While this may do well to actually fix any of the bugs and glitches, it still doesn't undermine the fact that the shoutbox is an Aeria creation and that the shoutbox looks just so much more aesthetically pleasing than the boxy IRC windows =(.
- Expand the line limit.
Obviously, if 20 lines is too little, we need to extend it! According to the last poll, over 70% of the community wanted it to be expanded. Though it was split between 40-80-infinity, to actually be able to read through and see what people are writing would be great! With these extra lines, two sub suggestions might work then to avoid the over caching issue.
- Refresh only when you enter a post
This would get rid of that annoying "Jumping" phenomenon.
- The ability to choose when to autofresh and when not to autofresh.
Though I can see how quickly this would be annoying, this should be combined with the first one in order to get the maximum out of it.
This is basically the halfway house between what we have now an IRC. On the forums, instead of having the shoutboxes on the forum pages themselves, create a link that would link people to the shoutboxes on a different page. Or do what Google has done with the gmail chat as I said previously, allow us to detach the shoutbox for us shoutbox watchers out there.
Mod Edit: Unstickied because it's no longer maintained and the shoutbox has gone through some changes