New Chat Feature: Floobot

29 Mar 2015 by ggreer

If you chat in workspaces or our organization chat, you might notice that pasting URLs can cause a mysterious “Floobot” user to describe them. Don’t be startled, this is expected behavior. Similar to showing images in chat, Floobot helps you to get information about a URL without having to click on it.

Floobot does more than just parse <title> tags. If the link is to a GitHub repo, it will mention the number of forks and stargazers. If the link is a tweet, it will give a summary, along with the number of favorites and retweets. Floobot also describes YouTube videos and Hacker News submissions. Basically, if you paste a URL, Floobot tries its best to give a one-line summary of what’s there.

Here’s a screenshot of what Floobot typically looks like in org chat:

Floobot in Floobits Chat

Currently, Floobot’s code is based on our open-source IRC Floobot. We plan to split out the site parsing code and turn it into a node module. That way, everyone can take advantage of our tool. In the mean time, enjoy the useful descriptions of URLs. And if you have any suggestions or bug reports, please email us or open an issue.

Update: Our site parsing code is now in an open-source module. Feel free to use Fleece in your own projects.

About the Author

I’m Geoff Greer, CEO & co-founder of Floobits.

About Floobits

Floobits lets you collaborate on code like you're in the same room. Think Etherpad or Google Docs, but in Sublime Text, Vim, Emacs, or IntelliJ.

If you're interested, sign up.