February 3, 2016

Time based Greetings in Slack

SlackTextExpander2.jpg

I spend a lot of time communicating with some remote teams. Most of the conversation is done in Slack. Recently I thought of a cool way to implement TextExpander and Slack.

When I start the conversation, I usually do it first thing in the morning with 'Good Morning Champion.' The problem is that in the remote offices it could be afternoon or evening so the greeting is a bit strange. That's when I thought that TextExpander could make the greeting more friendly.

I created several location base snippets that would enter in the proper time greetings based on their location.

Real World Example

There is a snippet in my library for 'in.hello' and this will automatically display the correct greetings when I am talking to my India team in chat. So if it's night time, it would say 'Good Evening Champion' and if it's before 6 pm their time, 'Good Afternoon Champion.' I have sfo.hello, Japan.hello and Korea.hello.

Now I will always say the correct greetings and not have to think about it.

This is the PHP code that I use to get that done:

India Hello Examples

#!/usr/bin/php 
<?php
date_default_timezone_set('Indian/Mauritius');
function greeting(){
    $timeOfDay = date('H');
    if($timeOfDay > '17'){
        return 'Good evening Champion. ';
    } else if ($timeOfDay > '12'){
        return 'Good afternoon Champion. ';
    } else {
        return 'Good morning Champion. ';
    }
}
echo greeting();

?>

I used the PHP Date functionality and not the built in date tools in TextExpander because of portability. I can travel to any time zone and not have to worry about what my system clock says, the greeting will always be correct.

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