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Babble Update: v2.8, v3, chat service and self hosted


I know babble 3.0.0 has probably seemed like vaporware for awhile now. well today i am announcing i'm suspending its development for a few reasons.

  • overly ambitious: babble v3 had a lot of features and changes being made to the core of babble. this was overly ambitious move, considering how much work was involved, to make changes that a lot of people were "luke warm" too. 
  • feature creep: i kept adding new and more features, instead of refining the ones already there.
  • no market: babble has never been a stellar selling app, its been "modest" to put it simply. i've gotten busier in my business and have to make some concessions. i don't bring in enough to hire additional developers and babble doesn't perform well enough to warrant many hours to rewrite the application.

so v3 is suspended for now. however i have began work on v2.8, which will be combining features from v3 that were done that can be backported to v2.8

new features and improvements:

  • message template: this has been updated to be more "streamlined". avatars are always visible now, with username above the message, same with the time/date. this frees up the horizontal space, to allow better responsiveness.
  • commands: commands have been improved with room restrictions. you can now enable which groups can use commands, and then which rooms the commands are available in.
  • editor: with my work with stratagem, i've become quite intimidate with the CKEditor, so since the legwork was already done in that application that allows me to overcome a lot of the limitations i originally had with it when i began work with babble years ago.
  • command list editor plugin: this will be automatically loaded fore babble, this will give a list of available commands for the room based on the user group.
  • bots: bots have been changed around, they are now independent of "rooms". you can create one and share them among rooms. you can also limit the bot to groups. 
  • connections: several improvements to the node.js have been introduce that should help with receiving messages specifically targeted to your, your group and your room. 
  • removal of guest messaging: this code was bulky and actually was the cause of several bugs, so i've completely removed it. sorry to anyone who actually used it. guest will still be able to view the room, they just wont be able to see the online list or participate in the conversation.
  • chat service activation: this process has been troublesome, some servers wont send the required information to activate properly, so i've streamlined this process a bit, so instead of having to activate, i've made some changes to allow easier activation. hopefully activation problems will be a thing of the past.
  • message dialog: commands can now open up dialog boxes to display their info instead of showing in the chat window like they use too. this ability can be extended to custom commands.

these are the major changes, there are minor changes that are too numerous to mention here. hopeful these changes will be welcomed :). these are the major changes for v2.8, there will be other v3 features that will be brought into babble, but at a later date. 

here is a video of some of the new features and improvements (there are bugs still and missing styling :) )


Self Hosted:

I had announced that i would be getting rid of self hosted, but that was for v3. I've decided to repeal that decision, and continue to make a self hosted and a chat service version. i will also begin selling the self hosted again when i launch v2.8. self hosted and chat service will continue to be feature parity to each other, so the only difference will be the the user limit.

New Chat Service Pricing:

I've lowered the buy in prices for the babble chat service, but have kept the renewal terms the same. 

New Chat Service Server:

with v2.8 i will be opening up a new server, the old servers will continue to run for 1 month after v2.8 release and the new server will not be backwards compatible with older versions. there will also only be one server. Europe started out as an experiment to see if i could improve latency, it does improve latency, but the costs of running dual servers is prohibitive. the NA server is a much more powerful machine and handles about 90% of the traffic for the chat service, so the amount of sites on the European server are in the single digits. if the demand is there, i will considering coming out with "European" packages, that cost a bit more, that will have a europe based server. sorry for any inconvenience this might cause.


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