Undocumented Chat Features


  • Admin

    Digging into chat, there are some interesting unadvertised features

    1. Ignore is permanent
    2. Up/down arrows scroll through message sent
    3. '/me' messages

    Simple is good, features increase the cost to all other features. So it's not a matter of "if it's no problem to keep these", the answer is yes, it's a problem as these features have to be tested and re-tested every time chat is touched, and if chat is re-written, which is happening, these features also need to be re-written and built into the updated chat system. Hopefully it's clear the cost is significant, ongoing and future.

    For (1), I don't think it's an expectation for ignore to be always remembered, nor that useful. It's by player name, and not identity. Trolls are hopefully dealt with by moderators. If someone acts up, they are ignored and/or banned. Once ban expires, they should be 'redeemed' until they act up again, in which case they are banned again. Persistent trolls are going to change their name. Fundamentally though it's not common for ignore to be persistent and it was not my expectation.

    (2) Completely unadvertised feature, not sure if it's really needed, copy/paste is available if a message needs to be repeated.

    (3) Completely unadvertised as well, not sure if there is a lot of value of sending message in the third person. Seems more common to simulate this by sending a message with enclosing square brackets, eg: [steps out]


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @LaFayette not sure I understand #3 please explain better. #2 We all (or at least I do) use a lot. Yes I agree #1 should not be permanent or possibly even removed.


  • Admin

    @prastle What do you use up/down for? Is it just an alternative to copy/paste?

    I think #3 being unclear proves the point of the feature being unadvertised, you can prefix messages with "/me" to have them be displayed "in third person".


  • Admin

    NB: up/down is also a bit broken on the 'down' arrow. After pressing up, down arrow should go back to a blank field or whatever was typed but not sent, currently it gets stuck on the last sent message. Certainly curious how up/down is useful compared to just copy/pasting.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @LaFayette We use it in the lobby to repeat messages that are being broadcast and thinking about it now I think you are correct atm I never use the down arrow 🙂 That would be a handy fix. Examples would include advertising a new release, repeating a message a few times like "STOP BEING A TROLL!" 😉 posting a link to the loby every few minutes etc. You can actually up arrow through multiple messages to repeat other things as well. Also don't forget lobby only allows a limited posting length so being able to quickly up arrow a few posts is quite helpful. Just my 2 cents

    o


  • Admin

    If you need to spam: "STOP BEING A TROLL!", then a person should be using the ban or ignore'

    Is it not the case that typically only one message needs to be repeated? Whether advertising a release, or a posted game, it's one message. One message I've had to repeat beyond 'advertising' a hosted game would be "save your games, this lobby is shutting down".

    Advertising a release via message spam is perhaps misguided, the lobby welcome message should do that (we perhaps should blank it out or shorten it so people would actually read it instead of skipping over it).


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @LaFayette Over the years we have had many diff lobby yamls but sadly most don't read it you are correct. Perhaps a good toolbox feature would be a button that updates the Yaml if possible. I can't say I have ever spammed "stop being a troll!" It was a poor joke sorry. I have often used it to repeat 3 three diff posts that were part of the same message tho. It's all good if you want to remove it because it causes a lot of work. I was just saying that it is usefull.


  • Admin

    Happily the history recall is the easiest of the 3 to keep. It goes back 1000 messages, at minimum that will be reduced, but if the feature is perhaps not very valuable then removing it would be the way to go.

    A toolbox feature to update the lobby message is long overdo, sadly not on the immediate radar though.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @LaFayette 1000 wow LOL ya that can be reduced 🙂


  • Donators Moderators

    @LaFayette when you say #1 is permanent it can still be undone cannot it not?

    also, people can harass by use of the slap feature which i think the moderators cannot see. had guy recently coming around and slapping me like a dozen times for no reason on several occasions. 😕 maybe there should be a throttle on that.


  • Admin

    @ubernaut Permanent as in persistent until un-ignored. Agree on a throttle for slap. I wonder a bit if slap should be public, eg: "X slapped Y", and it plays the slap noise for "Y" rather than it being a private message with sound.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @LaFayette Ya slap is necessary LOVE it being public! Great idea!


  • Donators Moderators

    i think a lot of people turn sound off anyway. another interesting thought would be to implement an opt-in data (settings/options data) sharing feature so we could tell which things people were using and which things they weren't. i know that kind of thing can be a can of worms tho.


  • Moderators

    /me thinks it is fine as it is (or at least he likes the current behaviour better than what proposed insofar).

    Except only that I agree "down" should eventually reset to blank.

    Point 3 should be documented somewhere in an help thingy. Also the fact that you can "Ctrl+C", etc., should be all documented, as much obvious as it might seem.

    Additionally, the only tweaks I can think of are:

    • It would be better if the slap notification creates some unique text, that you cannot reproduce otherwise (currently I can just write down "You were slapped by Cernel", and that will look to everyone just like I slapped them).
    • You can choose either to ignore completely or ignore slaps only.
    • The ignored user can see who is ignoring it at the moment, and mods can de-ignore themselves (to be used not privately but only if they need to officially address the user that it is ignoring them).

  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Cernel I think he is removing ignore but otherwise not much else to say after what has been said


  • Admin

    Nobody knew about '/me' AFAIK, which means it's never been used. I've seen people simulate such a message type, which also means even if people know about it, it's not strictly necessary or that useful.

    Except only that I agree "down" should eventually reset to blank.

    Yes, if it is kept. 60% it'll be kept. The need for up/down is not great, by convention it's not bad and is slightly useful, though I still question if we should encourage repetition of messages beyond what is provided by a simple copy/paste.

    I think he is removing ignore

    No. But the permanence of ignore may potentially be removed so the 'ignores' are reset after closing and then logging back into lobby. Ignore itself is a very important feature, the fact it remains forever though is not intuitive and arguably not useful as trolls should become banned if they are going to be persistent.


  • Admin

    @Cernel Unused features are extremely bad code-wise, if something is not used, it is absolutely not fine. All code has ongoing costs:

    • it's code that needs to be understand and read every time a given file is opened
    • it's code that needs to be maintained when refactoring, updating other code can force updates in the code in question (even if it is not used)
    • it's code that must keep working (even if not used)
    • most triplea code is not automatically tested, which means it is code that needs to be manually tested whenever anything is updated (and we're not talking about just when we release, we are talking about whenever any couple lines of are changed, this is many times a day to many times an hour or more often; clearly testing of TripleA is insufficient and hence why we mess up with bugs so often).

    These sum up to be very large costs, one of the best ways to increase the rate of code production is to drop unused and underused features. We shaved off 30% of the entire TripleA code base over the last 3 years without losing any features for the sake of reducing that excessive overhead cost. The codebase probably could be shrunk by another 50% by removing more underused and excessively complex features. Getting it down to that small also means we can focus efforts and test coverage, which reduces the above costs by having code be automatically tested and simpler (and less tangled, which means the 'blast radious' of changes is smaller reducing the amount of features that need to be verified).

    If you argue for a extremely marginal feature, it's arguing for all other features to be done slower for the sake of the marginal feature.


  • Moderators

    @LaFayette said in Undocumented Chat Features:

    Nobody knew about '/me' AFAIK

    I did. Though I've rarely ever used it.


  • Moderators

    @LaFayette As said, I believe it's better left persistent. Main example may be someone that slaps you every time he joins the lobby, for no good reasons. Of course, he can change name every time, but at least it is something more to do.


  • Admin

    @Cernel Shouldn't the user get banned/reported if that were to happen? What's to prevent someone from forgetting to un-ignore? How can we solve that it's not the common expectation for an ignore to be persistent?


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