Authentication in SUSI.AI

Authentication is a part of AAA system which stands for Authentication, Authorization and Accounting System. In this blog, we will see how SUSI.AI authenticates its client. Let’s first see what each term of AAA means

  • Authentication : Authentication means identifying individual user with some unique information. Susi uses email addresses for non-anonymous identity and  anonymous identity users  are identified by their host name.
  • Authorization : It refers to identifying the access rights of the user and granting permissions depending on the user’s authorization level. In Susi we have BaseUserRole as   
    • ANONYMOUS  users who have not logged in
    • USER                  logged in Users
    • PRIVILEGED       users with special rights, like. moderators
    • ADMIN              maximum right, that user is allowed to do everything . Depending on the useroles, permissions are specified.
  • Accounting : Accounting is referred as keeping track of user’s activity. Susi Server uses DAO in which accounting object is stored as JSONTray. Susi also remembers the chat log of a user.

Now that we have basic idea about AAA, let’s check how Susi authenticates its user.

public class ClientIdentity extends Client {
    
    public enum Type {
        email(true), // non-anonymous identity
        host(false); // anonymous identity users which do not authentify; they are identified by their host name
        private final boolean persistent;
      }

}

Susi has ClientIdentity class which extends to base class Client, which has a string sufficient to identify an user. The user are represented with Objects of this class. The client identification string is defined as <typeName: untypedId> pair where <typeName> denotes an authentication method and <untypedId> a name within that authentication domain.

public class Authentication {

    private JsonTray parent;
    private JSONObject json;
    private ClientCredential credential;
...
}

This credential is used as key in DAO.authentication. Parent is used for the storage object , it is null if there is no parent file (no persistency). The DAO uses credential key and implements methods like getAuthentication, getAuthorization,getAccounting taking Non null parameter ClientIdentity and returns the object of respective classes. The method setExpireTime sets an expire time for anonymous users and tokens after end of duration in time seconds passed as parameter the Authentication expires.

public class DAO {
// AAA Schema for server usage
    private static JsonTray authentication;
    private static JsonTray authorization;
    private static JsonTray accounting;
    public  static UserRoles userRoles;
..
}

The JsonTray is class to hold the volume as <String,JsonObject> pairs as a Json file. The UserRequests  class holds all the user activities. The ClientIdentity class extend the base class Client and provides an Identification String for authentication of users.

public abstract class AbstractAPIHandler extends HttpServlet implements APIHandler {
    @Override
    public abstract BaseUserRole getMinimalBaseUserRole();

}

The AbstractAPIHandler checks the permissions of the user using the userroles of and comparing it with the value minimum base role of each servlet. Thus to specify the user permission for a servlet one just need to extend servlet to AbstractAPIHandler and  Override the getMinimalBaseUserRole method.

 public static ClientIdentity getIdentity(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response, Query query) {

if(authentication.getIdentity() != null && authentication.checkExpireTime())   // check if login cookie is set
return authentication.getIdentity();
else if(request.getSession().getAttribute("identity") != null){ // check session is set
return (ClientIdentity) request.getSession().getAttribute("identity");
else if (request.getParameter("access_token") != null){ // check if access_token is valid
 return authentication.getIdentity();
else
 return getAnonymousIdentity(query.getClientHost());
}

It also implements method getIdentity()  which checks a request for valid login data, an existing session, a cookie or an access token and returns user identity if some login is active, otherwise the anonymous identity.  

This is how Susi uses credential to authenticate users and use it for accounting and authorization. The endpoints provided by server are used by Android and web clients. Susi accounts service is at  http://accounts.susi.ai. For more details do visit code repository and join gitter chat channel for discussions.

Resources

Storing User Settings on Server in SUSI Web Chat

One of the important features of SUSI Web Chat is that the state of the application is maintained upon logout-login and across all clients. The web chat application provides various settings to a logged in user and each user has his own preferences. So all the settings chosen accordingly by the user must be stored on the server so that whenever a user logs in we pull the users data from the server and initialise the application according to his chosen settings and whenever settings are changed we update them on the server. This helps us maintain the state of the application specific to a given user and also across all clients.

The flow behind the implementation is:

  1. The client fetches the settings upon login and initialises the app accordingly.
  2. Whenever user settings are changed, the client updates the changed settings on the server so that it can be accessed by other clients as well and so, the state is maintained across all chat clients

Let us visit SUSI Web Chat and try it out.

How is this implemented?

We use UserPreferencesStore to store all the settings, and Actions to push and pull user data from the server and update the UserPreferencesStore.

Initialising the User Settings

Whenever the app is initialised, getSettings() function is called first which checks if the user is logged in or not. If the user is not logged in then it returns, else an ajax call is made to the server to get the user settings from the server.

