Campfire sounds off Jason 22 Feb 2006

32 comments Latest by wdk

Just a quick note: We just implemented sound notifications in Campfire. This was the #1 customer request so far. See, we do listen!! ;)

A big part of text-chat is the audible component that lets you know there’s something new to read. So now when you’re in a Campfire chat, and someone says something new, you’ll hear a little beep (custom made by Ryan!). You can turn it on/off on a per-room basis by clicking the little grey speaker icon in the upper right corner. It saves the on/off state for you so next time you enter that room your sound preference is saved.

Sounds work when your chat window is in or out of focus. Unfortunately Safari won’t play the sound if the Campfire room’s tab isn’t the active tab (but it will if Campfire is in a separate window). Hopefully Apple will allow for that in the future.

How does it work? A combination of Javascript and Flash make it happen. Special thanks to Dave Rosen for the Flash help (we happened to find him in a Campfire chat room, in fact). Much appreciated.

So, thanks for the requests and keep ‘em coming. We have a lot planned for Campfire (yes, including Basecamp integration and an API), so stay tuned.

32 comments so far (Jump to latest)

codemonkey 22 Feb 06

Congrats! Works great.

topfunky 22 Feb 06

I noticed that a few minutes ago. Now that’s agile!

Alexandre Simard 22 Feb 06

Just used Campfire for real for the first time today. One feature we were looking for is the ability to “kick” someone out of the room. Of course, the traditional way is to have a room operator who has additional rights, but I’m guessing this brings too much complexity for your tastes. I’d still like to see you tackle this problem, 37Signals style.

RS 22 Feb 06

One feature we were looking for is the ability to �kick� someone out of the room.

Campfire is really about teams and special guests. So the ‘kick’ feature isn’t commonly needed like on IRC and public chats.

Alexandre Simard 22 Feb 06

Oh, and we had one other problem. We had people joining the room as guests, then the admin sent them an invite. Once they had opened an account, Campfire would not let them log in with their member account, only with their previous guest login. It seems leaving a room (the only action available to guests) does not log off your guest session. I suppose I could delete cookies, but there’s no easy way to not delete all cookies at once in Safari.

I guess this would be more appropriate for support, sorry about that. It’s just that it’s so fresh in my memory, and I’m not the account holder. Thanks for listening!

Alexandre Simard 22 Feb 06

Campfire is really about teams and special guests. So the �kick� feature isn�t commonly needed like on IRC and public chats.

I know. As you’ll see in my previous comment, we were trying to build the team through guest access, and that proved quite difficult. A “kick” feature would have helped us get rid of duplicate participants, and would also have helped us better use our limits.

By the way, I just found out how to selectively delete cookies in Safari (Preferences>Security>View Cookies). Still seems like I shouldn’t have to do this, though. Thanks again!

nate 22 Feb 06

You might already know this, but the Safari issue stems from the fact Safari “pauses” all Flash movies that live in any tab other than the current one; so technically I think this is a feature.

If it’s that big an issue, you could probably create a hidden QuickTime element via JavaScript (safe to assume it’s installed since this is an Apple-only issue).

Sam Stephenson 22 Feb 06

Nate, we tried with a QuickTime embed element for Safari — it’s paused in background tabs, too. Thanks for the suggestion.

Chris Wanstrath 22 Feb 06

I love that the number of unread messages appears in the chat’s title when you are viewing another tab. Very nice touch.

Sam Stephenson 22 Feb 06

Brian, does the problem go away if you put spaces between the words in your room’s name?

Brian Anderson 22 Feb 06

Sam, yes! Now the text wraps nicely around the speaker icon.

Aaron 22 Feb 06

I’m hanging out for the mobile version which will run on a series-60 Nokia N70 /w Opera 8 or “light” browser - or an API which can be used to make a symbian/java app. Would be awesome!

EgoBoy 22 Feb 06

small … yet huge

Jin 22 Feb 06

Hope there will be a quick how-to for “a little beep” on Javascript & Flash ;p

bcm 22 Feb 06

Good idea, that was one of the major things I didn’t like about it.

It would also be nice if the guest URLs were a lot more user friendly. For example if the chat was called “Ruby on Rails” the generated guest URL would go something like

The random letters is kind of a bummer. Overall nice app.

Aaron 22 Feb 06

It works in IE 7 too, with a few layout bugs. I like.

Nathaniel Brown 22 Feb 06

One might desire to have the sound notification be able to mark keywords, or tags. Such as if Nathan pops up, or nshb, in the case of my IRC nickname, that the message goes off.

Matt/SLAPSHOTW 23 Feb 06

BCM and Tony,

The great thing about the random URLs is that they change for every room, and everytime you turn on or off guest access. If you want to invite people to a room once, but don’t want them to be able to come back freely after you’ve turned guest access back off and on, you wouldn’t be able to do that with the same URL.


cosmin 23 Feb 06

So now Campfire requires Ajax and Flash :)
Silly me, I thought that Ajax can do it all by himself when it comes to RIA’s :>

Sam Stephenson 23 Feb 06

No cosmin, Campfire doesn’t require Flash. If you don’t have Flash you won’t hear sounds (and you won’t get any dialog boxes asking you to install Flash either).

Brian B. 23 Feb 06

So glad you added sound… however, it’s not working as it should under the following circumstances:

1) We have one room set up for organization insiders with guest access OFF, and a second room set up with guest access turned ON.

2) The sound works fine in the Guest Room, but not in the first room.

I have checked to verify that sound is activated in both rooms.

Using the Maxthon browser (IE shell).

JF 23 Feb 06

Brian, if you are having issues please email support. SvN isn’t the place for tech support. Thanks.

gwg 23 Feb 06

I used ‘real’ campfire with this new sound feature in a Gizmodo campfire last night. Really great work.

cosmin 23 Feb 06

So you don’t mention to your clients that the sound feature requires flash?

Noah Winecoff 23 Feb 06

Flippin sweet!

Phil 23 Feb 06

I was thinking to myself: ewww, Flash.

Then I realized if your target audience is people who don’t know what IRC is, you probably aren’t shooting for the kind of people who disable Flash.

BrandonM 23 Feb 06

Great addition. Thanks guys!

Chad Sakonchick 23 Feb 06

Awesome addition…one I wanted badly. Now can we get a sound that isn’t so annoying?

wdk 23 Mar 06

OK, so I’m a little slow….

The beep noise is awesome. In most chat programs I turn it off, on account of how annoying it is. Not so with Campfire, I love it.

Now, I am still waiting on my pony integration and pork chop sandwiches.