NodeChat Development

Have gotten a bunch of PR’s this past week, since this is the last week of class. Everyone is finishing up their release 4,  which means the project has made some great progress.

We now have the continuous integration system Travis, that helps with managing the app. And, we are working on es-lint and prettier, there is still some configuring to do but it’s almost up and running.

So with all the changes, there was a bit of backtracking I had to fix. One of the PR’s changed how the messages were sent to the screen but they forgot to change some corresponding code, so it ended up breaking the messages altogether so no messages would display correctly on the screen. It was a pretty easy fix, but I am not sure about keeping it. The change puts the JSX for a message into a variable, then we just render that. The problem with that is it doesn’t get updated anymore when state changes. I have to look into it more later, but I might have to go back to making the JSX just before it is rendered.

Here is the PR that fixed the above bug and a few others: https://github.com/OTRChat/NodeChat/pull/72.

The other bugs include:

  •  package.json – formatting bugs that formed when I did a manual merge.
  • Fixed avatar’s so you can now upload custom avatars. This change required changes to the server aswell, this is the PR that changed the server https://github.com/OTRChat/server/pull/4.
  • package-lock.json – There was a problem merging so I just deleted the old version and made a new one.

 

 

Continue development of chat app.

Development on the chat app has been going good. Few things I would like to get finalized would be a continued integration system, linting, tests and database.

I think travisCI would be a great addition to the repo. Took a class today that explained how to implement travisCi into a GitHub repo. It looks like it will be pretty easy, might add it this week.

To make travisCI really useful it need’s to be doing more then just running the app as the test. It is capable of running linting software like eslint and actually test that could be created for the app.

I would also like to start research on the best options for incorporating a database into the app. I created a discussion thread here, I would like other people’s opinion in making this choice.

Also, for release 3 I found a external project to contribute to on GitHub. It was interesting, it required me to get into a bit of Ruby which was interesting. Here is the PR made for the code-gov-style project.

Maintaining a GitHub Project

Wow I now have a much better understanding of the life of a project maintenance, after this week.

So, a few classmates have now joined the NodeChat Project, the week started simple by me posting a bunch of issues for everyone to work on. But, once they started to work in the project, they started to post their own issue’s. They ran into thing’s that being the one who wrote most of the code, I didn’t really think about.

For example, the readme file I didn’t need it so it was very outdated and simple. So, I needed to update that so people could more easily start working. Also, I added a contributing file which explain’s a few more thing’s. updated docs.

Another example, was the folder structure was outdated, we were working inside a folder while the root contained the original project before I started working on it, so there were a bunch of files kinda not really doing anything. And we also had the server inside the same git repo. Apparently this is very confusing, another thing that I got used to and learned to ignore, which wasn’t good for new contributors joining the project. We have now gotten ride of all the old code and moved the server into it’s own repo. So now the react app is alone it the main repo, which make a lot more sense for new contributors.

Lot’s of change’s happened over this past week on the OTRChat Project. I have now had a taste of what managing a project looks like and I am only working with 4 people, can’t image large project with 100+ contributor’s. As with everything you start small and work toward something big.

 

Hacktoberfest 2018 – My experience

Hacktoberfest 2018, was a great learning experience for me. I was able to find a great project for this event, that fit my interest’s and ability’s.

Starting this event was a bit challenging, I knew I wanted to work with something with java script. And I also, wanted to work on more front end development. So this helped me narrow down what project to work on, picking a project to work on took some time. After looking through the Hacktoberfest tag on GitHub for a while I came across the Node Chat app that was using node and socket IO to create a chat app. The owner of the project wanted to recreate the test site using react. This peaked my interest, since I was familiar with react, node and socketIO,  so I took on the task of creating this react site for my first pull request for Hacktoberfest 2018.

After my first PR on the Node Chat I asked to continue working on the react app. The owner of the app invited me to be a maintainer for this project. So, for the rest of Hacktoberfest I worked on bugs and features of the react app.

My Hacktoberfest 2018 Pull Requests and Issues

  1. https://github.com/joshghent/NodeChat/issues/11
    https://github.com/joshghent/NodeChat/pull/24
  2. https://github.com/OTRChat/NodeChat/pull/27
  3. https://github.com/OTRChat/NodeChat/pull/28
  4. https://github.com/OTRChat/NodeChat/pull/29
  5. https://github.com/OTRChat/NodeChat/issues/1
    https://github.com/OTRChat/NodeChat/pull/30

Overall, I had a very positive experience in Hacktoberfest 2018. I learned allot about git, especially using branches. I now use branches all the time for whenever I want to test something or work on a issue or feature. And after making 5 PR’s I am much more comfortable with the process.

