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KTCAOP

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KTCAOP
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PostedFeb 13, 2010 2:27 pm

Suggestions for the Beloved Shoutbox!

Version 2!
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!?

Proposed Solutions


  • 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.

    1. Refresh only when you enter a post
      This would get rid of that annoying "Jumping" phenomenon.
    2. 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.

  • Make the shoutbox a completely separate entity.
    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

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    Relaera

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    Relaera
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    PostedApr 30, 2010 8:24 am

    IRC vs ShoutBox

    Arguments for each.
    Pros to the ShoutBox:

    • Integration - As far as integration goes, the ShoutBox wins it. It is seamlessly incorporated into the Forums (when it loads)
    • Ease of Access - See above. It's RIGHT there.
    • Aesthetics - Again, it just *LOOKS* like it fits into the page, and with the integration listed above, makes it much more visible to users as they browse the forums

    Cons to the ShoutBox:

    • Proprietary - As a user who multi-tasks, one thing I want to be able to do is access the main chat medium easily. Logging onto the website / forums and loading all of that to see a little shoutbox is inefficient and a bit annoying.
    • Not a Chatroom - A shoutbox is not a chat room. It is a chat-like feature, but because of the nature of shoutboxes, they can never substitute for a real chat room.


    Pros to IRC:

    • Ease of Access (Web) - With the creation and constant updates / maintenance of the popular web-based IRC client, Mibbit, IRC can easily be accessed by anybody with a browser
    • Ease of Access (Clients) - Allows other clients to connect to the chat room properly.
    • Ease of Integration - With the Mibbit Widget, IRC integration into websites is also very easy, though it would require a separate "Chat" page.
    • Build a stronger sense of community - With IRC, users can idle, lurk, chat, trade, and bond. It also provides a stable chat medium for those that may be able to more easily access IRC than a gaming site.
    • Logging - Allow people to see what's been going on, topics of interest, friendly debates, etc. Also allows a GS or GM to afk for 10 minutes without missing someone coming in with an issue.

    Cons to IRC:

    • Not linked to Aeria Accounts - There *may* be a way to get the Mibbit widget to auto-assign the user's Account name to the IRC Nickname upon sign-in, but beyond that, there's not really a way to tell who is who. (Not a tremendous issue unless someone does something on IRC that deserves an account ban)
    • Potential spammers - Yes, there are always potential spammers with IRC, as with any other chat-based medium.
    • One more thing to think about - Yeah. GSs and GMs have enough to worry about as it is, and adding IRC would just be one more thing to worry.


    As it goes, the biggest arguments I have for IRC > ShoutBox is that SB is not a chatroom, IRC can build a stronger sense of community, and the ease of access for IRC.

    Note: I stopped listing Pros to IRC because I want this post to be readable. I didn't intend to hit you with a gigantic wall of text.

    Note 2: I'm not saying remove the ShoutBox, I'm just saying that it shouldn't be the primary chatroom medium for Aeria.


    EDIT:
    Arguments against IRC - Security

    • "IRC is usually unencrypted" - As is the connection to this site and (I'm assuming) to the ShoutBox
    • "Extended connection time leaves people open to attacks" - Default masking of IP addresses and hosts leaves the true connection information available only to Opers. Also, there are always options depending on Services such as HostServ, to allow people to have custom hosts.

    Pandaemoniumx

    Rank 3
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    PostedJun 09, 2010 6:29 pm

    The Shoutbox as it stands.

    Also some fixes and suggestions never mentioned?
    Whilst Relaera has it all down. (IRC > Sb, check out old.orroc's IRC for Shaiya)

    Here's a quick fix for the Shoutbox as it stands right now: Recode it to the best functioning Shoutbox the website has had, meaning not the one implemented right now but with the false promise that it's "better". This means:


    • No rearrangement, which stops any confusions from happening during announcements and such.
    • 20 Shout limit deleted. (replaced with 40-80-infinity as mentioned by KTCAOP in the original post.)
    • Shoutbox monster may or may not come back.
    • Working shortcuts, such as the [url[/url] and shortcuts.



