FOSSASIA Internship Program 2018

Are you interested to participate in the development of Open Source projects in a summer internship? Build up your developer profile with FOSSASIA and spend your summer coding on an open source project.  Contribute to SUSI.AIOpen EventBadgeyayYaydoc, Meilix or PSLab and join us at a workshop week and Jugaadfest in India. Please find the details below and submit your application to our form. Be sure to check out FOSSASIA’s program guidelines.

1. Program Details

  • Sign up on our dedicated form at fossasia.org/internship (Interns need to become members of the org and sign up on its social channels)
  • Internships are 3 months with monthly evaluations
  • plus preparation onboarding after acceptance
  • Eligible are contributors above 18 years of age. Any contributor is eligible including students, professionals, university staff etc. Prefered are contributors who have participated in the community previously.
  • Benefits of the program include Shirts, Swag, certificates. All participants who pass the final evaluation will be eligible to participate in a workshop week and Jugaadfest in September 2018 in Hyderabad. Travel grants and accommodation will be provided.
  • The program is intended as a full-time program. However, if contributors would like to participate who have a day job, they can still join and pass the program if they fulfill all program requirements. All contributors who pass the program will be able to receive funding for workshops and Jugaadfest participation.

2. Timeline

  • Application period ongoing until May 12
  • Acceptance ongoing until May 12
  • Start of pre-period:  May
  • Start of Internship: 1st June
  • Evaluation 1: July
  • Evaluation 2: August
  • Evaluation 3: September
  • End of Internship:  September, 2018
  • Issuing of Certificates: September 2018
  • FOSSASIA Workshop Week /Jugaadfest: September/October

3. Deliverables

  • Daily scrum email to project mailing list answering three questions: What did I do yesterday? What is my plan for today? Is there anything preventing me from achieving my goals, e.g. blockers?
  • Work according to pull requests and issues (submit code on Github and match it with issues)
  • Daily code submissions (software, hardware)
  • Documentation: Text, YouTube videos
  • 1 technical blog post a month with details on solving a problem in a FOSSASIA project (Monthly – 1: by Monday of second week)
  • Design items (in open formats, e.g. XCF, SVG, EPS)

4. Participating Projects

5. Best Practices

Please follow best practices as defined here: https://blog.fossasia.org/open-source-developer-guide-and-best-practices-at-fossasia/

6. Participant Benefits/Support

Participants will receive Swag, certificates and travel support to the FOSSASIA Workshop week and Jugaadfest.

  • Evaluation 1: July, 2018: Successful Participants receive a FOSSASIA Tshirt (sent out together with bag in evaluation 2)
  • Evaluation 2: August: Successful Participants receive a beautiful FOSSASIA bag
  • Evaluation 3: September: Successful Participants receive the following support to participate in the FOSSASIA India Workshop Week and Jugaadfest:
    • 100 SGD travel support from within India and 200 SGD support if coming from outside India
    • One week accommodation in Hyderabad (organized by FOSSASIA)
    • Catering during workshops

Making Skill Display Cards Identical in SUSI.AI Skill CMS

SUSI.AI Skill CMS shows all the skills of SUSI.AI. The cards used to display all the skills follow flexbox structure and adjust their height according to content. This lead to cards of different sizes and this needed to be fixed. This needed to fix as the cards looked like this:

The cards display following things:

  • Image related to skill
  • An example query related to skill in double quotes
  • Name of skill
  • Short description of skill

Now to get all these, we make an ajax call to the following endpoint:

http://api.susi.ai/cms/getSkillList.json?model='+ this.state.modelValue + '&group=' + this.state.groupValue + '&language=' + this.state.languageValue

Explanation:

  • this.state.modelValue: This is the model of the skill, stored in state of component
  • this.state.groupValue: This represents the group to which skill belongs to. For example Knowledge, Communication, Music, and Audio, etc.
  • this.state.languageValue: This represents the ISO language code of language in which skill is defined

Now the response is in JSONP format and it looks like:

Now we parse the response to get the information needed and return the following Card(Material UI Component):

