JCC5: Twitarr Feedback

edited February 2015 in JoCo Cruise
I've been really sick the last week, and was not capable of dealing with Twitarr-related things. Better now, and I even lost the ten pounds that I gained on the cruise!

First thing: I know that @origamislayer and @gbadsen spent a TON of time the first day getting people up and running at the shadow IT desk, and I'm personally grateful to them for it, since I wasn't able to be there at first. I get the feeling that they don't get to unpack their bags until at least day two. 

I haven't seen a CruiseMonkey feedback thread from @RangerRick, and most people have trouble differentiating the two, so you can probably post such things here. (I do know that @RangerRick could use some assistance on CM this year, if any mobile developers would like to pitch in!)


I hope these don't come across as defensive, but there is some feedback every year that is consistent. I'd like to save some time by responding to it early. 80% of the work on this app isn't always obvious. Getting the app working on everybody's phone, choosing which features are NOT important enough to add (or how best to display them if they are), these things take a huge amount of time, but don't have as much immediate impact.

First caveat: This is a mobile webapp. Screen real estate is at a premium. There are features I would love to put in to Twitarr, but there simply isn't the room. If this were a desktop app, it would be MUCH more feature-rich. (One of the things I hated most about status.net is that you couldn't see more than one post at a time, and sometimes you couldn't even see an entire post at once.)

Second caveat: This app is used for a week. Most people use it for about an hour during that week. Any complex "following" features are going to be ignored by 99% of the population, since they just don't use the app enough. Instinctively, people are not going to spend time adding social network data into an app that won't be usable in the future. I think profiles are a nice middle ground, and I'd like to have ways of remembering a profile, but it needs design work.


The *BLEEPING-BLEEPED-BLEEP* DNS server pissed me off. I don't think anyone else was as angry about it as I was, but as far as I'm concerned it indicates a complete lack of support by the RCI IT personnel. I'm willing to accept evidence to the contrary, but I'll be very surprised if any exists.

Twarts design - I made the design decision this year to change from facebook-style replies to twitter-style replies. It seemed to work in beta, but once on the ship the twarts feed became a firehose of noise. (Which is my Dragonforce cover band)  I'm really tempted to switch this back to facebook-style inline replies. The downside is that replies wouldn't be first-class posts any more, but I think it would make things clearer. 

Autocomplete didn't work. That was just something we ran out of time for. It would have made hashtags and username-references much easier. (and therefore people would have used them)

The seamonkey didn't get distributed - @rhaje and I had plans to post the Seamonkey every day, but they sort of fell apart - I couldn't ssh in to the server, not sure if THO was having the same problem.

The Good

There were probably over 400 different device type / browser combinations that used Twitarr & CruiseMonkey this year - it worked on most of them, and I think it was better than JCC4. I don't know who figured out the proxy trick, but that seemed to help a bunch of people. If you used a different trick to get your Twitarr working, or just weren't able to get it running at all, please share here, especially with your device configuration. 

Performance seemed really good. The forum list and a couple of the forums got bogged down when there were too many things to display, but I think us devs probably noticed it more than anybody else. Anyone have problems scrolling? - that's usually the first sign that your phone can't keep up with the page.


Were profile pics too much? I liked having faces to go with the posts (when people had them), but they use a LOT of real estate. We kind of put them everywhere.

Facebook-style replies vs twitter-style replies. Discuss.

Profile improvements?

Did people find the forums useful?

What is the average flying velocity of a sparrow?

>>>>>>>>>  Nathan


  • I liked the profile pics.

    I didn't mind the twitter style replies, but not having a single click way to see the back/forward thread from a given post was inconvenient. I discovered the "view original" link by day 5 of the cruise, but I could help but think, why not just grab all the successive parents of a tweet and display those, all at once, instead of clicking for them?  I imagine there's some efficiency thing involved there.

