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Search-Function for Conversations

phreakphreak VanillaAPP - White label iOS and Android App MVP
edited May 2017 in Feedback

Hi all,

I wanted to ask if anyone of you ever tried to work on a simple search for "Conversation" in Vanilla. My community requests that and the rise of Messengers clearly shows people like to PM much more than ever before.

What approach would make sense for your community. A search input on the "Conversation List" (search among all conversations) or would it be better to have it inside the "Conversation" (search inside a conversation)?

Would be great to hear your opinion. From community managers need to developers opinion what is doable and smart ways to achieve.

Greetz, phreak


  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

    Personally, I don't really understand the request.

    Conversations, by design, are private between the users involved. Allowing them to be searchable removes that privacy.

    And what would you do even if you searched and found a conversation you were interested in?

    You can't join unless you are invited, so you'd need to send a separate message to ask to join.

  • phreakphreak VanillaAPP - White label iOS and Android App MVP
    edited May 2017

    @whu606: You misunderstood me a bit. Users would only be able to search through their own conversations.

    People in my community look up addresses or phone numbers (or any other info) that got sunk in their long private conversations. Scrolling up and loading the rest of the conversation after several days of talk makes Vanilla conversations quiet unhandy.

    I guess we need new tools as private messaging has become more than just a side functionality in your favorite forum (where I think it was between 1995 and 2015). ;)

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator
  • R_JR_J Cheerleader & Troubleshooter Munich Moderator

    As far as I know there is no such functionality. Mixing it into the normal search sounds as if it has to confuse people, so adding it to the conversations page is almost a requirement.

    I started to write something like that right now, since in the days when I used forums quite heavily, I would have loved to have such a possibility!

    I started adding a module to the panel in /messages/all which offers a little input box. When you enter some words and press enter, you are taken to a result page just like the results for discussions.
    I'll start with the most basic functionality: search in conversation bodies.

    I don't know if I will ever find time, but I think it should be extended to also accept user, subject and date filters.

    Another fine thing would be to extend this module to also appear when a user looks at a discussion and make the button a drop down button which gives the option to either do a normal search or directly search in this conversation... =)

  • R_JR_J Cheerleader & Troubleshooter Munich Moderator

    For anybody interested: I have a (fully?) working version on GitHub:
    BEWARE: I have renamed the plugin and the repo shows an old name. The files would need to be stored in /plugins/conversationSearch!

    Since it is quite obvious what it should do, let me mention what you might expect but what is not implemented:

    • search in subjects
    • any sort of filtering
    • search in unread messages

    I have intentionally decided against searching in unread messages. Maybe I make this an option, but I don't think it is reasonable.

    What I want to do before uploading here:

    • change the click target (by now you have to click on the subject, I think the message should open when you click on the list entry)
    • enhance module with an option to search only in the current conversation
  • R_JR_J Cheerleader & Troubleshooter Munich Moderator

    @phreak: if you find the time, a sleek icon would be great - maybe some combination of a magnifying glass and an inbox symbol?

  • R_JR_J Cheerleader & Troubleshooter Munich Moderator

    I failed when trying to change the click target.

    Implementing the nice dropdown button for searching in the current conversation would have required to use JavaScript and I didn't want to do that, so I've added a checkbox (if appropriate)

    I changed the logic to always include unread messages.

    Searching in subjects, filtering and sorting isn't implemented and I do not plan to add this.

  • phreakphreak VanillaAPP - White label iOS and Android App MVP

    @R_J: Amazing. I am busy with a fair currently but I am eager to check it out the coming week. Thanks for your efforts.

  • would like to find out more

  • hi @jonooh02 let's try this again!!!

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