<Link key={el}
     to={{
        pathname: '/' + self.state.groupValue + '/' + el + '/' + self.state.languageValue,
            state: {
                        url: url,
                        element: el,
                        name: el,
                        modelValue: self.state.modelValue,
                        groupValue: self.state.groupValue,
                        languageValue: self.state.languageValue,
                       }
           }}>
           <Card style={styles.row} key={el}>
                <div style={styles.right} key={el}>
                       {image ? <div style={styles.imageContainer}>
                        <img alt={skill_name}
                          src={image}
                          style={styles.image} />
                          </div> :
                         <CircleImage name={el} size='48' />}
                             <div style={styles.titleStyle}>{examples}</div>
                             </div>
                             <div style={styles.details}>
                                 <h3 style={styles.name}>{skill_name}</h3>
                                 <p style={styles.description}>{description}</p>
                             </div>
         </Card>
</Link>

Now the information that leads to non-uniformity in these cards is the skill description. Now to solve this we decided to put a certain limit to the description length and if that limit is crossed, then we will show the following dots: “”. The height and width of the cards were fixed according to screen size and we modified the description as follows:

if (skill.descriptions) {
      if (skill.descriptions.length > 120) {
          description = skill.descriptions.substring(0, 119) + '...';
      }
      else {
          description = skill.descriptions;
      }
}

This way no content was being cut and all the skill cards looks identical:

Resources:

Implementing Author’s Skill Page in SUSI.AI CMS

SUSI.AI Skill CMS is improving every day and we keep adding new features to it. Recently a feature was added to display all the skills by an author. This feature only showed the list of skills. The user might want to visit the skill page to see the description so we linked the skills on the list to skill page. The list looked like this:

We need to link skill name and image to respective skill page. Now since this is react based app, we do not have different URL for different skills due to SPA. The description, images and other relevant details of skills were being passed as props. We needed to have routes through which we can directly access the skill. This was done by implementing child routes for Skill CMS. Earlier the description, images, and other relevant data was being passed as props from the BrowseSkill component, but now we need to derive this from the URL:

let baseUrl = 'http://api.susi.ai/cms/getSkillMetadata.json';           
let modelValue = "general";
this.name = this.props.location.pathname.split('/')[2];
this.groupValue = this.props.location.pathname.split('/')[1];
this.languageValue = this.props.location.pathname.split('/')[3];
url = baseUrl + '?model=' + modelValue + '&group=' + this.groupValue +        '&language=' + this.languageValue + '&skill=' + this.name;

We now make an ajax call to this URL for fetching the data:

$.ajax({
               url: url,
               jsonpCallback: 'pc',
               dataType: 'jsonp',
               jsonp: 'callback',
               crossDomain: true,
               success: function (data) {
                   self.updateData(data.skill_metadata)
               }
           });

This updates the skill page with the description, image, author and other relevant details of the skills. Now all left to do is link the skills on the list to their respective links. This is done by following code:

We define skillURL as:

let skillURL = 'http://skills.susi.ai/' + parse[6] + '/' + parse[8].split('.')[0] + '/' + parse[7];

Here parse is an array which contains model, group and ISO language code of the skill. We updated the Image and text component as:

<a
   href={skillURL} >
   <Img
     style={imageStyle}
     src={[
           image1,
           image2
          ]}
     unloader={<CircleImage name={name} size="40"/>}
                          />
</a>
<a
   href={skillURL}
   className="effect-underline" >
    {name}
</a>

Now after proper styling, we had the following looking skill list by author:

Resources

Adding Fallback Images in SUSI.AI Skill CMS

SUSI.AI Skill CMS shows image of a every skill. Here we are going to talk about a special case, where we handle the case when image is not found. We will be discussing the author’s skill component(all the skills by an author) and how we added fallback image in order to handle all the cases. For displaying image in table displaying all skills of author, we provide the path of image in SUSI Skill Data repository. The path is provided as follows :

let image = 'https://raw.githubusercontent.com/fossasia/susi_skill_data/master/models/general/'+ parse[6]+'/'+parse[7]+'/images/'+parse[8].split('.')[0];

Explanation:
parse is the array which contains the models, language ISO code, and the name of the skill. This is obtained after parsing JSON from this endpoint :

"http://api.susi.ai/cms/getSkillsByAuthor.json?author=" + author;
  • parse[6]: This represents a model of the skill. There are currently six models Assistants, Entertainment, Knowledge, Problem Solving, Shopping and Small Talks.
  • parse[7]: This represents ISO language code of the skill.
  • parse[8]: This represents the name of the skill.

