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ZeroMessenger: Improving and augmenting Facebook Zero's messaging functionality.
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README.md

ZeroMessenger

An app that improves Facebook Zero's messaging functionality. (0.facebook.com/messages) [WIP]

I believe I've overcome the main difficulties (mostly technicalities). Still, it is messy and incomplete... I may finish this thing some time in the unforeseeable future.

With a few edits, it should work fine with any headless browser (something like Puppeteer or PhantomJS) in order to use it in different environments (desktop, mobile, or whatever).

Things I Hate About Facebook Zero

These are the things I tried to solve.

  • Refreshing: You need to manually refresh the page to get new content: new messages, new threads, active contacts, etc.
  • Status: if you stop refreshing the page, your status becomes inactive.
  • Emoji and emoticons are replaces by text: for example :p becomes tongue emoticon.
  • Resend: On poor connections, messages get lost when errors occur.
  • Multimedia: No images, videos, audios, no nothing! [incomplete]
  • Messages requests are not indicated, you need to manually click on View Message Requests to check whether any exists.
  • RTL: doesn't handle right-to-left scripts (like Arabic) and "mixed directions".
  • Other stuff: 'stickers' suffer like 'emoji' but that's fine, nobody really uses them anymore.

Screenshot

Instead of something like this: A screenshot of two tabs showing Facebook Zero

How about this: A screenshot of the app (Screenshot: 2018-10-10, Google Chrome v69, Windows 10 Pro x64)

Installation

Google Chrome doesn't allow extensions off its store. You'll have to do this:

  • Download this repo (as zip or git clone it)
  • Go to chrome://extensions
  • Activate "developer mode"
  • Drag and drop the downloaded folder to install it

Each time you reopen Google Chrome, it will ask you to disable the extension, just reject that message.

How Does It Works?

Check this drafty post.

Basically, it consists of four Promise-based parts: Messenger, Master, Worker, and "Broker":

  • Messenger (/extension/app): A typical instant messaging interface. It interacts directly with the user, and updates its datastore when the user does something or Master receives new data.

  • Master (/extension/src's classes): Creates new Workers (hidden iframes) and sends them orders... and finally kills them when they lose their raison d'être.

  • Worker (/extension/src/ZeroWorker): Once loaded it listens for Master's orders and obeys them (and may send Master a response).

  • Broker (/extension/src/ZeroBroker): My original idea. A bot that turns binary into text (base64), sends them to Moi, where they get turned back into binary: images and stuff... Currently, Zerofy is used to do it "manually".

Assumptions

  • User doesn't change the active account (important for not mixing conversations and stuff)
  • User doesn't delete messages manually (important for fetching and ordering messages)
  • Usernames won't change while using the App (important for caching)
  • The language used by the active user is English (important for parsing information)
  • User doesn't send the same messages more than once (important for error recovery -- "auto-resend")

Coding style

I generally try to follow AirBnB's JavaScript Style Guide.

  • Variables that reference regexes start with r, as in const rDigit = /^[0-9]$/.
  • Variables that reference HTML elements start with $, as in const $form = document.querySelector('from').
  • In Vue components, z- is my ZeroMessenger's namespace. (This app requires no build step. Change that?)
  • On ZeroWorker, semicolons are omitted. Fix that?

TODO

Check docs/ideas.txt and .js.

  • UML: Update the class diagram to reflect changes in code!
  • CSS: Use grid or flex instead of floats, stupid!!
  • Initially set Moi's status to 'unknown' (and not "active"), before actually getting the true status.
  • When sending messages, use message composer (as opposite to using a "normal" chat page). this way, old messages (which may be very long) won't be loaded.
  • Use ZeroChats' first/last timestamps to set messages' dates createdDate.

License

CC0

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