An argument for replacing Skype chat.

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An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by JealousCloud on Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:57 pm

If you don't know, there's a group Skype chat that contains many of the community

It's sort of replaced the old irtl shoutbox concept.

Well, what's wrong with that?

A couple of things.

  • It's invite only

    You have to have a friend who is already in the skype chat in order to even get in, and they have to like you enough to do so and know that you aren't in it. If you aren't one of the really liked people here, you can't even participate. I won't name names.
    This creates a "Cool kids club"

  • Skype, privacy

    I don't know how much you care about your privacy, but I certainly do. Skype was bought out by Microsoft some years ago. They've collaborated with the NSA by giving them communication records of their users and shown them how easy it is to look at their messages. They don't encrypt their audio/video chat end-to-end, which means once it gets to the Skype server, they decrypt it, so Skype can and almost certainly does monitor your calls to some extent.
    But say you don't care or believe all of that. What else?

  • You have to be always in the Skype chat.

    There is no "taking a time out" with the Skype group chat. Either you leave, or you stay. Yes, you can be re-invited, and yes, you can mute the Skype chat.

  • Such a group chat cannot be embedded on a website

    Pretty simple. This completely defeats the nature of the old Shoutbox, unfortunately.

  • We have the twitch chat, what's wrong with that?

    Just because of how twitch is it's more of a chat-with-streamer setup than one for talking among ourselves, and I'm not suggesting we replace the twitch chat.

  • Most people use their names for their Skype name

    Users have to learn who's-who by name instead of knowing who they are just based on their name on wrtl.


Is there an alternative?

Yes. The purpose of this post is to bring forth the option of IRC.

If you're thinking "Why not discord?" There's a few reasons, but to sum it up, discord cannot be embedded, and discord is more targeted at group calls and gaming, and for someone like me who never uses discord, it's just more clutter to have on my PC for a single chat room.

IRC can be embedded, you can use a web client for it,, like mibbit. You can choose your name. There can be admins. Anyone can join, but abusers can still be kicked. You can even have your own desktop IRC client, and there are many to choose from. You can even have private chats.

Problems with IRC

To create a fair argument, I have to admit IRC isn't perfect.

You need to host a server for IRC. Albeit IRC is pretty lightweight to host, and there are free options out there.

Your IP could be visible depending on the setup of the IRC server. There are plenty of ways around this, some servers provide +x which allows you to hide your IP from other users, and the server could straight up not provide whois to normal users.
There are also "Bouncers" which allow the user to hide their IP.

Usernames.
While you can name yourself whatever  you want, that also means you could attempt to take someone elses identity. There's a few ways around that, including registering. We could pair a registration with the site with a registration to the irc server too. Just an idea.

Closing statement

I believe IRC would be a better solution to Skype. I don't claim to be an expert on IRC, although I've used it for some projects.
I personally dislike the use of a skype chat, and this is just a suggestion that I would hope would be considered.

Thanks for your time

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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by rabid squirrel on Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:28 pm

The reason the skype chat was never endorsed as anything official (and one of the reasons I left it) was the staff have no control over it. No one can kick someone out of the skype chat, permanently or temporarily, or delete messages. Anyone can say or do anything, or change the title and description of the chat, with no consequences, which basically means it's invite-only anarchy. I (naively) hoped that our community would realize that and treat the platform with respect, but in my eyes it has fallen apart considerably.

Maybe people aren't aware that the skype chat is not official and was not created by the staff. It has become the main way people in the community chat mostly because the twitch chat on the sidebar refreshes when you go to a new page, unlike the livestream.com chat, which means people just started using skype instead. It won't really be possible to "replace" the WRTL skype chat, because it won't go away unless everyone stops using it.

I've entertained using an IRC chat in the past but here are the major roadblocks I ran into:
1. I don't know how to set one up and embed it on the site.
2. Nobody really wanted to help me do that when I asked around (granted this was in 2010).
3. Asking people to register on yet another site/service in order to have access to the embedded chat sounds like a struggle bus to me. But obviously we cannot allow guest messaging as our community has repeatedly shown they will abuse that privilege to an extreme at any opportunity.

I do personally think that an IRC chat embed off to the right would be better than nothing, or the twitch chat, but it is up to OTDE, and if he has the knowledge and/or desire to put in the time to make it happen.

I think a better solution would be an embedded twitch chat that saved past messages for the last hour or so instead of refreshing, and maybe didn't use up so much damn processing power. Similar to the livestream.com chat. But I also have no idea how that would be done either.

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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by OTDE on Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:54 am

I'm willing to implement it, if I can get some guidance.

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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by Conundrumer on Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:44 am

> Skype, privacy

if you wanna go that way, we have more important things to worry about: forumotion doesnt use https

EIDT:
the tools we have for the community we have rn are good enough, at least for me, and i have no expectation we’ll be having an influx of new users until lr itself becomes more accessible, so i'd rather put in my time into working on lr itself rather than improved community software

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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by Rafael on Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:54 am

Why couldn't we go back to Livestream?
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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by Morgan on Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:35 pm

I dont know, I just do not like using the skype chat, it makes my computer slower and is annoying. I wish there was another alternative, but that seems to be where most members are chatting.
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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by Apple on Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:48 pm

If you have a smart phone, I suggest you try installing the app and using it that way. I have the same problem as you and now I can just keep both open at the same time.
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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by efrazable on Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:30 pm

@Rafael wrote:Why couldn't we go back to Livestream?
iirc we had a whole ton of people asking to move to twitch back when we used Livestream, as much as I'd like to go back... it ain't happening

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Re: An argument for replacing Skype chat.

Post by rabid squirrel on Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:29 pm

@efrazable wrote:
@Rafael wrote:Why couldn't we go back to Livestream?
iirc we had a whole ton of people asking to move to twitch back when we used Livestream, as much as I'd like to go back... it ain't happening
The biggest reason I do not want to go back is how hellish it was that people with streaming permissions could not be banned from the chat until 24 hours after they lost streaming permissions. This was fine until the you-know-who-duo waged a full-on war abusing this feature after being banned from the forum, causing us to have to entirely disable the chat for a day.

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