    In any case, thank you very much for running it! I think it's incredible each year. :D
  • I can only comment as an observer. DNS or whatever was going on seemed to hamper my friends that were users. I kept my eyes averted but people seemed to have more luck getting the browser portions to work rather than through CM. I was able to get a sync going just before the pledge so I had what I wanted.

    A request for future versions is day selection, where you could tab through and see just what's happening and particular day.

    The fact that these things are used by maybe 400 people or 850 at most for a week a year I am amazed that they work as well as they do and I'm very appreciative of the work that into them even though I don't take part in most of it.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.4.2 user who came up with the (or one of the) proxy hacks that actually allowed me to connect this year.  I was able to get Twit-arr running, but never successfully got Cruise Monkey operable (app or web).

    Profile Pics are useful.  Easier to associate (even if they aren't someone's face) with people than usernames.

    Forums are useful.  May be easier if sorted bottom up than top down to get to newer messages.  May be nice to have some way to "hide" or "favorite" forums, I found that hunting down new forums, or forums I wanted to track got muddled by unrelated forums that I personally could have hidden away (such as regional forums that weren't my region, or hobbies I was not involved in).  Without looking at the back-end I have no idea how difficult this would be based on the current set-up.

    Definitely need some way to trace comment threads.  There was a lot of "where is that coming from" for things showing up on the main feed.  Personally I don't care if it's a nested response or a click and see the tree.  The only thing that would push me towards more of the nested response would be how difficult it was to trace multiple people responding (which I didn't encounter).  For example, I'd ask someone who did a "who wants to meet at this place at this time" if they were able to figure out who actually said they were meeting up, or if those just became scattered "I'll be there" twarrts that made no sense.

    Profile Improvements - again, without having dug into the back-end I have no idea what all is easily supportable vs. a nightmare to implement, so this is just theoretical.  If profiles could have searchable keywords/interests it may provide connection capability in order to say identify a group for a board game, or find one more person for doing X.

    Clocks - time change appeared to throw a kink in the works this year, I don't think that will be an issue and I know you guys are well aware of this - the only real frustration was when everything from the last hour was "an hour ago" so there was no comprehension of how long it had been out in the Twit-arr-sphere.

    Contacts/People - Again, possible future feature: Ability to store "contacts", a list of handles/profiles so you remember who you met.  The simple solution is to shoot them a mail message when you meet them, so you have their handle.  Part of why I'm throwing this out there is I imagine there would be some simple way to email this list of handles and/or profile info out to users upon return to land.  Basically on the boat save people to your contact list, and then there is a built in script that upon return to land will email users (since you collect emails) either the list of handles in their contact list, or the profile info of users in their contact list.  This would merge in the business card aspect, and I don't think it would be too hard to implement.

    Alerts - Amazing way to provide quick high level notifications.  I'd love to see some way for these alerts to tie in/further reduce morning announcements (assuming we could also get them running on a thread on the TVs/in an analog manner for non twit-arrers (Twarters?)

    Overall, awesome design, simple learning curve, reasonable for demand and needs, well-focused and controlled.

    Sparrow = approximately 45.5 km/h (Swallow would require more details such as whether it is African or European)

    Also - willing to help some with dev for next year - who to contact/where to reach out? (I'm probably more useful for Cruise Monkey than Twit-arr)
  • edited February 2015
    I thought it was fantastic this year. The twit-arr level alerts were great. The forums were great for organization.

    Only one thing drove me crazy - the "refresh" button appeared exactly where I thought "post" would appear when I was writing a twart. There were at least three twarts lost to this mistake. RIP.

    I agree that Facebook-style responses would be better in this context. The Twitter style only works because they hide posts starting with "@" unless you follow the person.

    Also, the DNS isn't your fault. It's not your fault.

  • Kvort, glad you're feeling better (sorry you had to feel better).