Now that I know events like Hacktoberfest exist, I am definitely going to keep an eye out for them, in the future.

Hacktoberfest – Added user is typing… feature using React and SocketIO

This blog post covers my 5th pull request of Hacktoberfest 2018!!!! For a few days I wasn’t sure if I would be able to reach the 5 PR goal.  I got super busy with another project, which I may put a blog post up about that project sometime. I was able to work hard on Hacktoberfest the past couple day’s and now I am done all 5 PR’s!!!

Back to the topic of this post I’ll put a summary blog post of Hacktoberfest soon.

I add the feature that show’s when a user is typing which was requested in issue #1 of the node chat project.  Here is the link to the pull request.

In order to accomplish this task I used two events on the server side. ‘typing’ and ‘stop typing’.

Server Code
socket.on('typing', function(){
    socket.broadcast.emit('typing', {
      username: socket.username
    });
  });

  socket.on('stop typing', function(){
    socket.broadcast.emit('stop typing', {
      username: socket.username
    });
  });

For the client code I put the two event listener’s inside the componentDidMount().

The event listener for ‘typing’ add’s the user name to a state variable ‘userIsTyping’ which is an array of the user names that are typing.

The event listener for ‘stop typing’ removes the user name from ‘userIsTyping’.

Client Code
componentDidMount() {
  this.state.socket.on('typing', (user) => {
      if(this.state.username!==user.username){
        if(!this.state.userIsTyping.find(function(users){
              return users==user.username;
           })) {
          this.setState({userIsTyping: [...this.state.userIsTyping, user.username] });
        }
      } 
  });

  this.state.socket.on('stop typing', (user) => {
    if(this.state.username!==user.username){
       this.setState({userIsTyping: this.state.userIsTyping.filter(function(users) {
           returnusers!==user.username;
         })});
       }});
    }
  }
}

The function below is used to retrieve the content of the input field. It will emit ‘typing’ if there is anything inside the input field and it will emit ‘stop typing’ when there is nothing inside the input field.

setChatInput(event) {
  if(event.target.value !== ""){
    this.state.socket.emit('typing', this.state.username);
  } else if(event.target.value === ""){
    this.state.socket.emit('stop typing', this.state.username);
  }
  this.setState({ chatInput:event.target.value });
}

The end result looks like this:

Hacktoberfest – Bug Fixes and Styling in NodeChat app.

For my 3rd and 4th pull request of Hacktoberfest, I didn’t work on much new technology, like in my previous pull request’s. Instead I thought I would fix a bug that was added during the move from a jQuery site to a React site. And I added some styling to the messages on the NodeChat app.

PR #3 

In the original jQuery site the original creator designed it to display a greeting message when a user logs in. From testing the original site, the greeting message only displayed the first time someone logged in. This is were the React app had a bug, it would always display the greeting message when you enter the chat.

In order to fix this bug I needed to have the idea of a previous user inside the chat page component. I was able to do this by creating a Boolean inside the login page and sending that over to the chat page through props. This allowed my to conditionally show the greeting message.

 

PR #4

Since the chat app can handle more then just 2 people at a time, I wanted to show who is sending each message. I was already receiving the username of the sender so it wasn’t technically that hard to get the username to display. Their was a bug in receiving the username but it was quick to fix.

The more involved part of this PR was probably all the CSS required to make the messages look nice.

Here’s a picture of the end result:

 

 

Hacktoberfest – Adding sound and images to a React app

Hey everyone,

It seems like allot of people like to over complicate adding sound and images in React.  They will often make a whole separate class to control their sound or image files. Which definitely has its place, if your sound or images needs bunch of options then definitely make a class to control it. But if all you want to do is play a sound or add a image to your app, I think its simpler to add it in directly inside the class it relates to.

Note:  I also learned that React doesn’t like when you refer to something by its path inside the code. You have to use a import statement in order to include a file into your react app. In the code below you will see me do this.

