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Live chat.. Chris read this!

  • # February 17, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Hello duuuuuuuuudes.

    So you know the scenario where you either post a problem or are helping somebody with a problem and they don’t respond for a few days or you don’t respond for a few days and the post gets forgotten and the world starts to end.

    But really, sometimes waiting hours or days for a duder you’re trying to help or somebody who is helping you can be a bit frustrating.

    Based on these opinions, I decided it would be nice for css-tricks to have live chat. These chatrooms could be moderated to eliminate abuse and wild kids being wild.

    This would enable us to help and be helped on an immediate and live basis.


    # February 17, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    You should probably use @ChrisCoyier so he gets an alert. Also, having a big site like this would really attract hackers.

    # February 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Who says it needs to be big? It could potentially have the same user base as it does now. Anyway, when did the fear of hackers ever stop anybody from trying to make something popular? I think it would be a great addition to css-tricks.

    # February 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    You’re not reading correctly. I said having a big site like this, meaning CSS-Tricks is a big website, will attract hackers with a live chat. I’m not necessarily saying it is a bad idea if you have the time to keep updating the security aspect of it.

    And user base of what, what are you comparing it to? The forums? I think you would be surprised by the amount of people who will show up to the chat compared to the amount of people posting in the forums.

    Anyway, when did the fear of hackers ever stop anybody from trying to make something popular?
    Not sure it has, but it has made the number 1 chat, Userplane, restructure its website because of it.

    Sad part is, the site is still vulnerable.

    # February 18, 2011 at 12:35 am

    That’s very unfortunate. I guess I don’t see the connection between live chat and hackers. Care to elaborate?

    # February 18, 2011 at 12:46 am

    He’s just saying it creates vulnerabilities.

    Personally, I like answering questions in my own time. Also, it’s no ones ‘job’ to be on these forums. By this I mean that people generally have lots of other stuff going on.

    I won’t be able to answer things immediately since I’m normally busy. I answer questions and reply as soon as I can and this ‘as soon as I can‘ can have gaps of up to a few hours.

    # February 18, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Exactly, Jamy understands my point. Lets say you use the same password you have for this website for your email, facebook, bank account ,etc. A hacker could create a brute force program to try to crack your password on the chat using vulnerabilities. From there, he could find information about you to try to establish a way into other accounts of yours. I can take most of my friends email accounts just by looking at their facebook information. It’s quite simple to be honest. It might be quicker to get responses to your questions but in the long run, is it safe?

    # February 18, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Of course nobody is required to help anybody or do anything on these forums. If somebody wants to help somebody on an immediate basis, it’s their choice. I personally would love to be able to log on and ask a question and have somebody help me in real time as I would love to help people in real time.

    Something like this wouldn’t need to replace forums. If you don’t have time to help somebody in real time, don’t help somebody in real time. There would be plenty of people who would be able to help people in real time and even some who enjoy it.

    Anyway this is all speculation and probably pointless to discuss as I don’t believe it will come into fruition. Would be very handy, though.

    Maybe I’ll create this myself. We’ll seeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    # February 18, 2011 at 1:02 am

    It was definitely not a bad idea and I could see where you were going with it. But the unfortunate side is the vulnerabilities. Good luck and Chris made a PHP chat, just an fyi. Search “PHP V2″

    # February 18, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Hmm, ‘PHP V2′ yielded nothing for me. Well nothing along the lines of a PHP chat.

    # February 18, 2011 at 1:07 am

    My fault. Try here

    Read the update as well

    # February 18, 2011 at 1:09 am

    There was a live demo of that chat room before, not sure where it went!

    # February 18, 2011 at 1:13 am

    It was taken down for security risks, I think I read that somewhere deep in both posts.

    # February 19, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I’m possibly down with the idea. Unfortunately I probably wouldn’t be able to hang out in there very often… I’d rather use some kind of hosted solution, but with the ability to embed it into a page here. Campfire isn’t going to happen. Little too expensive for a plan that would work, and even the biggest plan might not be quite big enough for large events if we wanted to ever do those. Embedding an IRC window might be a possibility. Anyone know of other good software for it?

    # February 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

    @ChristopherBurton, While I agree with you on the increasing security issues with the live chat, I must say that your argument with hackers bruteforcing passwords is not worse on a site with chat than it is on a regular forum like this. There should, no matter the nature of the site, always be a limit on login attempts – like say 3 failed attempts pr hour. Besides that, the most typical issues is XSS and SQL injections – not bruteforcing of passwords. The worst issue with live chats on sites like this is social-engeneering – people who, by cover of helping with an issue, gains access to certain protected areas, e.g. webservers or controlpanels.

    @ChrisCoyier, I have not been able to find any decent IRC-webclient. Even though it is a few years since I was looking, I do not think that it has changed much. You would not like to have it running through your webserver, so you should look for a client-side solution. A java-applet or something similar. From my experience they never work well enough to be useable.

    In my opinion you should rather create an irc channel on and a link from the site + maybe a guide to setup a client and connect to the network from each of the mayor OS’s.

    Actually, I have been looking for a IRC channel for guys like us, and I have not been able to find anything with a high enough skill and activity level. I would gladly help getting it up and running if there is support for it in the community. Even though I’m 8-9 hours in front of you – time-zone wise ;-)

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