    Will you be making the Twit-arr archive available as in years past? I'm guessing it will be at https://jccc5.rylath.net/ or https://jcc5.rylath.net/.
  • edited February 2015
    Yes, it will be coming back up. I have the server and will likely get everything running tomorrow. After getting home late Wednesday night I had to work Thursday and then travel for work, and now I'm busy being sick.
  • I second everything @lostluck said.
  • Forums were supposed to scroll to the first unread message. I think I wrote that in at the very end, so I don't know if it worked / worked for everybody / worked on phones.

    All of the profile should have been searchable. I wanted to do some sort of keyword / interest thing but didn't come up with a design in time. Profiles are moving in the direction of business cards but more design work needs to be done here. Hopefully we'll have more free time since we're not throwing out the database design...  :P

    Did anyone who changed their time zone have any issue with the timestamps? Changing your clock would have completely screwed everything up. I'm pretty sure I posted an announcement to that effect...

    @rkcr - I did the same thing - I did it more when they were reversed, sadly. Needed more design work, but couldn't just skip it.  :)  It should NOT have wiped out the post when you refreshed... What browser / os?

    Archive will be coming back up - I want to set it up so that you can't see profile details unless you log in. This will keep everyone's profile information from being spread across the internet. Glenn has the server running - I just haven't been able to mess with the UI. I think the rest of the team has been working on the Ruby parts, but they don't seem to like Ember.js, and I've been just focusing on breathing.

    >>>>>>>  Nathan
  • Re: timezone/clock changes...

    I tried both approaches for the time change.  If I switch timezones, all of my local calendar events on my phone were off by 1 hour.  If I moved my clock forward by an hour and left the timezone as EST, then my calendar was fine, but Twit-arr messages would be off.  In the end, I decided that my local calendar was more important than Twit-arr, so I stuck with manual clock changes.

    Does this mean that Twit-arr relies on client time?
  • So I had a lengthy list of disappointments over in the post mortem thread, and I think it's about time that I elaborate on them here.  I do not want to take away from the fact that Twit-arr was an absolutely invaluable tool that I could not have managed without.  That being said, placed side by side with 2014's system, which I thought was damn near perfect, I found myself kind of disappointed.  Here are some bullet points which will hopefully be constructive to future development.

    -The Twitter style feed without threading or context for replies felt incredibly messy, and made a majority of posts meaningless.  I think inline replies function much better for the way we rapidly communicate.
    -Getting to a full twarrt thread required at least two clicks, which did not help with the above point.
    -Getting to your own user page was also not an obvious process.  I'm the type of user who pays a great deal of attention to my own posts, so I felt that was more frustrating than it should have been.
    -Along the same lines, limiting the posts on my own user page to recent posts made my older posts very difficult to track.
    -Also along the same lines, "5 people liked this" is fine for display purposes, but I would love a separate way to see a list of who those people are.
    -The twarrt stream, even on a fresh view, appeared to be based on the device's local time.  This meant that if my device's clock was out of sync with the server's clock (which happened frequently with the hour jumps), then I would not see my own posts on the twarrt stream for a few minutes, which made urgent posts frustrating to track.
    -It wasn't too bad, but the alert flag seemed to want to stick around for a bit after checking my new alerts.
    -Your posts displayed your Display Name, but your replies displayed your Username.  The inconsistency also contributed to making the twarrt feed hard to follow.
    -I'm sure that we're already aware of the unfortunately case sensitive hashtags.
    -It was not terribly clear if a photo was still uploading, especially when you could still post in the middle of the process.

    Hope that all makes sense.  Again, love the tool as much as I always have, and I look forward to what you guys come up with for 2016 :)
  • Can you expound on your use case for viewing your own user page? I think you're using it differently than I do - not a bad thing, but I need to understand in order to make it better.

    The "5 people liked this" is a feature filed under "don't have enough room on mobile". We'll add it to the list to see if we can figure out a way to make it better.

