Tag Archives: Chat

About the chat function in Kerika.

How to make sure someone sees your Chat

With our latest update we have made it easy for you to ensure that someone on a board team always sees your chat message, even if they are not assigned to that card.

The old rule was that everyone who is currently assigned to a card would get new chat pushed to them as emails.  Now, you can make sure someone gets that email notification right away, even if they aren’t assigned to a particular card:

Screenshot showing examples of directed chat
Directed chat

Using this feature is simple: just type the letter “@” anywhere in your chat message and Kerika offers all the matching suggestions:

Screenshot showing example of sending new chat
Sending new chat

“@All” lets you push your chat to every Board Admin and Team Member — something you should do only rarely to avoid annoying people!

Try this feature and let us know if we can improve it.

Guarding against XSS/code-injection

It’s possible to copy-paste text into a Kerika Chat message, and there are legitimate use-cases for this: for example, a developer may ask a question to a coworker who replies with a code snippet.

Kerika handles code in chat messages by storing two versions of the message: as plain-text, and as the original format. When a chat message is displayed, the original format is used but not executed, which means the embedded code is visible, but doesn’t run in the browser. This makes it easy and safe to share code snippets through chat messages.

While making this improvement, we went through all the places where a user can type in text, Card Title and Description, Board Name and Description, Tag, Attachment Name, etc. to make sure we are guarding against malicious code injection.

Whitelisting Kerika’s email notifications

In an effort to reduce the possibility of Kerika’s notifications ending up in your spam folder, we are making a bunch of changes: one that’s already gone into effect is that all notifications generated by Kerika — for example, when someone sends you a chat message, or you get your 6AM Task Summary email — will come from the same sender: notifications@mailer.kerika.com.

It would help us a lot if you whitelisted this sender email, either for your own personal email, or ideally for your organization’s entire domain.



Ctl-Enter: a faster way to send chat

We have added a keyboard shortcut to make it a little faster to send chat messages — on cards, canvases or the board itself.

After typing in your chat message, use the Ctl-Enter (or Ctl-Return) key combination to send the chat immediately. It will save you having to reach for the mouse to click on the Send button…

Sending Chat with Ctl-Return
Sending Chat with Ctl-Return


(And thanks, as usual, to our users for urging us to add this new feature!)

Bug, fixed: sometimes email replies to chat weren’t working

(Thanks to our users in the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board for helping us find this bug.)

We recently discovered a rather quirky bug that was causing some chat, when replied to as emails by the recipient, to not get sent properly.

Here’s what is supposed to happen, and what went wrong:

  • If you are assigned a card, on a Task Board or Scrum Board, you will get email pushed to you whenever any other Team Member (or Board Admin) chats on that card. This helps you stay in the loop on the most important items on a project board: the ones you are currently assigned to do.

    (Board Admins have the option of getting all chat, on all cards on the board that they manage, pushed to them as emails, if they want to really be in the loop with every conversation that is going on in the board.)

  • When chat gets pushed to you as email, it shows up looking just like regular email, and you can reply to it wherever you are dealing with your email: your desktop, laptop or mobile device.
  • When you click on the “Reply” button in your email client, Kerika automatically changes the address for that reply to be the URL that points to the specific card (or canvas) that’s being referenced in the chat.

    Here’s an example of chat email:

    Chat example
    Chat example

    And what clicking on the Reply button does:

    Replying to Chat Email
    Replying to Chat Email

    In the above example, although the chat email came from Cheryl, the reply is being sent to a special address:

  • This email is received by a server that listens only to chat replies. When a chat reply is received by the server, it checks to see who the reply came from.
  • Since only Team Members and Board Admins are allowed to participate in the chat on a particular board, the Kerika chat server tries to make sure the email is coming from someone who is authorized to comment on that particular card or canvas.

    (This helps reduce the possibility of spam email appearing inside your Kerika conversations.)

The problem we found is that some email clients, e.g. the native Mac Mail client, handled the “From:” and “Sender:” fields differently from other email clients like Gmail.

In the case of Gmail, Google places fills in both the From and Sender fields, but in the case of Mac Mail, only the From field is filled in.

For now, a temporary fix is to have the server look for both the From and Sender fields, but longer-term, as part of a server re-architecture that we are planning, this problem will get solved differently that further reduces the possibility of spam.

Leaving chat, and then returning

When you are writing a chat message, on a card or canvas on any Kerika Task Board, Scrum Board or Whiteboard, what happens if you need to leave that message in the middle and go look at something else in Kerika?

For example, suppose you are in the middle of writing a chat message, but in order to complete it, you need to go off and look at another card’s details, or maybe a file attached somewhere else on the board?

You can leave aside a chat in mid-stream, go somewhere else in Kerika, return to the chat, and pick up where you left off!

That’s because Kerika uses your browser’s local cache storage to keep your unsent message: it means your changes aren’t lost while you go look at something else in Kerika.

This is a handy usability fix we have always had in Kerika, but it may be one that folks didn’t realize existed…

Well, now you know 🙂

Don’t smile (too much)

When you chat on a card, on any Task Board or Scrum Board (or on the canvas on a Whiteboard), the chat message gets sent to the right people as emails.

And who are the “right people”? Well, anyone who is assigned to that card will get the chat sent as email, and Project Leaders can optionally get chat pushed to them as email as well. Everyone else can catch up with the chat when they visit their board.

When chat messages get pushed to you as email, you can reply to them just like regular email (all you need to do is a simply “Reply”, not a “Reply All”).

But, don’t go crazy with emoticons!  Most smileys work OK, but not every emoticon will get encoded correctly (using UTF-8).

So, it’s natural to be happy when you are using Kerika, and it’s OK to smile while you work, but don’t use too many strange emoticons in your email replies!