The endpoint used to fetch User Settings is : 

 BASE_URL+'/aaa/listUserSettings.json?access_token=ACCESS_TOKEN'

where BASE_URL is either the standard server i.e http://api.susi.ai/ or the custom server user used while logging in.

The server returns a JSON object with the existing settings stored for that user

{
  "session": {
    "identity": {
      "type": ,
      "name": ,
      "anonymous":
    }
  },
  "settings": {
    "SETTING_NAME": "SETTING_VALUE"
  }
}

These settings are sent to the UserPreferenceStore thorugh the initialiseSettings action.

export function initialiseSettings(settings) {
  ChatAppDispatcher.dispatch({
  type: ActionTypes.INIT_SETTINGS,
  Settings
  });
};

The UserPreferenceStore has a _defaults object which stores all the user settings and is initialised with default values. The store listens to ActionTypes.INIT_SETTINGS event which is triggered by initialiseSettings and the settings are updated in the UserPreferenceStore.

let _defaults = {
  Theme: 'light',    //Theme of the ChatApp
  StandardServer: 'http://api.susi.ai',  //Standard SUSI AI Server Endpoint
  EnterAsSend: true,  //Send Messages on ENTER Key Press
  MicInput: true,  //Enable Speech Input
  SpeechOutput: true,  //Enable Speech Output For Speech Input
  SpeechOutputAlways: false,  //Enable Speech Output regardless of Input    Type
  SpeechRate: 1,  //Rate of Speech Output
  SpeechPitch: 1,  //Pitch of Speech Output
};

Once the settings are updated in UserPreferencesStore, the corresponding changes are emitted which trigger the update of all the components using the values present in UserPreferenceStore.

Pushing the User Settings to Server

Whenever the user changes any settings, apart from updating them locally within the UserPreferenceStore, we also have to push the changes to the server.

When user settings are changed, we first find out only those settings which have been changed and send these changed settings to the UserPreferencesStore to update _defaults through settingsChanged action which calls the dispatcher using SETTINGS_CHANGED action type to pass the data to UserPreferencesStore.

export function settingsChanged(settings) {
  ChatAppDispatcher.dispatch({
  type: ActionTypes.SETTINGS_CHANGED,
  settings
  });
  Actions.pushSettingsToServer(settings);
}

This data is then collected in UserPreferencesStore where the _defaults are updated accordingly.

case ActionTypes.SETTINGS_CHANGED: {
  let settings = action.settings;
  Object.keys(settings).forEach((key) => {
    _defaults[key] = settings[key];
  });
  UserPreferencesStore.emitChange();
  break;
}

We also need to push the user settings to server. We make an ajax call to the server for each setting that has been updated in the pushSettingsToServer action.

The endpoint used to add or update User Settings is : 

BASE_URL+'/aaa/changeUserSettings.json?key=SETTING_NAME&value=SETTING_VALUE&access_token=ACCESS_TOKEN'

where BASE_URL is either the standard server i.e http://api.susi.ai/ or the custom server user used while logging in.

Here, the access_token is also passed in the server call as it is needed by the server to distinguish between logged in and anonymous users. The access_token is stored in cookies when a user logs in and is accessed from cookies whenever required.

This is how user specific data is maintained on the server and is pushed and pulled from the server to maintain the state of the chat app upon login-logout and also across all chat clients without using any local database specific to the clients.

The entire code can be found at SUSI Web Chat Repo.

Resources

Communicate between Child and Parent Components in React JS of SUSI Web Chat

When we were developing SUSI AI web chat  some components became huge. So the team wanted to break some components into parts. Since the Login dialog-box is used in several  places we decided to make a separate component for Login Dialog-box. In this post I am discussing how we implemented the feature as a separate component and how we have changed the state of the parent component of the child component.

Login Dialog-box contains all the things of the login dialog-box component.

Child-component (Login Dialog-box component) is here:

This method executes the ‘switchDialog’ function of the parent component.

export default class LoginDialog extends React.Component {

   handleClose = () => {
      this.props.switchDialog(false);
   };

   render() {
       this.state = { open: this.props.open }
       const actions = <RaisedButton
           label="Cancel"
           backgroundColor={
               UserPreferencesStore.getTheme() === 'light' ? '#607D8B' : '#19314B'}
           labelColor="#fff"
           width='200px'
           keyboardFocused={true}
           onTouchTap={this.handleClose}
       />;

       return (
           <Dialog
               actions={actions}
               modal={false}
               open={this.props.open}
               autoScrollBodyContent={true}
               bodyStyle={bodyStyle}
               contentStyle={{ width: '35%', minWidth: '300px' }}
               onRequestClose={this.handleClose}>
               <Login {...this.props} />
           </Dialog>
       );
   }

};

In this part we validate property types that has passed from the parent component.

