Chat Room Switching Tutorial

How to build a multi-room chat experience with LiveLike and Bootstrap

In this tutorial we will use LiveLike's chat element and Bootstrap's nav component with its tab behavior to build a multiple room experience that allows switching between rooms, and only shows one room at a time.


Intended for LiveLike v1 and Bootstrap v4

This tutorial was written for LiveLike version 1.x and Bootstrap version 4.x.

The Idea

We will build a sidebar for the available rooms using the nav pills component with the .flex-column utility to display them vertically.

We will mark up the nav and the chat elements as tabs. Marking them up that way allows us to use the nav component JavaScript behavior to add the interactive switching.

We want to have multiple chat elements on the page instead of having one element and then changing its roomid attribute. Multiple elements is preferable because changing the attribute on a single element causes a reload of the chat room and its message history which can be jarring. It is better to have a smooth switch that minimizes DOM updates, resizing, and repositioning.

The Markup

The example below has 3 chat rooms controlled by 3 nav pills behaving as tabs:

  • Chat Room A
  • Chat Room B
  • Chat Room C

Chat Room A is active by default. Pressing any of the other inactive pill tabs will switch the chat room to the associated tab panel.

<div class="row">
  <div class="col-3">
    <div class="nav flex-column nav-pills" id="chat-room-tabs" role="tablist" aria-orientation="vertical">
      <a class="nav-link active" id="chat-room-a-tab" data-toggle="pill" href="#chat-room-a" role="tab" aria-controls="chat-room-a" aria-selected="true">Chat Room A</a>
      <a class="nav-link" id="chat-room-b-tab" data-toggle="pill" href="#chat-room-b" role="tab" aria-controls="chat-room-b" aria-selected="false">Chat Room B</a>
      <a class="nav-link" id="chat-room-c-tab" data-toggle="pill" href="#chat-room-c" role="tab" aria-controls="chat-room-c" aria-selected="false">Chat Room C</a>
  <div class="col-9">
    <div class="tab-content" id="chat-rooms">
      <div class="tab-pane fade show active" id="chat-room-a" role="tabpanel" aria-labelledby="chat-room-a-tab">
        <livelike-chat roomid="example-roomid-a"></livelike-chat>
      <div class="tab-pane fade" id="chat-room-b" role="tabpanel" aria-labelledby="chat-room-b-tab">
        <livelike-chat roomid="example-roomid-b"></livelike-chat>
      <div class="tab-pane fade" id="chat-room-c" role="tabpanel" aria-labelledby="chat-room-c-tab">
        <livelike-chat roomid="example-roomid-c"></livelike-chat>

Sample Code can be downloaded form here