Web application messaging

Posted on 2013-01-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-02-12

Please see details below -

We have a web based module that will allow the master admin to send a one-way chat to users. Users will be able to see the chat/messages in a web based browser window that will pop-up whenever a new message is sent.

The window will display the posts from the most recent at the top to the older ones on the bottom.  Messages will only appear in the chat window for 24 hours, messages older than this will not be seen.
The page will auto refresh every 2 minutes or so to get the most recent updates/messages.

If a new message is posted, a sound will go on and the window will pop up to the front of the user’s desktop. If an attachment is uploaded by the admin, a hyperlink will be displayed for the user to download it.

We would like to know if the following are possible with a web application -
a) In a minimized state, can the web browser window be made to pop-up when a new message is received by the user (logged in)?
b) For users who do not have speakers or sound turned on, Can any kind of special visual effects be made like flashing the window header bar, title etc to notify them that a new meesage has come?
c) Is there a solution available which will play sound in Firefox browser (we have tried the audio tag in HTML 5 which works only in Chrome and IE9)?

If any of these are possible, immediate responses would be appreciated.

Question by:Web_Sight
  • 2
LVL 111

Accepted Solution

Ray Paseur earned 1500 total points
ID: 38826410
I think this is all possible if you can get the client to install something on the client computer that will repeatedly poll your server.  Example: An RSS reader.  You may be able to cause repeated polling with something like jQuery, too.  Repeated polling is a necessity in this design because the server cannot initiate communication with the client; it can only respond to a request.  That is a law of the HTTP protocol.

The nature of client-server systems is really very simple: Clients make requests and servers make responses.  Each request is atomic, complete and stateless, and each response is complete and usually instantaneous.  And that's it -- the server sends the response, disconnects, and waits for the next request.

As a result of the client-server RESTful design, there is no such thing as a logged-in client.  The client sends cookies, and the server can use the content of these cookies to make different decisions about how to trust and treat the communications with that client, but after each request, the server is still disconnected, and the client is still stateless.
LVL 111

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 38879639
You asked if things were possible.  What was wrong with the answer?  Why did you give a bad grade?

Please tell me what you were expecting and why you didn't pursue the question if you were not satisfied.  Thanks, ~Ray

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