LoginDialog.propTypes = {
   open: PropTypes.bool,
   switchDialog: PropTypes.func
};

In render() method I have returned the element.
To open and close dialog we have to communicate with parent component. We can send an instruction as an attribute of the element and we can refer it inside the element as “props”. This is how I have sent an instruction to the child element.
Parent-component:
‘handleOpen’ function opens the dialog when user hit on the login button.

   handleOpen = () => {
       this.setState({ open: true });
   };

‘switchDialog’ function is using for change the state of parent component from child Component (Login Dialog-box component).

   switchDialog=(dialogState)=>{
       this.setState({open:dialogState});
   };

   render() {

       const styles = {
           'margin': '60px auto',
           'width': '100%',
           'padding': '20px',
           'textAlign': 'center'
       }

       return (
           <div className="signUpForm">
               <Paper zDepth={1} style={styles}>
                   <h1>Sign Up with SUSI</h1>
                   <form onSubmit={this.handleSubmit}>
                       <div>
                           <h4>If you have an Account Please Login</h4>
                           <RaisedButton
                               onTouchTap={this.handleOpen}
                               label='Login'
                               backgroundColor={
                                   UserPreferencesStore.getTheme()==='light'
                                   ? '#607D8B' : '#19314B'}
                               labelColor="#fff" />
                       </div>
                   </form>
               </Paper>

               <LoginDialog {...this.props} open={this.state.open} switchDialog={this.switchDialog} />
           </div>
       );
   };

To open and close the dialog-box we have to send the state of the parent component to child component. To close the dialog-box we have to update the parent component’s state from child component.

To change the parent component’s state we have used this in element.

switchDialog={this.switchDialog}

To send the state to the child component we used this.

open={this.state.open}

To send other properties to the element we used this.

{...this.props}

After closing the dialog-box it calls this method and it updates the state of the parent component.

handleClose = () => {
      this.props.switchDialog(false);
};

This is how we can communicate between child and parent components using react.

Resources:

Component Communication: http://andrewhfarmer.com/component-communication/
Material UI Dialogs: http://www.material-ui.com/#/components/dialog

Using CoreLocation in SUSI iOS

The SUSI Server responds with intelligent answers to the user’s queries. To make these answers better, the server makes use of the user’s location which is sent as a parameter to the query request each time. To implement this feature in the SUSI iOS client, we use the CoreLocation framework provided by Apple which helps us to get the user’s location coordinates and add them as a parameter to each request made.

In order to start with using the CoreLocation framework, we first import it inside the view controller.

import CoreLocation

Now, we create a variable of type CLLocationManager which will help us to use the actual functionality.

// Location Manager
var locationManager = CLLocationManager()

The location manager has some delegate methods which give an option to get the maximum accuracy for a user’s location.  To set that, we need the controller to conform to the CLLocationManagerDelegate, so we create an extension of the view controller conforming to this.

extension MainViewController: CLLocationManagerDelegate {

   // use functionality

}

Next, we set the manager delegate.

locationManager.delegate = self

And create a method to ask for using the user’s location and set the delegate properties.

func configureLocationManager() {
       locationManager.delegate = self
       if CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .notDetermined || CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .denied {
           self.locationManager.requestWhenInUseAuthorization()
       }

       locationManager.distanceFilter = kCLDistanceFilterNone
       locationManager.desiredAccuracy = kCLLocationAccuracyBest
}

Here, we ask for the user location if it was previously denied or is not yet determined and following that, we set the `distanceFilter` as kCLDistanceFilterNone  and `desiredAccuray` as kCLLocationAccuracyBest.. Finally, we are left with starting to update the location which we do by:

locationManager.startUpdatingLocation()

We call this method inside viewDidLoad to start updation of the location when the view first loads. The complete extension looks like below:

extension MainViewController: CLLocationManagerDelegate {

   // Configures Location Manager
   func configureLocationManager() {
       locationManager.delegate = self
       if CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .notDetermined || CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus() == .denied {
           self.locationManager.requestWhenInUseAuthorization()
       }

       locationManager.distanceFilter = kCLDistanceFilterNone
       locationManager.desiredAccuracy = kCLLocationAccuracyBest
       locationManager.startUpdatingLocation()
   }

}

Now, it’s very easy to use the location manager and get the coordinates and add it to the params for each request.

if let location = locationManager.location {
   params[Client.ChatKeys.Latitude] = location.coordinate.latitude as AnyObject
   params[Client.ChatKeys.Longitude] = location.coordinate.longitude as AnyObject
}

Now the params which is a dictionary object is added to each request made so that the user get’s the most accurate results for each query he makes.

