Ben Tsai

Campfire tray notifier application

At work, we use Campfire for intra-office communication. It’s been a real boon for keeping everyone up to speed one what’s happening, especially since many of us are separated geographically. It’s also great because we can properly manage our attention–if I’m in the zone, I’ll choose to ignore campfire, and at a later time I can catch up on the logs.

When we were first starting off incorporating Campfire into our process, though, the challenge was the social problem of getting everyone to learn a new habit of checking in on the chat and be there. The value of business chat is in the participation. Some of us needed Campfire to behave a little more like a desktop app that could provide invasive notifications to remind us to visit the web page.

For Mac, there is Pyro, which you can hook into Growl. But, since we were all on PC’s, that wasn’t viable. So, I turned to AutoIt and wrote a script that watches for changes in the web page title and pops up a balloon notification when there’s a new message. Recently, I got an email from someone requesting this, so I’m posting it here.

Here is the AutoIt script: [sourcecode]Opt(“WinTitleMatchMode”, 2) Opt(“WinWaitDelay”, 500) $isBalloon = 0 $last_title = “” Do $title = WinGetTitle(“Campfire: “) If WinGetTitle(””) == $title Then $last_title = $title ContinueLoop EndIf If StringInStr($title, “(”) AND $title <> $last_title Then $last_title = $title $parts = StringSplit($title, " ", 1) If ($isBalloon = 0) Then $isBalloon = 1 TrayTip(“New Campfire message!”, “There are unread messages in the " & $parts[3] & " chatroom.”, 10) EndIf Else $isBalloon = 0 EndIf Until 0 [/sourcecode]

After downloading and installing AutoIt, you’ll be able to run this script (paste this into a text file and give it a “au3” extension). You can also turn it into an exe using Aut2Exe and drop a shortcut into your Windows Startup folder so it will be there on bootup.

This script only works for IE (6 & 7, I think) because of how the web page title is formatted. That was sufficient for our needs, but I don’t think it would be hard to modify. I haven’t had a chance to test this, but here’s the code.

Friday, June 20, 2008