 

Playing Sound in React:

Below is how I figured out how to play sound from my react app in just a few statements.

import mp3_file from './yourFileName.mp3';

playSound(){
   this.Sound.play();
}

<audio src={mp3_file} ref={Sound => { this.Sound = Sound; }}/>
Adding a Image in React:

Below is a simple way of adding a image to your React app.

import myImg from './yourFileName.png';

<img src="{myImg}" />

Hacktoberfest Week Two – React and Push.js

In this week of Hacktoberfest, I added push notifications to the Node Chat project in my most recent Pull request. I used the Push.js library in order to accomplish this task. Well learning how to do this, I din’t find much documentation on using Push.js with React so I put together a small tutorial for today’s blog.

Integrating Push.js with React

Natively, there is currently no solution to use Push.js with React. In order to use Push.js with react you have to use it as an external libraries. Below is how I added Push.js to React as an external library.

First step:

Include the script file in the main “index.html” file for your app.

I used a CDN to do this:

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/push.js/1.0.7/push.min.js"></script>

Second step:

Import Push.js into your file.

Put the following line at the top of the .js file you want to use Push.js in.

import * as Push from "push.js";

After importing Push.js you can now create push notifications inside your react app.

Here’s an example of how to create a notification in a react component.

notify(){
 Push.create("Hello world!", {
     body: "Thanks for reading my Blog!",
     timeout: 5000,
     onClick: function () {
         window.focus();
         this.close();
     }
 });
}

 

Hacktoberfest Week One

In my first week of Hacktoberfest I started off without any particular project in mind. I had a few ideas of what I wanted to work on, so I started by searching GitHub for a project. I was looking for something using JavaScript or C++.

After searching for a while I came across a application called NodeChat. In Issue #11 for the NodeChat project the owner asked for someone to move the public site over to React. Having used React, Node.js and Socket.IO I asked in the issue if I could do this.  After, that I started my work on the React app to replace the JQuery version that was previously used in the project.

Making a chat app using React

I started off with some project designing. I needed to figure out how I wanted to organize the react app. Also, I had to go through the existing JQuery file to get a better understanding of what the project is doing.

I decided on the below structure for the app.

    • App
      • This component is the core of the app were the Login Page is called and is currently were all the css and assets are located.
    • LoginPage
      • This component handles new and previous user login’s.  And handles displaying the login page or the chat page.
    • ChatPage
      • This compenent handles all the functionality of the chat.

Currently the flow of the app is as follows the app page displays the Login page. The login page creates a new user or uses a previous user then the Login page decides when to display the Chat page.

A update I think I will do at some point would be to make it so the App page receives props back form the Login page. That would instruct the App page when to display the Chat page. I think this would be a bit cleaner code.

There is still a bunch of stuff that need’s to be finished but at the moment the app is working on a basic level. I am hoping to get most of the bugs fixed as soon as I can.

I think this will be a good project for me over Hacktoberfest and probably after.

Here’s the link to my first PR of Hacktoberfest .

Below is the 2 class definitions for Login Page and Chat Page and I added a small comment about each function. Full Code available here.

class LoginPage extends Component {
    constructor(props) {}
    // Checks if user pressed enter key to submit there message.
    enterKeyPress(e) {}
    // Used to manage the State of the input field on the Login Page.
    setUsernameInput(event) {}
    // Calls checkIfPreviousUser()
    componentDidMount() {}
    // Sets the username 
    setUsername() {}
    // Checks current user is a previous user or calls setUsername() if not.
    checkIfPreviousUser() { }
    // Tell the server that we've had a user join
    userJoin() {}
    // Holds the content's of the Login Page
    displayLogin() {}
    // Render Login Page if not loged in or Chat page if Logged in
    render() {}
}

class ChatPage extends Component {
    constructor(props) {}
    // Calls greetUser() and Lisen's for New Chat messages.
    componentDidMount() {}
    // Displays Greeting message.
    greetUser() {}
    // Checks if user pressed enter key to submit there message.
    enterKeyPress(e) {}
    // Used to manage the State of the input field on the chat app.
    setChatInput(event) {}
    // Send's the message to the server.
    sendMessage() {}
    // Recieve's the chat messages from the server.
    addChatMessage(data) {}
    // Used to handle images(not tested).
    parseMessageText(inputString) {}
    // Used to handle images(not tested).
    imageFile(filetype) {}
    // Used to handle images(not tested).
    getFileType(inputString) {}
    // Used to handle images(not tested)..
    imageLink(inputString) {}
    // Used automatically scroll the page.
    scrollToBottom() {}
    // Render page content.
    render() {}
}