References:

Using Vector Images in SUSI Android

SUSI is an artificial intelligence for interactive chat bots. For making it more user friendly and interactive we add a lot of images in the form of drawable resources in the SUSI Android App (https://github.com/fossasia/susi_android). Most of these drawables are in the form of PNGs. There are certain problems associated with the use of PNG images.

  1. PNGs cannot be scaled without losing quality. Due to which for the same PNG image we have to include separate images of varied quality. Otherwise the image will become blur.
  2. PNGs tends to take large disk space which can be easily reduced with the use of vector images.
  3. PNGs have fixed color and dimensions which cannot be changed.

Due to the above shortcomings of PNG images we decided to use vector drawable images instead of them.

Advantages associated with Vector images

  1. They can be scaled to any size without the loss in quality. Thus we need to include only a single image in the app and not of varied qualities.
  2. They are very small in size as compared to PNGs.
  3. They can be easily modified programmatically in XML file unlike PNGs.

Using Vector Images in Android Studio

Android Studio provide tools by which we can directly import vector drawables in the project. To import Vector images go to File>New>Vector Assets in studio.

From here we can choose the icon we want to include in our project and click OK. The icon will appear in the drawables directory and can be used anywhere in the projects.

Implementation in SUSI Android

In Susi Android we have used various vector images such as arrows, pointer and even the logo of the app. Here below is the logo of SUSI.

This is actually a vector image below we will see the code required to get this logo as the output.

<vector android:height="50dp" android:viewportHeight="279.37604"

  android:viewportWidth="1365.2" android:width="220dp" xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">

<path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M127.5,7.7c-26.8,3.3 -54.2,16.8 -75.9,37.4 -11.8,11.1 -20.4,22.9 -28.1,38.4 -8.9,17.8 -12.8,32.1 -13.7,51l-0.3,6 39,0 39,0 0.3,-4c0.7,-12.1 6.8,-24.1 17.2,-34.5 8.5,-8.4 16.2,-13.4 25.9,-16.7l6.6,-2.2 81.3,-0.1 81.2,0 0,-38 0,-38 -84.7,0.1c-46.7,0.1 -86.1,0.4 -87.8,0.6z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M319.2,11.3l-4.3,4.3 0.3,103c0.4,113.2 0,105.9 6.4,118.6 10.8,21.3 35.1,41.9 56.2,47.3 8.5,2.3 99.1,2.2 107.7,0 18.7,-4.9 39.2,-20.7 51.5,-39.7 3.4,-5.1 7.1,-12.2 8.3,-15.8l2.2,-6.5 0.5,-103.3 0.5,-103.3 -4.5,-4.4 -4.6,-4.5 -31.5,0 -31.5,0 -4.7,4.8 -4.7,4.8 0,93 0,93 -3.3,3.2 -3.3,3.2 -29,0 -29,0 -2.6,-2.7 -2.7,-2.8 -0.7,-94.2 -0.7,-94.2 -4.3,-4 -4.2,-4.1 -31.9,0 -31.9,0 -4.2,4.3z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M680,7.6c-31.6,4.8 -56.1,17.3 -79,40.3 -23.2,23.3 -36.3,50.5 -38.9,80.9 -0.5,5.9 -0.7,11 -0.4,11.4 0.2,0.5 17.7,0.8 38.8,0.8l38.4,0 0.6,-4.8c3.2,-23.2 21.3,-44.1 44.7,-51.3 5.6,-1.8 10.6,-1.9 86.6,-1.9l80.7,0 -0.3,-38 -0.2,-38 -84.3,0.1c-46.3,0.1 -85.3,0.3 -86.7,0.5z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M869.1,13.4l-4.1,6.4 0,126.4 0,126.3 4.8,6.7 4.7,6.8 31.6,0 31.6,0 4.7,-7 4.6,-7 0,-125.7 0,-125.8 -4.7,-6.7 -4.8,-6.8 -32.1,0 -32.1,0 -4.2,6.4z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M222.5,152.2c-0.2,0.7 -0.9,4.2 -1.5,7.7 -3.4,19.5 -19.4,38 -40,46.4l-5.5,2.2 -83,0.5 -83,0.5 -0.3,37.8 -0.2,37.8 89.2,-0.3 89.3,-0.3 9.6,-2.7c57.7,-16.3 100.1,-67.4 102.1,-123.3l0.3,-7 -38.3,-0.3c-30.1,-0.2 -38.3,0 -38.7,1z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="M774.5,152.2c-0.2,0.7 -0.9,4.1 -1.5,7.5 -3.3,19.2 -18.8,37.3 -39.4,46.2l-6.1,2.6 -83,0.5 -83,0.5 -0.3,37.7 -0.2,37.8 85.9,0c93.7,0 91.4,0.1 110.1,-5.9 26.4,-8.5 53.3,-28.4 69.8,-51.7 15.2,-21.3 25.1,-50.1 24,-69.9l-0.3,-6 -37.8,-0.3c-29.7,-0.2 -37.8,0 -38.2,1z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff" android:pathData="m1146.99,0 l-1.38,1.19c-0.76,0.66 -1.85,1.61 -2.43,2.13 -0.58,0.51 -1.75,1.54 -2.61,2.28 -1.52,1.31 -1.58,1.41 -2.4,3.53 -0.46,1.2 -0.92,2.37 -1.01,2.59 -30.55,82.93 -61.62,165.72 -96.03,259.63 0,0.08 1.61,1.88 3.57,3.98l3.57,3.84 33.47,-0.04 33.47,-0.04c12.28,-35.6 25.13,-72.47 37.4,-107.27 0.06,-0.25 0.28,-0.64 0.5,-0.88 0.37,-0.41 0.61,-0.43 4.2,-0.43 3.63,0 3.83,0.02"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff" android:pathData="m967.09,279.18c-2.48,-3.74 -4.97,-7.04 -8.09,-11.76l0.09,-43.92c3.34,-5.26 5.31,-6.73 8.42,-11.51 17.91,0.02 34.3,0.26 50.88,0.26 3.21,4.88 4.09,6.72 7.81,12.66 -0.05,13.98 0.1,27.96 -0.12,41.94 -2.9,4.2 -4.27,7.42 -7.78,12.18 -18.81,-0.04 -35.43,0.2 -51.21,0.15z"/>