    Yes, the app uses local time, and from a programming standpoint, that's the way it should be, in cases where people are in multiple time zones. I'm honestly not sure this is solvable any other way. Given that, the tweet stream should show the latest posts. That's a bug on my part due to not thinking in four dimensions.  :)

    Yeah, I think we had an uploading status bar in 2014. I'll look into putting that back.
  • For the sake of accuracy, I'll wait until the archive comes back up to remember the detailed specifics of the user page :)
  • @kvort - I was using the latest Chrome app on the Moto X (5.0).
  • I'm apparently too old to "get" Twitter (or Twitarr) but i LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED the forums. I could follow posts, go back and find the original easily, find the newest post easily, see who was actually responding to ME and not some other twart.  Gods I loved the forums.  Seamail was useful ... twice? but I don't know that a lot of people actually realized it was there.

    Next year, if SeaMail remains part of Twitarr I plan to get a list of friend handles so I can Seamail them as necessary instead of throwing messages out into the Twartsphere and hope they look at the right time.  And I will definitely be creating and using forum posts (if the forums stay as well) to look for games, chat with people who share my interests and so on.

    Thank you for all your hard work on this. - Phone is a Droid Bionic running... something Androidy ;)

  • I failed to get access to CM for much of the cruise, so didn't get a chance to try out the forums.

    I wonder if having both forums and Twit-arr needless makes it more complicated to find information -- two places to look instead of one.
  • edited February 2015
    profile pics good. forums good.

    fb style comment threads would be much preferred personally. it drives me crazy to see posts that are clearly replying to something and have no easy way to see the conversation.

    *BLEEPING-BLEEPED-BLEEP* DNS server bad. might be better to not expect dns service from rci at all and just post the IP address on a big sign once you get set up...
  • edited February 2015
    Twit-Arr was great from my Windows Phone usage (nothing but IE11 web view of Twit-Arr and Wingar's alert app that worked pretty well). I got the sesame street sponsoring numbers fairly early on in the cruise and that was all I needed. (The Windows Phone Wifi login has a nice little "Skip" button and didn't need any Proxy magic to go straight to an IP address...)

    Profile pics were great. I am surprised that people wouldn't want them.

    I like the Twitter-style replies. I'll agree with the request to act like Twitter and "expand the whole thread" on the details page for a single twarrt and auto-show all the parents/original tweets. As for the "noisy-ness" of replies, I'm a twitter deluge user (I follow way too many people) so I'm okay with it, but I understand those that want some options to maybe filter it. One option might be an ability to mute/unmute threads(perhaps similarly to mute/unmute forum posts).

    I also think hashtags should be case-insensitive. I'm also crazy and like using emoji hashtags and feel those should be searchable as well.

    Finally, it's a shame that the weird word "twarrt" is now mainstream, but I'm on "Team I don't think we can do anything about that at this point". That said, I do think "Like" is too pedestrian a word for Twit-Arr and have sent a PR with this year's best suggestion for a better word than "Like" ("Meow").

  • It's kind of interesting that you mentioned that, Andy. I hadn't thought about it, but since us Windows Phone users didn't have a Cruise Monkey app, we went straight to using Twit-arr via the web browser. I know a lot of CM users accessed Twit-Arr via that app. When CM didn't work, did accessing Twit-arr directly via a web browser work, or was that use case obscured by the CM functionality?

    Dear god, that was a word salad. Sorry, my brain is way too tired to do better.
  • @gbasden I'm not sure I understood your question, but CM mostly didn't work on my iphone so I primarily used the Twitt-arr website. I think I may have accessed the CM subdirectory to see if it would work once? But mostly just checked Twitt-arr on the rare occasions that my phone could connect.
  • I was using Twit-arr mostly via the Chrome browser on my Android 4.4.4 phone as CM's access portal wasn't bringing up images consistently, and Twit-arr functionality through the browser was solid. Honestly, I think a lot of the consistency and refresh issues I had were not Twit-arr's fault but more network load and consistency -- I'd get my connection dropped mid-twarrt-composition sometimes which was frustrating but also not anything in Team Twit-arr's control.

    I didn't break the tablet (also Android 4.4.4) out on the Boat so it was just all small-screen use.

