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TalkerApp has a very interesting feature, users can create little javascript extensions that allow them to extend chat.

This would allow for stuff like extended oneboxing, syntax highlighting, sys tray notifications, keyboard shortcuts and so on.

As it stands users have already started extending chat with user scripts, the trouble though is that this is not that accessible as it requires a per machine, involved setup.

Could we build a simple extension mechanism where users can submit scripts to a central repo, and end-users select which scripts they want to run?

share|improve this question
Everyone loves plugins and extensions – Marco Ceppi Dec 28 '10 at 23:20
The setup is not really involved tho... – jcolebrand Dec 29 '10 at 3:59
@drchenstern, for chorme it is not that bad ... however keeping the script up to date requires manual intervention – waffles Dec 29 '10 at 4:13

Personally, my thoughts here are that this adds a few overheads that currently are non-issues because it is understood that the user-scripts are independent etc:

  • there is an implicit expectation that we wouldn't break the API (keep in mind that at this point there is no formal API - only that-which-users-have-reverse-engineered-and-hacked-together); historically we have made some fairly large changes to the internals. OK, this is less likely now that it is pretty stable, but...
  • it seems to formally legitimise the scripts; but these scripts have not been reviewed to check that they aren't doing anything silly - leaking horribly, or (for example) posting your security cookies somewhere. I'm not saying they are - but I wouldn't want to blindly open our users up to that (especially if somebody new posts a "new c001 script, try it!"
  • fair enough, some of the user-script features are niche (highly valued by a small set of users, but not necessarily appropriate for the full audience); but where something does have wider value I'd rather see that it gets evaluated for addition to the core app
  • when multiple additional scripts are thrown into the mix, you get even more interesting support scenarios - does X need Y but conflict with Z? I have no plan on managing that...

Re the specific points raised:

  • syntax highlighting is something we intentionally didn't enable - somewhere there is a line between discussion and Q&A, and chat isn't necessarily the best home for everything
  • desktop notifications is something we have discussed for consideration (in fact, I have an experimental hack in the code right now)
  • extended oneboxing - isn't very extended if only people with the right script/combination-of-scripts see it...
share|improve this answer
I love the new desktop notifications :) – Marco Ceppi Dec 29 '10 at 23:24

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