  <path android:fillColor="#ffffff"

      android:pathData="m1287.3,6.59 l-4.1,6.4 0,126.4 0,126.3 4.8,6.7 4.7,6.8 31.6,0 31.6,0 4.7,-7 4.6,-7 0,-125.7 0,-125.8 -4.7,-6.7 -4.8,-6.8 -32.1,0 -32.1,0 -4.2,6.4z" android:strokeColor="#00000000"/>


</vector>

In this code we can easily change the color and minor details for the logo which could have been not possible if the logo was in PNG format. Also we don’t need multiple logo images of varied qualities as it can be scaled without decreasing quality.

Resources

Using react-slick for Populating RSS Feeds in SUSI Chat

To populate SUSI RSS Feed generated, while chatting on SUSI Web Chat, I needed a Horizontal Swipeable Tile Slider. For this purpose, I made use of the package react-slick. The information which was supposed to be handled as obtained from the SUSI Server to populate the RSS feed was

  • Title
  • Description
  • Link

Hence to show all of this information like a horizontal scrollable feed, tiles by react-slick solves the purpose. To achieve the same, let’s see follow the steps below.

  1. First step is to install the react-slick package into our project folder, for that we use
npm install react-slick --save
  1. Next we import the Slider component from react-slick package into the file where we want the slider, here MessageListItem.react.js
import Slider from 'react-slick'
  1. Add Slider with settings as given in the docs. This is totally customisable. For more customisable options go to https://github.com/akiran/react-slick
var settings = {
         speed: 500,
         slidesToShow: 3,
         slidesToScroll: 1,
        swipeToSlide:true,
         swipe:true,
         arrows:false
     };

speed – The Slider will scroll horizontally with this speed.

slidesToShow – The number of slides to populate in one visible screen

swipeToSlide, swipe – Enable swiping on touch screen devices.

arrows – Put false, to disable arrows

  1. The next step is to initialize the Slider component inside the render function and populate it with the tiles. The full code snippet is available at MessageListItem.react.js
<Slider {..settings}>//Append the settings which you created
    {yourListToProps} // Add the list tiles you want to see
</Slider>
  1. Adding a little bit of styling, full code available in ChatApp.css
 .slick-slide{
 margin: 0 10px;
}
.slick-list{
  max-height: 100px;
}
  1. This is the output you would get in your screen.

  • Note – To prevent errors like the following on testing with jest, you will have to add the following lines into the code.