    Things I'd like to see going forward:

    - If we're going to have a Twitter-like feed, having one-click reply thread functionality would be preferable.

    - Ability to see who liked a twarrt. This doesn't have to be listed on the post as that's silly on a small screen (i.e. a post of "meow" with 20 lines listing people liking it would be rage-inducing for some), but maybe clicking on the "20 people like this" would open up a list of those people. I did that reflexively as I do it in Twitter as well and had to remind myself that Twit-arr didn't work that way EVERY SINGLE TIME I DID IT. Which is more a reflection on my lizard brain than anything else. Give me another week and I'd get it sorted.

    - Progress bar on image uploads.

    - IF there's ever a dedicated Twit-arr app (or Benjamin chooses to further expand Twit-arr functionality on CM), having a configurable notification setting for SeaMails and replies would be wonderful. I know this is not really practical with a browser-based deal, but being able to see an icon in the phone's status bar would be a functional improvement for me when I'm looking for a time-sensitive reply.

    That's about it from here. Other things have been mentioned already, so I'm not going to rehash it all.

    And... again, a huge THANK YOU to Team Twit-arr and Cruise Monkey for putting in epic amounts of work for things that get used for a week then get commented on and rejiggered for the next year. For me, having them made keeping track of events and people much easier.
  • I used twitarr more than I have in years past, because of the forums aspect.  I don't use twitter normally, and the deluge of messages is usually too overwhelming for me, though again the notifications made me so much happier as a person.  I could throw something out into the twartsphere and if someone replied, it would tell me and show me what was said.  That made it infinitely more useful to me. 

    A giant *hug* for the server issue.  I know Kvort and I talked on the boat and I could definitely feel his frustration at the IT people (and desire to get to the servers himself so he could fix it :D) Nothing can quite match that frustration of knowing what is wrong, that you can fix it, but not being allowed to do so.

    I agree that it would be nice to have an expansion of who liked what if you clicked on it would be nice.

    I mentioned this in the official feedback thread, but I think THO should consider paying you somehow for your work on this since it has become such an integral part of communication on the cruise.  :) 
  • "Yes, the app uses local time, and from a programming standpoint, that's the way it should be, in cases where people are in multiple time zones. I'm honestly not sure this is solvable any other way."

    Store all times in UTC and display in localtime on devices?  Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the problem?

  • If I wasn't clear about that issue, it wasn't a matter of the time that was displayed in the posts, but the fact that the stream was using local time to determine the "latest" posts to display, regardless of whether or not newer posts existed.  Does that make sense?
  • @arenson9 You misunderstand Jason, the forums were in Twitarr not Cruise Monkey.  I used the web site for Twitarr most of the time because CM only had Tweets/twarts/meows and NOT the forums/seamail included.  Cruise Monkey was only opened to check show times for me once I found out I couldn't look at anything but the tweet list in it.
  • To be fair to @RangerRick, he didn't get to integrating Twitarr into CruiseMonkey until the final month pretty much before the cruise.  I tried to help him as much as I could.   Hopefully now, we will be a bit farther a long to forward the integration of twitarr and CruiseMonkey. 

    As for an app for Twitarr, I would think we should just continue the integration into CruiseMonkey instead of making another app. 

    @mikesphar - Twitarr does store everything as UTC (since that was what the server timezone was set to).  We sent all twarts times in ISO 8601 in zulu time.  The problem on displaying time was users changed their hour, not their timezone, so the timezone math was wrong.  As to @thalandor46, yeah, if the app was using client time, instead of server time for requesting newer tweets, that should be consider a bug.  I think the server sent back the timestamp, that the latest tweets was given, so the client should have used that time for requesting new posts, instead of "refresh" time. 

    I already fixed the hashtag being case sensitive :-)  I totally missed that while developing, whoops.  That was unintentional.

    The meow thing, I think instead of always replacing meow, maybe only change, "like" to meow after the use click a small "cat" icon on the bottom right of the page to get that view.

