Search

Intro to the Chat Server

Code Rood uses a rocket.chat server for internal communication. This is something like Slack but then more private. It should replace all email so your email inbox won’t fill up with Code Rood organizational emails! What a joy!

On this page:

Getting on the chat server

You can register a new account https://chat.code-rood.org. After registration, there are three ways to connect to the chat server and start blissful communication:

  • Directly in the browser: go to https://chat.code-rood.org and log in.
  • Through the Desktop app for Linux, Windows or Mac. Download it here. After installation you need to add the Code Rood chat server URL (https://chat.code-rood.org).
  • Through an app on Android or IOS. Install it like you installed all your other apps on your smart phone. Again select the Code Rood chat server URL from above.

Note that the browser and the desktop app are the most stable options here. These also can enable end to end encryption (e2ee) which is good.

First overview

For this guide we will use the desktop app on Linux as an example. This should be interchangeable with the browser experience and the desktop apps on Windows and Mac.

Once you logged in you should see something among the lines of this:

  1. The channels, groups and direct messages (DMs). Here you can see public channels (literally anyone can see and join these), private groups (you have to be invited for these) and DMs (one on one communication).
  2. Important buttons, such as access to your accounts settings, and search buttons for people/rooms
  3. The main screen. Since currently no channel is selected it shows the welcome message. Normally this shows the actually chat of whatever room you have selected.
  4. A bar prompting you for your e2ee password. For this, see the page How To Enable Encryption For Chat.

Now lets go into detail for these sections.

Channels, Groups & DMs

If you scroll down in box 1 of the image above you will see public channels, private groups and the people you messaged directly.

There is a very important distinction. The top part are public channels (usually named something like name-public). Anyone can browse and join these! The bottom part are more private channels to which you have to be invited.

What does this mean? Well consider the public part as public as anything else on the internet! Assume cops and journalists are reading this part as well! We use this part specifically for communication among working groups and to offer people an easy way to get involved with Code Rood.

You can think of these public channels are a bit like a spokes council or an assembly where the group reports on their activities/provides updates. If you do not care or have the time for anything but your own working group, do not follow. If you want to have a bigger picture of the operations, have a look once a month.

The private part is better protected. There is the distinction between groups. For example above you see the #tech-public channel, which is the public part of the tech/IT working group. People can use this to ask for technical assistance. The private group tech is used within the working group to make plans, have discussions etc, and you have to be invited to be able join. But anyone who is invited can read back the history of what was said before they joined!

You can read more on the security considerations of the public/private channels on this page.

Joining public channels

When you first join you are automagically put in the following channels:

  • #announcements, a channel where announcements are posted. No discussions here
  • #general, a channel for general chit chat and discussions
  • #questions, a channel for new people to ask all their questions in
  • #tech-public, a channel to get technical help if you are experience trouble with chat, the cloud or maybe you see something wrong with the website?

But you can join more public channels! Every working group has a public channel available so you can reach them to ask questions. The working group will use this channel to post updates and can post requests there. So if you are interested in helping out or just want to know what is going on you should definitely join some.

You can view and browse these channels by pressing on the top left of your screen on the directory button.

You can then see the public channels and join them if you want.

On the important buttons

From left to right:

Your avatar. You can go to “My Account” here, from which you can do all sorts of settings and preferences. You can also log out here.

Search. You can search for channels, groups or users! For example below I searched for “tu” which matches on Tulband and the #culture-public channel:

Directory. Like with search you can find people or channels here. Unlike search this simply lists them all. Not how you can select either “Channels” or “Users” here and that you also have a search bar, damn. Impressive stuff.

View Mode. Select how large things should be… I like condensed.

Sort. Select on how your stuff is sorted… I guess Activity could be useful?

Create new. If you want to create a new channel you can do it here! Really nice if you need to communicate with certain people for a project or working group or whatever.

Configure notifications

TODO: write this part

  • every user can set their global settings, then per channel, and per thread.

Organizing

You may be thinking “but how am I ever going to find something here? Unlike mail topics are not threaded/divided per subject by default. To overcome this we use threads.

Threads

To see which threads are active in a channel press the “Threads” button in the top right of the screen when you are viewing a channel:

Press the “Threads” button in the top right corner to see the threads of a channel/group.

To start a new thread press the three vertical dots at the side of a message (1) and then click “Reply in Thread” (2).

First click the three vertical dots then click “Reply in Thread”.

Pinned messages

Pinned messages are important messages that must not get lost. When you join a channel you can check the pinned messages for important resources, updates or decisions. To check the pinned messages of a channel click the three vertical dots at the top right corner after you selected a channel and then click “Pinned Messages”

See who is in the channel/group

You can see who is in the selected channel by pressing the “Members list” button on the top right corner of your screen. You can see who is in the channel who is currently online or all users of the channel.