Error log, which one may encounter while using react-slick –

 matchMedia not present, legacy browsers require a polyfill

  at Object.MediaQueryDispatch (node_modules/enquire.js/dist/enquire.js:226:19)
  at node_modules/enquire.js/dist/enquire.js:291:9
  at i (node_modules/enquire.js/dist/enquire.js:11:20)
  at Object.<anonymous> (node_modules/enquire.js/dist/enquire.js:21:2)
  at Object.<anonymous> (node_modules/react-responsive-mixin/index.js:2:28)
  at Object.<anonymous> (node_modules/react-slick/lib/slider.js:19:29)
  at Object.<anonymous> (node_modules/react-slick/lib/index.js:3:18)
  at Object.<anonymous> (src/components/Testimonials.jsx:3:45)
  at Object.<anonymous> (src/pages/Index.jsx:7:47)
  at Object.<anonymous> (src/App.jsx:8:40)
  at Object.<anonymous> (src/App.test.jsx:3:38)
  at process._tickCallback (internal/process/next_tick.js:103:7)

In package.json, add the following lines-

"peerDependencies": {
      "react": "^0.14.0 || ^15.0.1",
      "react-dom": "^0.14.0 || ^15.0.1"
    },
   "jest": {
      "setupFiles": ["./src/setupTests.js", "./src/node_modules/react-scripts/config/polyfills.js"]
   },

In src/setupTests.js, add the following lines.

window.matchMedia = window.matchMedia || (() => { return { matches: false, addListener: () => {}, removeListener: () => {}, }; });

These lines will help resolve any occurring errors while testing with Jest or ESLint.

To have a look at the full project, visit https://github.com/fossasia/chat.susi.ai and feel free to contribute. To test the project visit http://chat.susi.ai

Resources

 

Implementing Login Functionality in SUSI Web Chat

SUSI Web Chat is fully equipped with all the accounting features which are being provided by the SUSI.AI API. This blog discloses all the API features one needs to know to embed the Login functionality in SUSI Web Chat.

  1. To embed the Login feature, first we create a form using material-ui.com components with the followng fields
    1. Email
    2. Password
    3. Note: We can also chose a Custom Server while logging in, here I have used the Standard Server ie. http://api.susi.ai to make the user Login

The form can be made with the help of the following fields

  • TextField for Email, props to be passed
    • Name – email
    • Value – this.state.email which gets the value of the current email
    • floatingLabelText is Email,
    • errorText is the message which we want to show when the email does not match the regex or its empty.

Code Snippet –

<TextField name="email" value={this.state.email} onChange={this.handleChange} errorText={this.emailErrorMessage}    floatingLabelText="Email" />
  • PasswordField for Password
    • Name – password
    • Value – this.state.password which gets the value of the current email
    • floatingLabelText is Password,
    • errorText is the message which we want to show when the password is not filled.

Code Snippet-

<PasswordField name='password' value={this.state.password} onChange={this.handleChange} errorText={this.passwordErrorMessage}   floatingLabelText='Password' />
  • The next elements are RadioButton groups taken from material-ui.com. This ensures the user signs into a standard server or even to a custom server. This is not compulsory as of now.
  • And lastly we need a submit button, which is disabled until all the fields are filled.

Code Snippet –

<RaisedButton label="Login" type="submit" labelColor="#fff" disable={!this.state.validForm} />

For the full form, check out this file at Login.react.js

  1. A Sample UI could be as shown in the image
  2. Next after creating the Login Screen, we make the onSubmit prop which is to be hooked up with another function called handleSubmit. An example code snippet from Login.react.js
 handleSubmit = (e) => {
        e.preventDefault();
        // Get the trimmed values from the fields
        var email = this.state.email.trim();
        var password = this.state.password.trim();
        // Set the default server to login
        let BASE_URL = defaults.Server;
            // handle all the details of the chosen server
        let serverUrl = this.state.serverUrl;
        if(serverUrl.slice(-1) === '/'){
            serverUrl = serverUrl.slice(0,-1);
        }
        if(serverUrl !== ''){
            BASE_URL = serverUrl;
        }
// if email and password is filled return true
        if (!email || !password) { return this.state.isFilled; }
// Check the regex of email
        let validEmail = /^[A-Z0-9._%+-]+@[A-Z0-9.-]+\.[A-Z]{2,4}$/i.test(email); 
// Pass the parameters to the loginEndPoint
        let loginEndPoint =
            BASE_URL+'/aaa/login.json?type=access-token&login=' +
            this.state.email + '&password=' + this.state.password;
        // If email and password is filled and valid call AJAX
        if (email && validEmail) {
            // AJAX Calls
        }
    }
    1. Then we make the Ajax Calls and store the created token from hitting the URL at http://api.susi.ai/aaa/login.json?type=access-token&login=EMAIL&password=PASSWORD. We store the cookie in browser and generate a session for the user using a package ‘universal-cookies’.
$.ajax({
    url: loginEndPoint,
    dataType: 'jsonp',
    jsonpCallback: 'p',
    jsonp: 'callback',
    crossDomain: true,
    success: function (response) {
        cookies.set('serverUrl', BASE_URL, { path: '/' });
        let accessToken = response.access_token;
        let state = this.state;// Adding the current State
        let time = response.valid_seconds; // Get the valid time of the cookie
        state.isFilled = true; // Set isFilled to true
        state.accessToken = accessToken; // Get the token
        state.success = true; // Set Success to true
        state.msg = response.message; // Get the server message
        state.time = time; // Get the time in the state
        this.setState(state); // Set the  state with the values
/* Pass the token to the binding function handleOnSubmit passing the arguments - token and the valid time */
        this.handleOnSubmit(accessToken, time);
    }.bind(this),
    error: function (errorThrown) {
        let msg = 'Login Failed. Try Again';
        let state = this.state;
        state.msg = msg;
        this.setState(state);
    }.bind(this)
});

