Memail Push notifier July 14, 2013 4:25 PM   Subscribe

I find myself carrying on conversations in MeMail in more or less real time, and refreshing a lot. Would server load be less if there was a push notification feature?

I often refresh repeatedly when I'm anxious for an answer, and never feel right doing it because I figure if everyone does that, it impacts the server. Do enough people even do that to significantly affect server load? Even if not, it would be a nice feature, though pressing refresh isn't a big deal if push notification is low on the priority list.

Also, I'm sure there's a greasemonkey script that does this, but I only use public terminals because I don't own a computer of any sort. So it has to be native features only, for me. I know there are others in the same position, including some that I regularly memail. Any suggestions for a "portable greasemonkey" alternative, for this and other features?
posted by MoTLD to Feature Requests at 4:25 PM (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Portable Firefox can be run off a flash drive, and supports Greasemonkey.
posted by box at 4:33 PM on July 14, 2013


I'm not sure what you mean by "push notification" but you do know you can forward all mefi mail to your email address, right? When someone sends you something, you'll get an immediate email about it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:42 PM on July 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


By push I mean, the "x new" thing pops up instantly or near so when a memail arrives, without having to refresh the page to see it. Kinda like the comments notification currently does, and could probably reuse most of the same code to save time and trouble.

Unfortunately, I don't currently have access to email. My google account password was on a microsd card that got lost. Eventually, someone will decrypt my passwords database and sell them back to me. In the mean time, I try to remember my backup password, but obviously I have too many passwords to remember already so I stick to memail. Anyone worth emailing should sign up anyway, right? No spam, and it's only $5... ;)

I've considered portable firefox, but am worried after the lost sd card incident. So I keep a few addresses and passwords in memory, like this one, and the rest I rely on the infrastructure to provide, like the hotel computer I'm currently using.

As an aside, anybody with a good microsd card reader which supports a hardware write protect, memail me, please! I gave away my KanGuru because it was too bulky. :(
posted by MoTLD at 4:58 PM on July 14, 2013


You know you can get a new email address and then update the one in your profile...
posted by radioamy at 5:23 PM on July 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I would suggest signing up a new email account at any free provider that gives you roaming access to the account wherever you view MeFi, then you'd know exactly when people respond to you.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:25 PM on July 14, 2013


NOOOO! Do not want this pony. The notification is that you switch your discussion to your regular email and get your regular email notification.
posted by frecklefaerie at 9:05 PM on July 14, 2013


I think forwarding to an online email account should work for this, without working pb any harder.
posted by arcticseal at 10:12 PM on July 14, 2013


Isn't there an option to reload tabs after a set time when using Firefox?
posted by marienbad at 2:07 AM on July 15, 2013


Isn't there an option to reload tabs after a set time when using Firefox?

I know that there are add-ons that will do that, I'm not sure of FF has any built in natively.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 AM on July 15, 2013


I used to use one when I subbed. I heard David Bowie when it ch-ch-ch-ch-changed.
posted by theichibun at 7:17 AM on July 15, 2013


Can I add a pony and request an option to reply to a MeMail directly from email? The notifier doesn't even give you a "respond to this message" link, so every time you read a message you have to click over to read the message a second time, then click to reply, and when another response comes in it's another clickfest.

This would be less of a problem if the feature was used as an email replacement, but it seems to've become a pseudo-IM client with some users with a lot of back-and-forth—at which point email notifications are practically useless.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:56 AM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


We're pretty resistant to adding features for MeMail. It's intended for being a way for users who don't know each other and/or don't want to disclose personal details to be able to contact one another. At the point at which people are using it for IM or rapid-fire contacting, we sort of feel that you've left the bounds of what the tool is for and should shift to email or maybe a private room in the chat client.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 AM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do think at least there should be a "Click here to reply" link in the email. That would be very helpful.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:52 AM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do think at least there should be a "Click here to reply" link in the email.