Now the image variable just needs the file extension. We have .jpg and .png extensions in images in our skill data repository. So we made two images :

let image1 = image + '.png';
let image2 = image + '.jpg';

The img tag only takes one attribute in src and we can only add a string in alt tag. Now we needed to check which image exists and add proper src. This can be solved by following methods:

We can use Jquery to solve this:

$.get(image_url)
        .done(function() { 
                // image exists
        }).fail(function() { 
                // Image doesn't exist
    })

This will result in more code and and also this does not handles the case where no image is found and we need to show the Circle Image component which takes first two letters of skill and make a circular component. After researching the internet we found a perfect solution to our problem. There is an npm package named react-image, which is an alternative to default img tag. Features of react-image package helpful to us are:

  • We can provide multiple fallback images in an array as source which will be used in order of index of array. This feature solves our problem of extensions, we add provide image with all extensions.
  • We can show a fallback element in case no images are loaded. This solves our second problem where we needed to show Circle Image component.

Code looks like this:

<Img
  style={imageStyle}
  src={[
       image1,
       image2
      ]}
  unloader={<CircleImage name={name} size="40"/>}
 />

Resources:

Getting skills by an author in SUSI.AI Skill CMS

The skill description page of any skill in SUSI.AI skill cms displays all the details regarding the skill. It displays image, description, examples and name of author. The skill made by author can impress the users and they might want to know more skills made by that particular author.

We decided to display all the skills by an author. We needed an endpoint from server to get skills by author. This cannot be done on client side as that would result in multiple ajax calls to server for each skill of user. The endpoint used is :

"http://api.susi.ai/cms/getSkillsByAuthor.json?author=" + author

Here the author is the name of the author who published the particular skill. We make an ajax call to the server with the endpoint mentioned above and this is done when the user clicks the author. The ajax call response is as follows(example) :

{
 0:       "/home/susi/susi_skill_data/models/general/Entertainment/en/creator_info.txt",
 1: "/home/susi/susi_skill_data/models/general/Entertainment/en/flip_coin.txt",
 2: "/home/susi/susi_skill_data/models/general/Assistants/en/websearch.txt",
session: {
identity: {
type: "host",
name: "139.5.254.154",
anonymous: true
  }
 }
}

The response contains the list of skills made by author. We parse this response to get the required information. We decided to display a table containing name, category and language of the skill. We used map function on object keys to parse information from every key present in JSON response. Every value corresponding to a key represents a response of following type:

"/home/susi/susi_skill_data/models/general/Category/language/name.txt"

Explanation:

  • Category: There are currently six categories Assistants, Entertainment, Knowledge, Problem Solving, Shopping and Small Talks. Each skill falls under a different category.
  • language: This represents the ISO language code of the language in which skill is written.
  • name: This is the name of the skill.

We want these attributes from the string so we have used the split function:

let parse = data[skill].split('/');

data is JSON response and skill is the key corresponding to which we are parsing information. We store the array returned by split function in variable parse. Now we return the following table in map function:

return (
            <TableRow>
               <TableRowColumn>
                   <div>
                      <Img
                         style={imageStyle}
                         src={[
                              image1,
                              image2
                         ]}
                         unloader={<CircleImage name={name} size="40"/>}
                       />
                       {name}
                    </div>
                </TableRowColumn>
                <TableRowColumn>{parse[6]}</TableRowColumn>
                <TableRowColumn>{isoConv(parse[7])}</TableRowColumn>
             </TableRow>
          )

Here :

    • name: The name of skill converted into Title case by the following code :
let name = parse[8].split('.')[0];
name = name.charAt(0).toUpperCase() + name.slice(1);
  • parse[6]: This represents the category of the skill.
  • isoConv(parse[7]): parse[7] is the ISO code of the language of skill and isoConv is an npm package used to get full form of the language from ISO code.
  • CircleImage: This is a fallback option in case image at the URL is not found. This takes first two words from the name and makes a circular component.

