Development Log: 2023-05-04

2023 May 4

Installed the Jitsi conference Theme Component according to the
instructions in:
using the implementation (official Discourse component) in:
The installation process is:
    1.  Go to Admin/Customise/Themes/Components
    2.  Click "Install" and select "From a git repository"
    3.  Enter GitHub repository URL and click Install
After installation, "Discourse Jitsi" appears in the components list.
When you click it, you can change settings.  I left them all as the

Now that the theme component is installed, it must be added to the
active theme(s).  Still on the Themes tab, click the Themes button
within it.  We use only the Default theme, so that was the only one
that needed it added.  After clicking the theme, a list of installed
components will be displayed.  Click "Discourse Jitsi" to select the
component.  The component should now be accessible when composing a
post or a comment.

Once the component is installed, you can add a conference button to
a post or comment by clicking an icon in the composer toolbar which,
if you have a bit (or maybe too much) imagination, looks like a video
camera (it is a square with a triangle sticking out of the right side).
This pops up an "Add Jitsi Integration" dialogue, in which you specify
the Jitsi room ID and the label for the button (default "Start Video
Conference").  When you press the button, a command sequence will be
embedded in the text like the following:
    [wrap=discourse-jitsi room="MyRoomID" label="My Button Label"
     mobileIframe="true" desktopIframe="true"][/wrap]
You may change the room= and label= values as you wish.  If you prefer,
you can just type in the [wrap] commands yourself.  The Jitsi button
does not appear in the composition preview window, but will display
when the item is posted.

Jitsi does not require setting up user accounts, registering chat
rooms, or other rigmarole.  The way the system works is simply that
anybody who connects a Jitsi server with the same room ID is connected
to one another.  There is no need to install anything on the client
machine: Jitsi uses WebRTC and JavaScript to run right in any modern
browser.  Apps are available for Android and iOS, but you can simply
run Jitsi in the Web browsers on those platforms.

There is no login or password.  To secure a chat room, simply pick a
name that's non-obvious and long enough it won't be guessed and you're
good to go.  One way to generate as many room names as you wish is
Fourmilab's JavaScrypt Pass Phrase Generator:

The Jitsi button in Scanalyst uses the free public server,
Consequently, using Jitsi conferences does not impose any extra costs
on hosting the site or consume bandwidth and compute resources on
the site's server.  The public server is said to begin to noticeably
slow down if more than ten people are connected to one room, but you
can probably mitigate that by turning off video and running an
audio-only conference call.

Although it’s Greek to me (actually, Greek is more intelligible to me than code or software-speak), I ‘like’ it because I appreciate your ongoing efforts at maintaining the site. Just in case you may from time to time become discouraged by making this effort, I want to be sure you have a steady supply of appreciation on which you may draw for those efforts. Scanalyst is an important part of my waning daily life. If more people availed themselves of it, the world would be a better place.


Ditto. I have learned so much from the posts here, from pasta recipes to black holes. I really appreciate the website; thank you for maintaining it, John.