plain chat

plain chat The Feathers documentation provides a comprehensive guide for creating a chat API along with a simple frontend. However, integrating it with other frameworks can be a bit more complex. In this ongoing series, we’ll explore integrating Feathers with various frontend frameworks, including the latest release (Auk).

plain chat you need a framework at all. In this post, we’ll focus on creating a real-time chat frontend with signup and login functionality using plain old JavaScript with ES6. This approach is supported by most modern browsers and allows us to understand what Feathers is all about without the added complexity of a framework’s structure.

By leveraging plain JavaScript with ES6, we’ll demonstrate how to create a seamless chat experience while showcasing the core features of Feathers. This stripped-down approach eliminates any distractions that may arise from using a framework, allowing us to focus solely on the functionality of our chat application.

You can access the code for the final version of our chat frontend here, providing a clear and concise example of how to integrate Feathers into your JavaScript projects without the need for additional frameworks.

plain chat

Connecting to the Feathers API

plain chat establishing a connection to our Feathers API. If you’ve already gone through the building a frontend chapter of the chat guide, you’re familiar with how Feathers can be utilized on the client side. In this section, we’ll follow a similar approach: setting up a Socket connection and initializing a new Feathers application. Additionally, we’ll configure the authentication client for future useWith these steps, we’ve successfully set up our Feathers application on the client side, establishing a connection to our API and configuring authentication for future use. This sets the foundation for building out the rest of our real-time chat frontend application.

Static HTML and user/message items

plain chat let’s define some static and dynamic HTML that we can insert into the page for displaying the login/signup page and the actual chat interface. We’ll introduce the following variables and functions:

  1. loginHTML: Contains static HTML for the login/signup page.
  2. chatHTML: Contains the main chat page content once a user is logged in.
  3. addUser(user): A function to add a new user to the user list on the left.
  4. addMessage(message): A function to add a new message to the chat interface, ensuring that the message list scrolls to the bottom as new messages are added.

Here’s how we can implement these variables and functions.

plain chat

Channels Certainly! Let’s proceed by initializing your first channel. In a chat application, a channel typically contains messages, a list of participants who are actively viewing the channel, and optionally, a list of members for private conversations.

Real-time and sending messages

plain chat Let’s complete the implementation by adding functionality to send new messages and updating the user and message lists in real-time:

  • We define a sendMessage function to handle sending a new message. This function prevents the default form submission, retrieves the message text from the input field, creates a new message on the messages service, and clears the input field.
  • We add an event listener for the message form submission, which calls the sendMessage function.
  • We set up event listeners to handle real-time updates on new messages and new users. These listeners call the addMessage and addUser functions respectively to update the message and user lists in real-time.
  • Finally, we define a login function to kick off the application. This function checks if the user is already authenticated and either shows the chat interface or the login/signup page accordingly.

With these additions, our plain JavaScript real-time chat frontend with login and signup is now complete. This example showcases the power and simplicity of interacting with a Feathers API, whether using a framework or plain JavaScript.

Displaying the login/signup or chat page

Certainly! Let’s define the showLogin and showChat functions as described:

  • showLogin function displays the login page, optionally showing an error message if provided.
  • showChat function displays the chat page, retrieves the latest 25 messages from the Feathers messages service, reverses the order, and adds them to the chat interface. It also fetches a list of all registered users and adds them to the sidebar.

These functions allow seamless transition between the login/signup page and the chat interface, providing users with a smooth and intuitive experience.

Login and signup

Let’s implement the functionality to allow users to sign up, log in, and log out

  • getCredentials function retrieves the email and password from the login/signup form fields.
  • login function authenticates the user with the provided credentials using Feathers authentication. If no credentials are provided, it tries to authenticate using the JWT token stored in localStorage. If authentication is successful, it shows the chat page. If authentication fails, it shows the login page with an error message.
  • Event listeners are added for the signup, login, and logout buttons. These listeners trigger the corresponding actions when clicked: signing up and logging in, logging in with provided credentials, and logging out, respectively.

With these additions, users can now sign up, log in, and log out of the chat application seamlessly.


Certainly! Moving on to the next sections of the documentation, we’ll dive deeper into the details of each API endpoint. This will provide a comprehensive understanding of how to interact with the Feathers API, enabling developers to build robust and customized features for their chat application.

If you have any specific questions or need further clarification on any aspect of the API endpoints, feel free to ask!

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