After successful execution of the code, we have the following looking table:

Resources:

Parsing SUSI.AI Blog Feed

Our SUSI.AI web chat is improving every day.Recently we decided to add a blog page to our SUSI.AI web chat to show all the latest blogs related to SUSI.AI. These blogs are written by our developer team. We have the following feed from which we need to parse the information of blogs and display:

http://blog.fossasia.org/tag/susi-ai/feed/

This feed is in RSS (Really Simple Syndication) format. We decided to use Google feed API service to parse this RSS content, but that service is now deprecated. Then we decided to convert this RSS into JSON format and then we will parse the information.
We have used the rss2json API for converting our RSS content into JSON. We make an ajax call to this API for fetching the JSON content:

$.ajax({
        url: 'https://api.rss2json.com/v1/api.json',
        method: 'GET',
        dataType: 'json',
        data: {
            'rss_url': 'http://blog.fossasia.org/tag/susi-ai/feed/',
            'api_key': api_key: '0000000000000000000000000000000000000000', // put your api key here,
            'count': 50
        }
        }).done(function (response) {
            if(response.status !== 'ok'){ throw response.message; }
            this.setState({ posts: response.items, postRendered: true});
        }.bind(this));

Explanation:

  • URL: This is base URL of API to which we are making calls in order to fetch JSON data.
  • rss_url: This is the URL of RSS feed which needs to be converted into JSON format.
  • api_key: This is the key, which can be generated after making an account on the website
  • count: Count of feed items to return, the default is 20.

The converted JSON response looks like:

This can be checked here.

Now we have used cards of material-ui to show the content of this JSON response. On the success of our ajax call, we update the array(named as posts) present in the initial state of our component with response.items( an array containing information of blogs).

We map through each element in an array named posts and return the corresponding card, containing relevant information in it. We parsed the following information from JSON:

  • Name of the author: posts.author
  • Title of the blog: posts.title
  • Link to blog on WordPress: posts.link

Publish date of the blog:
The publish date is in this format: “2017-08-05 09:05:27” (example), we need to format this date. We used following code to do that:

let date = posts.pubDate.split(' ');
let d = new Date(date[0]);
dateFormat(d, 'dddd, mmmm dS, yyyy') // dateFormat is an npm package

This converts “2017-08-05 09:05:27” to “Saturday, August 5th, 2017”.

Description and Featured Images of the blog:
We needed to show a short description of the blog and a featured image. There is an element in our posts array with name description that contains HTML, starting from featured image and followed by a short description. We needed to convert this HTML into simple text for using this. I used htmlToText npm package for this purpose:
let description = htmlToText.fromString(posts.description).split(‘…’);
description variable now contains simple text. A simple example :

[https://blog.fossasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/image2-768×442.png] Our SUSI.AI Web Chat has many static pages like Overview, Devices, Team and Support.We have separate CSS files for each component. Recently, we faced a problem regarding design pattern where CSS files of one component were affecting another component. This blog is all about solving this issue and we take an example of distortion

Now, this text contains both link for featured image and our short description text. For getting the link for featured image, I have used regex(Regular Expression) in the following code and saved the link in the variable image and for short description I have used the split function :

let text = description[0].split(']');
let image = susi // temporary image for initialisation
let regExp = /\[(.*?)\]/;
let imageUrl = regExp.exec(description[0]);
if(imageUrl) {
   image = imageUrl[1]
}

After successfully parsing this information from JSON, we can have cards with details and card looks like this:

As we need all this to be rendered when the component mounts, so we put our ajax call inside componentDidMount() function of our react component.

Resources:

Implementing Proper CSS for Static Pages in SUSI.AI Web Chat

Our SUSI.AI Web Chat has many static pages like Overview, Devices, Team and Support. We have separate CSS files for each component. Recently, we faced a problem regarding design pattern where CSS files of one component were affecting another component. This blog is all about solving this issue and we take an example of distortion in our team’s page.

The current folder structure looks like this :

We can see that there are separate CSS files for all components. When the build of our react web app is complete, all the CSS files are loaded at once. So if CSS files contain classes with similar names, then this can disturb the original intended design of a particular component.

Our Team Page after merging of recent pull requests looked like this :

The Card component holding the images had extended vertically. The card component has following code:

<Card className='team-card' key={i}>
  <CardMedia className="container" >
    <img src={serv.avatar} alt={serv.name} 
      className="image" />
      <div className="overlay" >
        <div className="text">
         <FourButtons member={serv} />
        </div>
      </div>
  </CardMedia>
  <CardTitle title={serv.name} subtitle={serv.designation} />
</Card>

The CardMedia component is having className = “container”. This was defined in Team.css file. The CSS for this component is as follows :

.container {
  position: relative;
}
.container:hover .overlay {
  bottom: 0;
  height: 100%;
  opacity:0.7;
}

After inspecting through Chrome’s developer’s tool, it was found that these CSS properties were overwritten by another component having the same className as container. To resolve this issue there are multiple approaches:

  • Find the component with the same className and change the className of that component.
  • Change the className of current component.
  • Change the name of both components to resolve conflicts in future.

