JumpInChat update - future feature: Roles


A major new piece of work in progress right now is the concept of roles. In an attempt to improve the way permissions work, as well as remove a lot of implied and messy logic around how room moderators are defined, roles can now be explicitly defined and controlled. Roles can be defined arbitrarily, with a defined set of permissions. This will allow rooms to better categorize and control their users.

Role permissions can be configured individually

There were a bunch of issues around the way mod permissions worked, roles was intended to solve this in a way that rooms themselves could manage. I've seen a lot of cases where regular users in rooms were given mod powers simply to give some minor permissions, such as playing videos. Naturally this had the unfortunate side effect of too many mods in a room. Worse, mods causing trouble with their newly given powers. Roles will help reduce this kind of trouble.

By default, rooms will be assigned two roles, moderators and everyone, meaning any random user who drops in and was not already given a role. These will be considered "permanent" roles, which can not be removed, though their permissions can be changed.

Additional roles can be created by those with the appropriate permissions. Initially this will be the room owner, however the ability to create, assign and modify roles can be given to a role as you see fit. Permissions currently will cover the existing mod permissions list plus a few more added in, such as the ability to manage roles as noted above, and if a user can play or control media (YouTube videos).

Eventually I'll make role permissions much more wide-ranging. Additional room management permissions will be added, such as changing room settings. This will effectively give a room owner the ability to create admin users, who are able to do almost everything the room owner can. Naturally this will not include destructive actions such as setting age restriction or deleting the room entirely, but should allow for a bit less centralization should the owner wish.

One notable effect of all this will be a removal of the concept of "assigned moderators", i.e. mods assigned by other mods. It's an idea I'm rather glad to see disappear, as it's caused more problems than anything else. In fact, moderator assignment will now be entirely be replaced my the roles system. Room owners will, initially, be the only users capable of assigning mods until role settings are changed.

Further plans

While the current work stream is to get the basic functionality of roles up and running, eventually roles will be more customizable. Besides the expansion of permissions, custom icons, colours, themes etc. will be enabled. Custom uploadable icons for rooms with supporter status will be a thing too.

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