    RE: "I mentioned this in the official feedback thread, but I think THO should
    consider paying you somehow for your work on this since it has become
    such an integral part of communication on the cruise.  :)"
      - Not sure on the other developers/IT folks feelings, but I don't want to be paid, this is a good way for me use my talents for the SeaMonkey community.  Others give ShadowCruise events to teach people their art, or to perform for people, this isn't much different other than the art is created before the cruise, and we just get to see people enjoy the art after its creation on the ship.
  • edited February 2015
    @tasermonkey - I had set it to generate a timestamp on the client side when requesting "latest" tweets. It seemed like a good idea at the time.  :)
  • Confused. Twit-arr had some sort of forums? Really?
  • @Chicazul That was entirely what I was trying to ask - if CruiseMonkey wasn't working, did people know to go directly to the Twit-arr webpage. I'm glad the answer was yes!

    @arenson9 Indeed there was! If you clicked on the little hamburger menu in the upper left corner, it gave you access to the twaart feed, seamail/direct messages or forums. The forum community was pretty robust, and one of my favorite new features.
  • "The problem on displaying time was users changed their hour, not their timezone, so the timezone math was wrong."

    Oooooh, yeah, I don't know any good solution to that problem either.

  • After the first day or two the cruise I gave up on using Twittaar via CruiseMonkey. The browser didn't burn through my phone's battery (possibly a localized occurrence) and I used CruiseMonkey largely as an event listing from then on.
  • Since our Windows phones were useless last year, this is the first year I've used Twittarr, and when I could get through the RCI server issues, I loved it!  I especially liked the forums, as I'm more comfortable with forums than with Twitter in the Real World.  I had no problem finding the forums, but then again I was sleeping with tech support, so maybe he showed them to me and I just don't remember?  :P  (Thanks Sweetie!!)

    I will say that reading Twittarr on the full sized screen on the server was easier than on a phone screen, as I sometimes had problems getting it to page down to older posts on my phone.  That may have been a function of issues with the RCI connection, not a Twittarr issue.  It did make me think that if I weren't sharing a cabin with the server, I might prefer reading Twittarr on a tablet rather than on a phone, even given how big my phone is.

    I enjoyed the Twittarr flow of the Twarts, but being able to switch to a threaded version to follow conversations would definitely have been helpful.  But again, I prefer forums for meaningful conversations, and view Twitter and Twittarr as more of a random comment stream anyway.

    As for another term for "Like", wouldn't "Arrr!" be more thematic, for a positive affirmation?  It seems to be what we all do, anyway!

    Being on a Windows phone, CruiseMonkey didn't work for me, so I accessed Twittarr through the web page.  Although occasionally, when I couldn't get the web page to load, I discovered I could access it via the CruiseMonkey webpage, which was roundabout, and weird, but worked. 

    I tried to use CruiseMonkey through the webpage route, hoping to at least view the schedules and maps and such, but I could never get the calendar to load, and I could only load the even numbered deck maps.  Which was really odd.  Only the Twittarr link worked for me on CruiseMonkey. 
  • Since I never could get CM Events working, I only used the Twit-arr website. It worked just fine on my iPad and iPhone. I was glad that I had saved the schedule PDFs and added the Google calendar to my phone.

    I agree with others that switching back to the FB-style comment threads seems to be a good choice for the group. Scrolling through the many responses to get to the other posts was a bit annoying at times. 

    I also agree that perhaps next year we shouldn't even bother hoping DNS will work and go straight to the IP address. 

    Overall, it was awesome!
  • edited February 2015
    Since I am no longer sick and all of the bathrooms in my house work again (those are not connected data points, BTW) I am getting read-only mode set up!