All the approaches will do the job for us. Here the easiest task was to change the className of the current component. This will save us time and we would not be adding extra lines of code. This is an efficient solution. So we decided to change the className to “container_div”. Then the CSS files will look like this:

.container_div {
  position: relative;
}
.container_div:hover .overlay {
  bottom: 0;
  height: 100%;
  opacity:0.7;
}

We also have to update the className in our CardMedia to “container_div”. After doing these changes. The cards were back to intended design:

To avoid such conflicts in future, it is recommended to name your CSS classes uniquely and after you’re done with making any component, recheck through developer’s tool that your component’s className does not have any conflicts with other components.

Resources:

CSS best practises: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/30-css-best-practices-for-beginners–net-6741

Code for Team’s Page: https://github.com/fossasia/chat.susi.ai/tree/master/src/components/Team

Team Page: http://chat.susi.ai/team

Getting Response Feedback In SUSI.AI Web Chat

The SUSI.AI Web Chat provides responses for various queries, but the quality of responses it not always the best possible. Machine learning and deep learning algorithms will help us to solve this step by step. In order to implement machine learning, we need feedback mechanisms. The first step in this direction is to provide users with a way to give feedback to responses with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”. In this blog, I explain how we fetch the feedback of responses from the server.

On asking a query like tell me a quote, Susi responses with following message:

Now the user can rate the response by pressing thumbs up or thumbs down button. We store this response on the server. For getting this count of feedback we use the following endpoint:

BASE_URL+'/cms/getSkillRating.json?'+'model='+model+'&group='+group+'&skill='+skill;

Here:

  • BASE_URL: Base URL of our server: http://api.susi.ai/
  • model: Model of the skill from which response is fetched. For example “general”.
  • group: The group of the skill from which response is fetched. For example “entertainment”.
  • skill: name of the skill from which response is fetched. For example “quotes”.

We make an ajax call to the server to fetch the data:

$.ajax({
          url: getFeedbackEndPoint,
          dataType: 'jsonp',
          crossDomain: true,
          timeout: 3000,
          async: false,
          success: function (data) {
            console.log(getFeedbackEndPoint)
            console.log(data);
            if(data.accepted) {
              let positiveCount = data.skill_rating.positive;
              let negativeCount = data.skill_rating.negative;
              receivedMessage.positiveFeedback = positiveCount;
              receivedMessage.negativeFeedback = negativeCount;
            }

}

In the success function, we receive the data, which is in jsonp format. We parse this to get the desired result and store it in variable positiveCount and negativeCount. An example of data response is :

In the client, we can get value corresponding to positive and negative key as follows :

let positiveCount = data.skill_rating.positive;
let negativeCount = data.skill_rating.negative;

This way we can fetch the positive and negative counts corresponding to a particular response. This data can be used in many ways, for example:

  • It can be used to display the number of positive and negative count next to the thumbs:

  • It can be used in machine learning algorithms to improve the response that SUSI.AI provides.

Resources:

Testing Link:

http://chat.susi.ai/

Handling Change of Password of SUSI.AI Account

In this blog, we will talk about a very special case, where the user changes his password to his current one only, in other words, the user enters the same password in both current password and new password. This case is now being handled by SUSI.AI server.

Considering the example of SUSI.AI Web Chat, we have following dialog when the user tries to change his/her password:

Here the user can add his/her current password and new password. When the new password meets the minimum conditions (minimum 6 characters), then the user can press CHANGE button.

We make ajax call to the server with the following endpoint:

BASE_URL+'/aaa/changepassword.json?'+
            'changepassword=' + email +
            '&password=' + this.state.passwordValue +
            '&newpassword=' + this.state.newPasswordValue +
            '&access_token='+cookies.get('loggedIn');

Here we have 4 parameters:

  • changepassword: This takes the email of the current user
  • password: This is the password of the current user, which is saved in the state named “passwordValue”
  • newpassword: This is the new password which the user enters
  • access_token: These are access tokens which are fetched from cookies. These are defined on login and are deleted on logout.

This is now handled on the server by a file named PasswordChangeService.java. Here we have to check whether the newpassword and password matches or not.