We can try and think through whether there's any significant issues with that, yeah. It's hard to get completely away from the problem of people taking any mefi/email overlap as an endorsement of the idea that mefimail will expand to *be* their email client, but we can at least think about how that'd play into that balance. And what Jess said.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:04 PM on July 15, 2013


I suspect Metafilter gets enough traffic that one person refreshing frequently will be a drop in the ocean.
posted by Magnakai at 3:19 PM on July 15, 2013


By push I mean, the "x new" thing pops up instantly or near so when a memail arrives, without having to refresh the page to see it. Kinda like the comments notification currently does, and could probably reuse most of the same code to save time and trouble.

I've found that devs with decision-making power (or decision-making teams who give the devs their priority list) don't like being given advice about how to implement "X" when the question is whether to implement "X," especially in this day and age where only the most insanely outlandish requests might be completely out of the realm of possibility.

I once had a guy come to me with a "solution to a problem instead of a problem" and he said "yeah, you could like, read stuff from a file, and then put it in another file..." No shit, just ask me what you want and we'll go from there ;)

Plus, in this case I don't see a lot of re-use potential anyway (which is something all good devs are keenly aware of at all times when "implement new thing" is asked of them), but I'm a ".NET desktop client application" guy.

I think the message relay is overkill (being able to respond to a forwarded MeMail) but having a link to the MeMail is a good idea and then maybe NO NEW FEATURES FOR YOU! ONE YEAR!
posted by lordaych at 6:36 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


By push I mean, the "x new" thing pops up instantly or near so when a memail arrives, without having to refresh the page to see it. Kinda like the comments notification currently does, and could probably reuse most of the same code to save time and trouble.

The comments thing makes sense because it trades more requests for less bandwidth: your browser now polls the site every X seconds, but then it only receives the new comments rather than the entire text/ html and any uncached assets associated with the page. The trade-off doesn't make as much sense for the MeMail page because it gets a lot less traffic. Unless you have a zillion threads in your inbox and you refresh the page every 10 seconds anyway, the change wouldn't be positive. And even then, you'd probably be the only nut exhibiting that behavior, so in aggregate it wouldn't be a win.

I think the "Click to reply" link is a safe addition.
posted by yerfatma at 7:44 AM on July 16, 2013


Push notification is available in the Mefi iCabal App, version 2.1. You can download it from the Apple Elitetm AppStore, as long as your iPhone is running iOS Platinum 9.4. Just remember that the muggles running regular iPhones won't have access to that app store or iPhone version, due to their uncoolness. It's funny, but some of them don't even know about the MeFi Super Yacht where we have the meetups for Premium subscribers, I mean how could you miss all the references?

Also, you never heard any of that from me.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:31 AM on July 16, 2013


So, I'm getting that the consensus is that MeMail is something that many folks thought was a bad idea in the first place, and was grudgingly added anyway, but shouldn't get any new features added to it because that might encourage its use instead of taking private discussions to email?

Odd. Why do we even have MeMail? I guess I need to read that MeTa, it must've been quite interesting! I get the feeling I've tapped into an undercurrent of unresolved tension from that discussion here, as these comments seem a bit pointed for the simple pony request I made.

Anyway, for those of us who prefer not to use email for whatever strange reason, is there any chance of feature requests for MeMail being taken seriously, or should we just be glad we've got it at all?
posted by MoTLD at 4:54 PM on July 16, 2013


Why do we even have MeMail?

The original reasoning was so that members could have a way of contacting other members if they were not comfortable sharing their personal contact information. It was intended to be a way that users could private message one another. I don't get that people think it was a bad idea. It's totally turn-offable if people don't want to use it.

I think the issue that you're seeing is that the way you use MeMail is super edge-casey and so a lot of people are doing the XY Problem response where they're nitpicking your chosen solution. The good news is that it's edge casey enough that the thing you don't want to do, hit refresh all the time, is actually a just fine thing to be doing and doesn't really impact server load at all.

MeMail was basically intended to serve a single simple purpose. We don't want to reinvent email or IM or IRC with it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:19 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


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