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OSS and how we contributed to Rocket.Chat

01. 08. 2019

We utilize Rocket.Chat Open Source Software (OSS) as an alternative to Slack as we require an on-premise solution for chat platform.

We utilize Rocket.Chat Open Source Software (OSS) as an alternative to Slack as we require an on-premise solution for chat platform.

We could say that we are the early adopters of Rocket.Chat as we use it actively since version 0.30.0. As the product was in the early stage of development, most primary functions like chat, file sharing, etc. were present but some features that we would like to have were missing.

So, in the spirit of true OSS project, firstly we opened an issue and then we implemented it.

2 most important PRs

  1. User avatars from external source – #7743

This was our first Feature Request to Rocket.Chat and it took almost 2 years to get accepted. In the defence of Rocket.Chat team we opened PR in the wrong place.

In CROZ we have a central place for the employee to manage his image used in all internal application that we use. Before this Feature Request, there was no option to have it integrated with Rocket.Chat. In the first iteration, we created a script that periodically changes user image in Rocket.Chat over API but that was proven to be error-prone and slow and most importantly not instant when the user changes his image.

So we implemented the required feature and created Pull Request to enhance this product that we use every day.

  1. Custom user name field from Custom OAuth – #14381

Rocket.Chat allows you to integrate with OAuth provider of your choice. We at CROZ use internally developed OAuth service for SSO between applications. As we have more control we return a much bigger response for user identity when OAuth callback is performed. With the current implementation of user Full Name, extraction operation matches username instead of Full Name resulting in all our users in Rocket.Chat being named with username instead of Full Name.

The solution to this problem was to add the option to specify which field in user identity response should be used for user Full Name extraction.

Luckily, this time, we knew where we need to open this Feature Request and this Pull Request was accepted after just 3 days.

OSS is great!

These examples demonstrate why OSS is so great! There it is, use it. If you don’t like it, change it, but give it back to the community and help it evolve.

Let us never forget the vast community that is supporting OSS. Shout out to all you heroines and heroes typing code late at night and giving it (back) to the community! And we must admit, it does feel good when you know somebody out there saw your commit at 3AM and yelled “YES! That’s what I need! Thank you!”.

God knows we’ve all been there.

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