Simple chat app using Node.js and
CSS JavaScript HTML
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Dave's Simple Chat Service

Note: You can see this in action on Heroku:

I've been playing around with Node.js recently and taking some of the neat online lessons available through Nodeschool. One of the lessons involved streaming realtime data between the client and server using

This sounded insanely powerful and fun, so I took a break from the rest of the lessons and started playing around with They have a tutorial that explains how to build a simple, realtime chat application using its library in about 20 minutes.

This little web app is more or less a result of tutorial and I've added some additional stuff as I played around with it (e.g., Ask for and display usernames).

Things I've added

In the interest of learning more about Node.js (and JavaScript!), I've been working on adding a few more things than the default chat app tutorial has. This includes things like:

  • Usernames!
  • Number of active users!
  • Display a list of all connected users!
  • Check for identical usernames and prompt for different name
  • Timestamps on messages!
  • Sanitizing user input!
  • Properly autolink URLs!
  • Detect if a link to an image is pasted in and expand!
  • Display welcome message on connect

Things to potentially do

  • Embed YouTube videos? Instagram posts? Etc?
  • Play around with idea of adding admin options (kick user, ban user)
  • Play around with idea of having a blacklist for certain words and phrases