    Opening up a remote shoutbox (Still connected to your Aeriagames account) so that you can send private messages in instant time without interrupting the public shoutbox. Possible workarounds include:


    • Adding a Shoutbox "Block" list, which prevents private shoutbox messages from people who you generally don't like, or they're calling you out.
    • A limit to the number of private chats you can have, to prevent being a GS or GM and getting spammed with forty new conversations about complaints and such. I believe two to three available private chats and regular shoutbox should be fine.


    Also for suggestions, there is one thing I'd like. Game Masters (Product Managers, Fungineers, etc.) and Forums Moderators (Maybe even Game Sages) have the ability to freeze their comment on the shoutbox. This means:


    • Announcements have no need to be spammed.
    • A shout can be frozen right after it is posted, so all the most recent posts fall just on top of it. With works great with a shoutbox that doesn't have a 20 shout limit.


    The Cons:

    • Said official could forget to unfreeze their comment, and it'll be just annoying. Frozen comments can then stack up, and they'll be hard to remove until the original person unfreezes it.
    • There are stupid and immature GS's in their respective game, so it'll get annoying when a GS calls out a person and it's there... for a long time.


    Workarounds to the Cons:

    • Put a fail-safe timer? Make a frozen shout last 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, etc. Whatever length of time seems appropriate.
    • Make frozen shouts deletable by a AGE official or a Forum Moderator.



    tl;dr

    Make the shoutbox more flexible than have a x-way conversation with several individuals, some of which are talking casually in the midst of others who need help.


    Necro? I don't know. I'm tired.

    CalebHur

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    PostedJun 14, 2011 5:13 am

    block/mute

    stuff
    i think there should also be a way to block or mute a person in shout box

    Theeobscene

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    PostedJun 14, 2011 5:23 am

    Re: block/mute

    stuff
    CalebHur wrote:
    i think there should also be a way to block or mute a person in shout box  




    I agree with this Person.

    NICE THREAD!!!! Just kidding you fail.

    shaneration

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    Location
    Oxford United Kingdom
    PostedJan 23, 2012 4:26 pm

    Sugesstion

    shoutbox
    could u please make it possible for us to change out names on shout bx pleassssssse

    ijjimilan

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    ijjimilan
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    PostedMay 08, 2012 8:08 am
    shoutbox history.
    shoutbox ignore commands

    GunZ Stats website: http://gunzstats.vacau.com

    .Dragonson.

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    PostedJun 16, 2012 12:16 pm
    Hello.

    I myself have coded alot and the issue "Shoutbox" pops op all over the net. Let me give the reason, a shoutbox will never have the full potential that a irc will have. But i suggest to try all the different options until your satisfied.

    BYKBYM

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    Location
    Indonesia
    PostedSep 13, 2012 10:55 am

    Help!?

    The Shoutbox went crazy on me!
    Okay, first thing first, the very usual problem is lag, my shout was posted about 3 minutes after pushing the enter button, I don't really mind that, however, I do mind one weird issue I'm having, the shoutbox keeps posting all the shouts until someone replies to it, so if someone answered it 5 seconds later, there could probably be around 10 post saying the same thing, here are some screenshots.
    http://puu.sh/14ISK
    http://puu.sh/14IOM
    http://puu.sh/14J1z
    http://puu.sh/14J2v
    http://puu.sh/14J31
    I believe Game Sages and Moderators won't leave a spammer be or spam the shoutbox, I'm going to need some help to resolve this problem, anyone else got the same problem?

    Persephone321

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    Location
    New Orleans, LA United States
    PostedMar 27, 2013 4:46 pm
    Is there any way we can have a widget so we can put our favorite shoutbox/shoutboxes on our profile page? I'd love to put the DDTank shoutbox there. Just my suggestion. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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