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1.10 Proper Push Notifications
#1
There is discussion about adding a My Alerts type feature into MyBB.  That's the wrong way to go about it. It's not up to web standards.

What's the norm is browser push notifications.

Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/pus...ns-firefox

Chrome: https://developers.google.com/web/update...e-open-web

Apple: https://developer.apple.com/notifications/

There was one plugin from a couple years ago that did it for Chrome:
https://community.mybb.com/mods.php?action=view&pid=538

Unfortunately I doubt it works in Firefox or iPhone and it may not even work well in Chrome/Android.

Alerts being done on-site defeat the purpose of being alerted. 

MyBB can greatly expand a notification system by being compatible with current push notification api's.  This will get rid of the need for someone to visit the site to be alerted and will bring MyBB up to date for standards.

I'd like to see support for such a feature in future MyBB releases even if it's not 1.10. This imho is a top 5 feature that MyBB needs. Partially because this expands mobile compatibility.
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#2
(01-04-2018, 09:43 PM)labrocca Wrote: There is discussion about adding a My Alerts type feature into MyBB.  That's the wrong way to go about it. It's not up to web standards.

What's the norm is browser push notifications.

Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/pus...ns-firefox

Chrome: https://developers.google.com/web/update...e-open-web

Apple: https://developer.apple.com/notifications/

There was one plugin from a couple years ago that did it for Chrome:
https://community.mybb.com/mods.php?action=view&pid=538

Unfortunately I doubt it works in Firefox or iPhone and it may not even work well in Chrome/Android.

Alerts being done on-site defeat the purpose of being alerted. 

MyBB can greatly expand a notification system by being compatible with current push notification api's.  This will get rid of the need for someone to visit the site to be alerted and will bring MyBB up to date for standards.

I'd like to see support for such a feature in future MyBB releases even if it's not 1.10. This imho is a top 5 feature that MyBB needs. Partially because this expands mobile compatibility.

Desktop notifications in browser would definitely be a nice addition, but I see it as an addition to a MyAlerts type system - this is the way that other systems do it (eg: XenForo, FaceBook, Twitter - all have dedicated pages to view notifications, along with desktop notifications for browsers and push notifications). Providing proper push notifications to mobile devices fully (not all browsers support push notifications to the same degree and it depends on browser versions on top of that - the API isn't solid or cross platform, yet. Firefox only supports notifications whilst Firefox is running. Safari and Chrome support notifications whilst the browser is closed, but use different APIs) is a slightly bigger problem, and there are several different ways to do it:
  • Require a site-specific app to be installed on the user's phone - this site-specific app would have to be written by either the team or a site owner, then posted on the App Store/Google Play Store. Both Google and Apple charge to publish an app.
  • Require a "MyBB" official app to be installed on the user's phone and route notifications for different sites through that - again, the app would have to be written by the team (not out of the question, as I have been involved in writing mobile apps on Android, iOS and Windows Phone through work) and submitted to various app stores.
  • Integrate with a service like PushOver which requires their app to be installed on the user's phone, and involved relying on a third party service who could disappear.
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#3
I agree with labrocca that push/browser notifications are definitely worth looking into. However, I also agree with Euan in that they should serve as an extension to on-site alerts, rather than being the only means of notifying users.
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#4
Glad we're discussing this. I know I have research to do on the subject.

Here are some of my thoughts though. You mention sites like Twitter and Facebook do MyAlerts type notifications which are basically on-site when certain actions occur. That's fine by me. We already have MyAlerts which more or less functions very well to do it. So if a plugin exists for the function does MyBB really need to add it? I think not.

I think that instead of focusing on something that's been around for years, MyBB should leap forward into what is obviously going to be the future which is push notifications to devices including mobile.

You are right that there isn't a simple one-size-fits-all solution. Which is going to force some creativity from the team and members to solve this.

Quote:Desktop notifications in browser would definitely be a nice addition

But this isn't just about desktop, it's also mobile too. And while no solution is simple it's worth considering, exploring, and possibly solving.

https://www.pushbullet.com/ That's a service I like.
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#5
I don't think on-site alerts defeat their own purpose, at all. Much like push notifications, they provide users with a quick way of being made aware of and responding to certain actions, albeit on-site.

Push notifications on mobile is kind of a given, but not everyone likes them on desktop, which is where an on-site alternative would be beneficial.
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#6
Quote:but not everyone likes them on desktop

When you say "desktop" I think you misinterpret notifications. They are browser based and you don't download desktop programs normally. For mobile devices you may need to download a push notification app.

