Sharing Posts and using News feed
Users can share posts in VREs, attach files to these posts, view, comment, like and unlike them by means of the Share-Update and News-Feed web applications. These applications mainly relies on the facilities offered by the Social-Networking library, see here for more details. Both applications are responsive, thanks to the Bootstrap framework, so that users can share post or view it by means of tablets or smartphones too.
The share updates application mainly allows users to share their updates within a VRE context. It shows the current user's avatar on the left, a textbox area to write, a select box to choose if other vre members should be notified about the post and, on the right side, the file upload () and share buttons. If the author wishes to notify other members for his post, he can do that by selecting the proper option within the selection box. The application allows also to attach a single file by means of an upload file or more than one file by means of drag and drop. If an url is paste into the textbox area, the application automatically tries to generate a link preview to be attached to the post. Further social networking tools such as hashtags for topics (using '#' notation), to cite other people or groups (using '@' notation) are supported.
In the following some use cases are reported.
This is the simplest case: just enter some information you wish to share, select the option to notify other VRE members if you need it and push the "Share" button.
If everything goes ok, it will be shown by the News-Feed application, see below for more details.
As earlier stated, when a link is pasted into the app's textarea, it tries to create a meaningful link preview (with thumbnails, description and title). For example, by copying the url of this page you get something like:
If you remove the url within the text-area, the preview still remains. You can choose to remove the image and/or the description of the generated preview. To completely delete it, you have to push the delete button ("x") on the right side. At most one link preview can be inserted at time and you cannot attach files if a link preview is present and vice versa. Trying to insert another link, the app says:
On the other hand, trying to attach (using the upload button or the drag and drop utility) a file with a link preview present, the following alert message appears
If you choose to delete the preview and continue with the attach phase, the pasted is not removed.
To share a post and one or more files you can use the upload button. By pushing on the button a popup appears and let you select a file (one at time) from your pc. For example, a post with two attachments looks like
You can attach at most ten files, with a limit of 50MB each. You can also create a copy, of each file, into the Workspace by set the checkbox below the files.
Files can be also attached by means of drag & drop, that is select (at most ten files, each of which having size less than 50MB) and drag them into the textbox area. If Drag & Drop is available (it depends on your browser), they will be loaded as attachments automatically when you drop them.
The textarea supports also the insertion of special characters, namely the '#' and '@' symbols. The first one is used to start an hashtag, for example '#gCube'. The latter is used to cite a person (so that he will be automatically notified of the post) or a group (that is, a group of people). When inserting one of the two characters, a list of already available hashtags and the list of people/group of people is prompted and an already available item can be selected. If you are inserting a new hashtag, it won't be among the ones available, but it will be there as soon as the post is published. An example post containing an hashtag is the following one
Below, instead, there is an example for citing a person
The News-Feed allows to view already published posts sorted in a reverse chronological order within a given VRE context, along with their replies and likes plus some other information, such as the date in which it was published, the list of attached files etc. Moreover, it allows to add a new comment to the post and to like/unlike it. When a user searches for something, the list of retrieved posts is automatically shown into the application. The same happens when the user is interested in viewing his own statistics (such as the posts he has recently wrote etc) and when the user searches posts that contain a given topic (e.g., '#gcube').
A list of uses cases is reported below.
Add a comment to a post
The comments to a post are reported in reverse chronological order (from the oldest to the most recent). To add a comment you just need to write something in the textarea (you can also use the cite symbol '@' if you need to notify someone). Up to now hashtags are not supported.
To send the comment, just push on the "Comment" button on the right side. The result is something like
The post's owner as well as the other people that commented it are automatically notified. If you wish to notify someone else, you can use the cite symbol.
Reply to a post via mail
If you enabled the notification via mail among your Notification Settings preferences, so that when a new post in your VREs is written or someone mentions you, a copy of such notification is sent to you via mail. You can then reply, so that a comment is created and sent to the portal, to that post via mail. The image below shows how a post notification via mail looks like
The sender is the portal from which the email actually comes, the subject reports that the user "Costantino Perciante" was mentioned by the user "Andrea Rossi" in the VRE preVRE.
The email's body reports a piece of the message and contains the link to access the original post. Moreover, the user that receives the email can comment/like the post via mail as expressed by the line
- Write ABOVE THIS LINE to reply via email, reply with empty msg to subscribe -
"You are absolutely right" as reported below
The comment will be added to the post.
View posts retrieved for topic/full-text search/user's statistics
When a user searches over the posts/comments or for a given topic (using the symbol '#') or using the full-text search option or when he is interested in retrieving his recent posts, recent liked posts, recent replied posts and so on, the application allows to automatically view these posts. For example, by searching for '#gcube', the application shows posts containing such topic
In this case there are only two posts containing that term.