[Balloons.io][balloons] is a very nice project from Ricardo Rauch, He describes it as a multi-room chat server using nodejs, socket.io, expressjs and other javascript technologies.

It has a pretty neat design and covers a need I have, also It’s a very interesting project for me so I started to improve it to my needs, and I could test some new functionalities/technologies in between.

I have working some time on it, the first functionality I added was the posibility to paste urls with an image, so the server will easily get if there is an image and will create a thumbnail with the easyimage package accordingly.

This was a nice feature to begin getting comfortable with this code, but I have more ideas I want to build soon, these are the features:

  • WebRTC: Using WebRTC to interact with people is the most interesting of the ideas I want to develop, I am starting to do some experiments with the webrtc.io package and the results are nice, my idea is that you could be able to use it with the people in your room.

  • Messages: Right now you are not able to get the messages you didn’t see before, and if you refresh the page the messages are gone, that’s not good for me, I need the messages to be persistent. I will check if I can do that with Redis and the current code, otherwise I will probably switch to mongodb, because I already did several things with it and It doesn’t need any data structure, I think will be good, at least in the beginning.

  • Hubot: Yes! That’s awesome! We were already using hubot in my former company IRC, but I think we could have more uses for it now, I have checked some resources and functionalities I could find useful to get hubot running with Balloons.

I would like also to have an admin for everything(kick people from rooms, control who could access which room, etc), but that’s for the next phase.

If you are interested, you can follow the development of the project in this github repository. [balloons]: http://balloons.io/