 

    1. We then fire up the handleOnSubmit(accessToken, time) which saves the token for the given expiration time from the server.

Here’s the sample code

handleOnSubmit = (loggedIn, time) => {
        let state = this.state;
        if (state.success) {
            cookies.set('loggedIn', loggedIn, { path: '/', maxAge: time }); // set the cookie in the browser to maintain the loggedIn state
            this.props.history.push('/', { showLogin: false });
            window.location.reload();// reload after the loggedIn cookie creation
        }
        else {
            this.setState({
                error: true,
                accessToken: '',
                success: false
            });
        }
    }
  1. We then check the access token and redirect him based on his login state. This is handled in MessageSection.react.js
import Cookies from 'universal-cookie';
const cookies = new Cookies();
if (cookies.get('loggedIn')) {
    //Show all functionalities of loggedIn state
}
else {
//Redirect user to login page
}

 

To have a look at the full project, visit https://github.com/fossasia/chat.susi.ai and feel free to contribute. To test the project visit http://chat.susi.ai

Resources

Detecting password strength in SUSI.AI Web Chat SignUp

Every SignUp page contains a field to enter a password, but it should not be just a dumb component that takes input and saves it on server. A password field on a SignUp page should tell how weak or strong the password is. We decided to implement this in our SUSI.AI Web Chat SignUp Page.

Our SignUp page look like this:

After entering a valid email, user needs to enter the password. It shows that minimum 6 character are required:

We have the following div for our Password Field :

<PasswordField
  name="password"
  style={fieldStyle}
  value={this.state.passwordValue}
  onChange={this.handleChange}
  errorText={this.passwordErrorMessage}
  floatingLabelText="Password" />

In our OnChange Method we need to check the strength of password once the six character limit is crossed and display the strength visually.

We have used Dropbox’s zxcvbn library for the purpose of getting the strength of password.

Major reasons of choosing this library are :

  • Flexibility : It allows different passwords as long as certain level of complexity is matched.
  • Usability : It is very easy use and gives instant feedback. This helps user towards less guessable passwords.

For installing this library :

 npm -S install zxcvbn

For importing this:

import zxcvbn from 'zxcvbn';

Now in our OnChange Method:

handleChange = (event) => {
        let email;
        let password;
        let confirmPassword;
        let serverUrl;
        let state = this.state
      // Checking if event is password
        if (event.target.name === 'password') {
            password = event.target.value;
            let validPassword = password.length >= 6;
            state.passwordValue=password;
            state.passwordError = !(password && validPassword);
            if(validPassword) {
              //getting strength of password from zxcvbn
              let result = zxcvbn(password);
              state.passwordScore=result.score;
              let strength = [
                'Worst',
                'Bad',
                'Weak',
                'Good',
                'Strong'
              ];
              state.passwordStrength=strength[result.score];
            }
            else {
              state.passwordStrength='';
              state.passwordScore=-1;
            }
        }

Explanation:

In the above method result variable gets the strength of password and result.score gives us the score of password in terms of an integer and according to which we have made an array to get result in remarks corresponding to score. We have remarks like Good, Strong, etc.

Initially we have set the score to -1 to know that user has not entered the password yet. Once user has entered password the score changes.
Then we made a wrapper class to help css format the color of remark and display a meter (determining password strength) with corresponding length and color. We have used template strings to make our wrapper class. This helps us in having different names of wrapper class according to the score of the password.

// using Template Strings(look at resources for more info)
const PasswordClass=[`is-strength-${this.state.passwordScore}`];

Then we wrapped our Password field in div with className = “PasswordClass”.