In this file, we have a function named serviceImpl with return type ServiceResponse and takes in an argument: Query post (Query is the return type). The query is not the only argument, Please read from the file from resources mentioned below for all the argument. To handle our case we just need to work with the post.

We extract the password, newpassword and email as follows:

String useremail = post.get("changepassword", null);
String password = post.get("password", null);
String newpassword = post.get("newpassword",null);

So to simply handle the case where password and newpassword matches, we define an if block in java and compare these two parameters as follows:

if(password.equals(newpassword)){
            result.put("message", "Your current password and new password matches");
            result.put("accepted", false);
            return new ServiceResponse(result);
}

Here we put the message as “Your current password and new password matches” and make the accepted flag of result JSON as false. After this, we return the ServiceResponse.

Now in our web chat client, the ajax call is as follows:

$.ajax({
                url: changePasswordEndPoint,
                dataType: 'jsonp',
                crossDomain: true,
                timeout: 3000,
                async: false,
                statusCode: {
                    422: function() {
                      let msg = 'Invalid Credentials. Please check your Email or Password.';
                      let state = this.state;
                      state.msg = msg;
                      this.setState(state);
                    }
                },
                success: function (response) {
                    let msg = response.message+'\n Please login again.';
                    let state = this.state;
                    state.msg = msg;
                    state.success = true;
                    state.msgOpen = true;
                    this.setState(state);
                }.bind(this),
                error: function(jqXHR, textStatus, errorThrown) {
                    let msg = 'Failed. Try Again';
                    if (status === 'timeout') {
                      msg = 'Please check your internet connection';
                    }
                    let state = this.state;
                    state.msg = msg;
                    state.msgOpen = true;
                    this.setState(state);
                }.bind(this)
            });

In our success method of ajax call,  we receive the JSON response in a variable named response and store this in the state in variable msg and set the state of success equal to true. We then use the state and message to handle accordingly.

Our JSON object when both password and new password are same:

So this is how clients can handle accordingly to the message received from the server instead of doing this on their own end.

Resources

Change Background of Message Section in SUSI.AI Web Chat

In SUSI.AI Web Chat we pay special attentions to the UI to make it easy to use and attract more users. Many chat apps offer users customization such as changing the colors and background. As this is very popular we decided to give the option to customize the background of message section of SUSI.AI web chat. The UI of the message section had a default gray background which could not be modified by the user. The goal was now to allow the user to customize the look of his or her own client starting with the background of the message section.

We added the settings to change the background image to Custom theme menu which occurs only when the user is logged in.The option looks like this:

User can add URL of any image of his/her choice and it will be set as the background of message section.
Now let’s take a look at the implementation of this option. We added messageBackgroundImage to our state of message section and initialised it to ‘ ’ (empty string). The TextField component looks like this:

<TextField
   name="messageImg"
   style={{display:component.component==='body'?'block':'none'}}
   ref={(input) => { this.backImage = input }}
   onChange={
     (e,value)=>
     this.handleChangeMessageBackground(value) }
    value={this.state.messageBackgroundImage}
    floatingLabelText="Message Background Image URL"
 />

OnChange method handles the input URL and this calls the function handleChangeMessageBackground. This function is having following implementation:

handleChangeMessageBackground(backImage){
    this.setState({messageBackgroundImage:backImage});
  }

It sets the messageBackgroundImage equal to the URL entered by the user. Now to change the background of message section we made a custom React style object messageBackgroundStyles:

const messageBackgroundStyles = {
        backgroundImage: `url(${this.state.messageBackgroundImage})`,
        backgroundRepeat: 'no-repeat',
        backgroundSize: '100% 100%'
    }

In the above object,

backgroundImage: sets the message section background to the image on URL entered by user

backgroundImage: Does not allows to the image to be repeated.

backgroundSize: Fills the entire message section with the background image.

Now this style was added to the component of message section :

<div className='message-section'>
     <ul
      className='message-list'
      ref={(c) => { this.messageList = c; }}
      style={messageBackgroundStyles}> // Styles added
       // Some relevant code    
      </ul>
</div>

Now we have following UI, where the user can modify the message section background with image of his or her own choice. User can add any image as background of message section by adding appropriate URL. The image will cover the entire message section without repeating itself.

Background Image source:link

This gives our user custom look according to his/her own choice.

Resources

Testing Link

http://chat.susi.ai

Background Image source of featured image : link