XF 2.1 Push notifications

Kevin

Well-known member
{checks my current server settings....}

Has it been confirmed that GMP 6.0 is good enough or should we be looking at getting the version updated? :unsure:
 

Rudy

Well-known member
Definitely look forward to the notifications "officially" now. I did use Pushover for some notices on a couple of forums, but cost prohibited me from offering it to anyone but staff. I still use it for server alerts from monit so it's not a total loss.
Project Treble to the rescue. Treble is mandatory for official certified Androids and was introduced with Oreo. And Oreo already has a significant market share. :whistle: Really hope that will push an end to the fragmentation argument.
Or do what I do--just get a Pixel and be done with it. I never want latest/greatest/most powerful/most-likely-to-make-me-into-a-hipster phone out there. Haven't bought anything but Nexus or Pixel phones in the past several years--luckily the Pixels are fine quality, although they have the pricetag to match. I have fundamental issues with the "other company named for a fruit" that I refuse to ever touch their products...
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
I asked my forum members about this. Generally it seems they value notifications from the dentist an hour before an appointment etc, but for everything else the computer should be quiet and know its place.

So I suggest we have push notifications that tell members that in about an hour there will be a very important and useful post on the forum.

Would that be possible?
 
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Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
I asked my forum members about this. Generally it seems they value notifications from the dentist an hour before an appointment etc, but for everything else the computer should be quiet and know its place.

So I suggest we have push notifications that tell members that in about an hour there will be a very important and useful post on the forum.

Would that be possible?
We'll get right on it!
 

WoodiE

Well-known member
XenForo 2.1 we are increasing this to a minimum of PHP 5.6. Now, PHP 5.6 is still pretty old by today's standards, so you may be interested to understand why we have settled on that as our new minimum PHP version.
The issue here, if not already said, is that PHP 5.6 stops getting any updates after December of this year.

Sure a precentage of your customers still use it, but I think if you really cared about them you'd raise that PHP requirement thats SUPPORTED and educate why a newer version is needed instead.

To those of you forum admins running 5.6 you really need to make plans in upgrading dinner rather than later.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
The issue here, if not already said, is that PHP 5.6 stops getting any updates after December of this year.

Sure a precentage of your customers still use it, but I think if you really cared about them you'd raise that PHP requirement thats SUPPORTED and educate why a newer version is needed instead.

To those of you forum admins running 5.6 you really need to make plans in upgrading dinner rather than later.
People have a wide variety of reasons for sticking with older PHP versions, be that technical expertise, restrictions in their hosting environment or other software that might not be quite so up to date. All we can do is educate them and provide incentives for doing so.

Regardless of what other customers do, it doesn’t ever stop you from using a much newer version of PHP and it won’t ever stop us from making sure our software supports the latest and greatest.

It’s quite offensive to imply that we don’t care about our customers, to be honest 😉 In fact, that’s obviously a good reason not to alienate 40% of them before it’s necessary 🙂
 

vbresults

Well-known member
It's great to see this in motion. There are three blind spots in the implementation, IMO. My feedback, based on experience:
  1. There's an underestimated high chance of being overwhelmed by support requests from putting the bulk of the logic client-side in the add-on
  2. No iOS is a big mistake, the number of devices that you'll miss out of is massive; go native Safari Push on desktop, Facebook Messenger for iOS and all other OSes that don't have native push (so even IE8 can opt-in). It's unconventional but it works and works well.
  3. If your intention, by not allowing usergroup-level control, is to have the feature not only accessible to the highest number of members, but actually used (the whole point), a modal prompt after logging in is the only viable way I've found.

    I started with something similar to what you are trying (toggle push notifications), and the result was disastrous. Almost nobody turned it on (<1% of active users), and the value these forums got out of the push system was virtually nil.

    The switch was then made to prompts. After mistakes in the implementation were corrected, it was really cool to watch the number of people register for notifications skyrocket, and activity on forums increase in real time.
 
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Alfa1

Well-known member
Yes, modal prompt works great. I have 16K PUSH subscribers in OneSignal which is growing with 1K per month. That would never happen with a setting that needs to be searched & found for somewhere deep in account settings. Users need to be asked. Else they will never consider it. I'd have 500 PUSH subscribers without a modal prompt.
 
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Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
There's an underestimated high chance of being overwhelmed by support requests from putting the bulk of the logic client-side
There’s really not a way around that. The APIs involved are all client side.

No iOS is a big mistake, the number of devices that you'll miss out of is massive; go native Safari Push on desktop, Facebook Messenger for iOS and all other OSes that don't have native push (so even IE8 can opt-in). It's unconventional but it works and works well.
Not our mistake. I’m comfortable with essentially boycotting Apple/WebKit until they see sense and implement functionality that even Microsoft has. Frankly if browser vendors aren’t implementing this functionality (or users aren’t using software recent enough to support it) then that’s their loss.
 

Kevin

Well-known member
Just adding my 2 cents...

As much as I *love* seeing push coming as a stock feature I would also like to see some type of modal prompt for turning them on (assuming you guys weren't already planning for it). If they'll only be available by going into the user control panel and turning them on in there then I can almost guarantee that on my site that I'll end up being the only person who'd be using them.

Ideally it'd also be tied in so a reward is given for opting in so being able to assign a trophy would be nice. 🏆

At least for me it'd also be nice if opting in was a user criteria so that targeted announcements could be done. 📢
 

vbresults

Well-known member
There’s really not a way around that. The APIs involved are all client side.
I am referring to the add-on, not the push API JS when I say "client-side" (bad choice of words, it was confusing in hindsight). If the back-end push logic is managed by XF's cloud/endpoint, it would be plug and play; customers don't have to worry about:
  • What PHP version they have and extensions above the minimum XF requirements
  • Provisioning a Firebase/Google Cloud account for compatibility with older versions of Android's push implementation
  • Having to update their XenForo install if Google or Apple make a change (security or otherwise) to their backend
In terms of extended coverage where the Push API isn't available, it would also avert the need for customers to:
  • Buy an Apple Developer Account, provision the certificate, and adjust to meet the requirements for browser validation
  • Create a Facebook App and pass the review process for permissions needed to use it as a push medium
In the later versions of the add-on I used to develop, putting back-end push logic on the API allowed it to run on even ancient vB 3.x forums.
I’m comfortable with essentially boycotting Apple/WebKit until they see sense and implement functionality that even Microsoft has. Frankly if browser vendors aren’t implementing this functionality (or users aren’t using software recent enough to support it) then that’s their loss.
I don't disagree on the principle of resisting Apple, being behind the curve for what are likely to be purely self-serving financial reasons. I do disagree with customers paying for Apple's mistakes. But that's a matter of opinion and I'll leave it at that.

I do think the iOS and MacOS device share in the western world, particularly in the forum space, is underestimated though.
 
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Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
What PHP version they have and extensions above the minimum XF requirements
It’s a semi valid concern and solution, but let’s be honest. People should be using modern PHP anyway. 7.1 is two years old, so it shouldn’t be a big stretch. Now they have another reason to upgrade.

Provisioning a Firebase/Google Cloud account for compatibility with older versions of Android's push implementation
No such thing is required because customers don’t need tomprovision a Firebase account to use this feature. That’s managed entirely by the browser vendor. I can only test it back to Android 4 but either way, as long as their device runs newer Chrome versions then it’s a moot point.

Having to update their XenForo install if Google or Apple make a change (security or otherwise) to their backend
Again, it would be a browser update that would be required to solve most anticipated issues. We rely on a third party library and that may have its own issues but then they can be addressed with XF updates if needed.
 
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