Quote:I don't think on-site alerts defeat their own purpose

MyBB already had PM alerts for a few functions. Yes, they can be expanded for things like being quoted or mentioned. But if you rely on on-site popups then that's semi-pointless for notifications. If you're on-site you can just click a page and get a regular header notification just as default MyBB works.

Imagine you use your phone and the only time you get notified you have a new text notification is when you open your app. That's how MyAlerts works right now. You have to be on-site for it to really work. Otherwise you're just getting emails and again, depending on how you get email notifications it's an extra step that's unnecessary.

What I propose is looking into the future and current standards of push notifications to devices. Some may be impressed by MyAlerts and that's fine but it's dated and if added it will not be a way forward. We'd just be asking for push notifications in 2-3 years.

MyBB is falling behind on mobile. Make a leap forward.
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#7
(01-05-2018, 12:20 AM)labrocca Wrote: What I propose is looking into the future and current standards of push notifications to devices.  Some may be impressed by MyAlerts and that's fine but it's dated and if added it will not be a way forward. We'd just be asking for push notifications in 2-3 years.

I read this thread when I got up this morning and the first thing I thought was "Why not both?" - MyAlerts extended to make Push possible.

I know that Browser Notifications should work on an Android device without an additional app; but I don't think you'll be able to do iOS PUSH without an iOS app. This (the app) isn't something that should be added to MyBB. Third parties can do a better job of an iOS application.

That said, PUSH services tend to cost. I've researched into them and I see it's cheaper to build my own app. It's been tacked onto the back of my list. Cost vs benefit just isn't there in my case to pay for a service like Pushover (https://pushover.net/).

MyAlerts has the infrastructure there already to do what it has to do, it just needs a few extra lines (ok, maybe more than a few) to make it possible to do what you're asking. No need to reinvent the wheel.
[Image: kAhpvOW.png]
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#8
(01-05-2018, 12:20 AM)labrocca Wrote:
Quote:but not everyone likes them on desktop

When you say "desktop" I think you misinterpret notifications. They are browser based and you don't download desktop programs normally. For mobile devices you may need to download a push notification app.
Yeah I meant the browser-based notifications on desktop. Not everyone likes using those.

(01-05-2018, 12:20 AM)labrocca Wrote: Imagine you use your phone and the only time you get notified you have a new text notification is when you open your app.  That's how MyAlerts works right now.  You have to be on-site for it to really work.  Otherwise you're just getting emails and again, depending on how you get email notifications it's an extra step that's unnecessary.
Yes, hence my saying in my previous post, 'Push notifications on mobile is kind of a given'.

So again, nothing against push notifications, they are great, and on mobile devices a given, but for users who use the forum on desktop and don't like using browser-based notifications or something (for whatever reason), I feel that on-site alerts would be a great alternative.
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#9
Quote:I read this thread when I got up this morning and the first thing I thought was "Why not both?" - MyAlerts extended to make Push possible.

Obviously some similar functions of MyAlerts is going to be present in a push notification feature.  My concern is that if we focus on MyAlerts like features we won't go all the way towards push notifications. The goal should not be a MyAlerts type system. It should be more robusts.

Quote:I feel that on-site alerts would be a great alternative.

It's half-lime and we already have a couple types of those such as PM notifications and thread/forum subscriptions.   They aren't the most robust options but they work and expanding them is easy enough.  

Quote:but for users who use the forum on desktop and don't like using browser-based notifications

I personally never use them but the younger crowd seems to live by them and want them very badly.  But not just browser based, it's mobile push notifications they truly want. But part of solving that is browser based API's.  

It's a mess, it's a puzzle, but it should be considered and hopefully resolved.   Heart
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#10
My eventual plan was to add support for push notifications to MyAlerts, but life got in the way of doing so. MyAlerts already provides all the functionality for alerts in the core and for plugins to easily add new alert types. Any core push notification system should work in a similar way in my opinion - provide a single way to add a type of notification and a way to send such a notification with a simple API that plugins can easily make use of.

I’m not saying MyAlerts is perfect, but I can certainly see it being tied with push notifications and providing a very useful experience for users. I have always liked IPB’s alert/notification system where users choose the way they want to be alerted for different alert types. Having an option for each alert to:

- send an on site notification only and/or
- send an instant email notification and/or
- send a push notification

This gives users a lot of control and flexibility.

Another feature I always wanted to add to MyAlerts is the ability to send a weekly or monthly notification summary to users who haven’t visited in the past week so that it acts similarly to a newsletter.
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