<div className={PasswordClass.join(' ')}>
        <PasswordField
            name="password"
            style={fieldStyle}
            value={this.state.passwordValue}
            onChange={this.handleChange}
            errorText={this.passwordErrorMessage}
            floatingLabelText="Password" />
            <div className="ReactPasswordStrength-strength-bar" />
<div>

All that was left to was add css code corresponding to every score. For example for score=3, the following css was made:

.is-strength-3 { color: #57B8FF; }

.ReactPasswordStrength-strength-bar {
  box-sizing: border-box;
  height: 2px;
  position: relative; top: 1px; right: 1px;
  transition: width 300ms ease-out;
}

.is-strength--1 .ReactPasswordStrength-strength-bar {
  background: #D1462F;
  display: none;
}
// if strength = -1 then setting display of block equals to none
.is-strength--1 .ReactPasswordStrength-strength-bar {
  background: #D1462F;
  display: none;
}

.is-strength-3 .ReactPasswordStrength-strength-bar {
  background: #57B8FF; //Changing color according to password’s strength
  width: 192px; //Changing width according to password’s strength
  display: block;
}

After successfully implementing all these features, We had following SignUP page:

Resources:

1)Dropbox’s library(ZXVBN): https://github.com/dropbox/zxcvbn

2)Template Strings(Used here for making wrapping class of Password Field): https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Template_literals

Test Link:

This can be tested here.

Adding Emoji Support in SUSI Web Chat

SUSI.AI web chat sometimes, renders responses which contains emojis. We cannot rely on browser’s capability to render these emojis. The Problem is, that the default support for emojis of browsers does not offer a great variety of emojis to be rendered. The solution we implemented in the SUSI.AI web chat is to make use of a npm package to support our need for displaying emojis.

There were many options to choose from. For example :

Comparison between emoji packages :

Property Twemoji React-easy-emoji React-twemoji React-emojione
Built by Twitter Appfigures ZxMYS Pladaria
Usage Can be used as an object with function parse: twemoji.parse() Can be used as function: emoji() It is a simple wrapper for Twemoji.Can be used as component: <Twemoji> Can be used as function: emojify() or component: <Emojify>
Conversion compatibility Provides standard Unicode emoji support across all platforms Parse only basic emojis.Doesn’t parse emoji names like 🙂 and emoticons like 🙂 Convert emoji characters to Twemoji images Converts shortnames, unicode and ASCII smileys into renderable emojis
Dependencies None loot-web-kit lodash, prop-types, twemoji None

After detailed analysis of the above mentioned packages, we decided to go with React-emojione.

The major reasons are :

  • It is very easy to use.
  • It has no dependencies.
  • It can convert shortnames, unicode and ASCII symbols properly.
  • It can be used as both function and component, which diversifies its usage.

Installation:

npm install -S react-emojione

Basic usage (as function)

import {emojify} from 'react-emojione';
 
ReactDOM.render(
    <div>
        {emojify(':p')}
    </div>,
    document.body
);

Basic usage (as component)

import Emojify from 'react-emojione';
 
ReactDOM.render(
    <Emojify>
        <span>:p</span>
    </Emojify>,
    document.body
);

Some notes about the <Emojify> component:

  • If it has a single child, it won’t be wrapped
  • Otherwise it will be wrapped with a <span>

Difference between component and function?

Functional Stateless Components are just a ‘dumb’ function that takes props as an input. They do not have any state or methods. Just (props) => { return <span>content</span>; }

Class components can have state, variables, methods etc.

Now we needed our react app to render emojis. Our component named MessageListItem.react renders all the text and images of response.

There is a function called imageParse in this component. We use this function to parse our emojis.

Screenshot of SUSI Web Chat

Emoji’s like (:p) are now rendered properly

The implementation is as follows :

function imageParse(stringWithLinks){
  let replacePattern = new RegExp([
                      '((?:https?:\\/\\/)(?:[a-zA-Z]{1}',
                      '(?:[\\w-]+\\.)+(?:[\\w]{2,5}))',
                      '(?::[\\d]{1,5})?\\/(?:[^\\s/]+\\/)',
                      '*(?:[^\\s]+\\.(?:jpe?g|gif|png))',
                      '(?:\\?\\w+=\\w+(?:&\\w+=\\w+)*)?)'
                      ].join(''),'gim');
  let splits = stringWithLinks.split(replacePattern);
  let result = [];
  splits.forEach((item,key)=>{
    let checkmatch = item.match(replacePattern);
    if(checkmatch){
      result.push(
        <img key={key} src={checkmatch}
            style={{width:'95%',height:'auto'}} alt=''/>)
    }
    else{
      result.push(<Emojify  key={key}>{item}</Emojify>);
    }
  });
  return result;
}

Here we put {item} inside <Emojify> tag to render all the emoji’s present inside {item}.

This parses all emojis regardless of browser support. This package fulfills all our needs in this case.

Resources:

react-emojione package: https://www.npmjs.com/package/react-emojione

Testing link: SUSI.AI (Web Chat): http://chat.susi.ai/