    I also have statistics:
    668 Users
    9300 Twarts
    1200 Photo uploads
    1700 Forum posts
    5800 Seamails

    Lyssapearl got the last twart in:  "Enjoy your year long land cruise, monkeys. See you next year!! <3 #meow"
  • I didn't use Twit-arr this year (apart from a few twarts before official events started) because I took the Temperance Pledge, which was something I sorely needed to do for my own mental health. HOWEVER, I'm glad this thing existed and that so many people got so much use and enjoyment out of it. Thanks for doing it.
  • edited February 2015
    All right - twitarr is back up in read-only mode at http://jccc5.rylath.net - the only thing that is modifiable (or should be) is the profile, so you can add (or remove) profile information at this point.

    I just changed the DNS, so it may be a while before that URL becomes visible for everyone. In about 24 hours I'll post it to the facebook group.

    We made the decision that you HAVE to be logged into twitarr to see anything - this is to keep people's personal information (i.e. their profile, posts, etc) from being spread across the internet. We've also disabled user creation. 

    Also, Glenn usually turns off the server after about a month - so save your pictures and profile information while you can.

    Let me know if anybody has issues.

    >>>>>>>>  Nathan
  • Thanks, Nathan!

  • edited March 2015
    Oh right! About the user page...

    From the side menu, my display name is in text and does not link me anywhere.  Seamail, Forums, Tweets, Search, Help, and Logout are almost certainly not what I'm looking for.  If I go to Profile, it takes me to a page where I can edit my information, but nowhere to view my user page.  Alerts is the only page that actually gets me where I'm trying to go.  The Tweet Mentions section lists 20 posts in which I'm replied or otherwise tagged, each of which contains an @username, and clicking on that @username takes me to my user page, the only place where I can see my 50 most recent posts and their Like status.  That got me as far back as Fancy Shmancy Ice Skating, and as far as I can tell, there is no way to view any more of my posting history.

    tl;dr: To view my own user page, I have to go Home -> Menu -> Alerts -> Embedded link in a post.  I think it should be Home -> Menu -> [Menu item to my own user page].
  • I was just cleaning out my phone's memo app and found a few twitt-arr suggestions I'd never sent in.  Might as well do that now instead of in January....

    Twitt-arr profiles: Might maybe possibly be nice to have a field for Twitter, Facebook, JoCo forum names, for future off-ship contacts.

    Proxy directions, when needed, could be put in the app itself, instead of in the Sea Monkey.

    Forums w/ new posts could be listed w/ a different background color, so they stand out more — “5 new posts” vs just “5 posts” didn’t jump out as much.

    Timezones: Just have the server calculate the correct timezone based on the current date, and send both time+offset to the client if it needs it.  We know in advance when the timezones will change, so just make a cron job on the server to update /etc/localtime twice during the cruise.

    Timezone bonus: at one point on jccc5 I took my phone out of airplane mode and it changed my phone's timezone to GMT.  Not helpful for not missing events.  But if the twitt-arr webserver knows the correct time, it could pop up an unobtrusive nag banner at the top of the page if the client-side Javascript detects that the server and client timestamps are more than, say, 20 minutes off.  This might help people whose timezone gets hosed by RCI's cell tower, or are changing the time instead of the timezone, or who are named Paul Sabourin.  (Or it could just annoy them, but it could be dismissed and a cookie set to keep it from reappearing.)

    DNS failboat avoidance (for CruiseMonkey anyway): find out if there's some kind of broadcast/multicast service discovery that could be done.  I poked around with tcpdump a little on jccc5 and found their Philips APs were dropping everything useful here, including Bonjour frames and all IPv6.  (IPv6 woulda been awesome 'cause you coulda just hardcoded the fe80:: link-local address in -- because the server MAC address is known ahead of time.)  Maybe just ask RCI in advance if there's a discovery mechanism that could work as a fallback?

    Dev vs production DNS idea (for CruiseMonkey): maybe auto-switch between production and dev DNS names based on date/time.  That's also known in advance, after all, and device clocks will be accurate enough for that, especially on day 1.

  • FYI, I've started a Slack for cruisemonkey/twitarr development (and anything else if people just feel like chatting...)

    You can get an invite by going here: http://cm.raccoonfink.com/slack/
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