NEW CHAT- Tools & Quirks (WHY CAN'T I JOIN CHAT??!!)

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CHAT Upgrade- Please Read

Postby dmac » Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:28 am

It took some work, but the very latest version of mChat is installed and fully functional. It is a vast improvement over the last version, and includes the following changes:

    New posts appear at the bottom (like regular chat rooms) instead of the top- no more scrolling to see what you just wrote.

    Avatars are smaller, and names of members in the chat room now appear at the bottom of the screen (instead of the right), which allows more room for text in the chat box-- no more scrolling to see what everybody just wrote.

    No more lag-- it seems issues with chat updating/refreshing have been fixed, so there are no more missing posts or double posts

    mChat now detects when you're typing and won't refresh until you 'send', so your post won't get eaten or mangled while you're typing. This also means you won't see new posts until you 'send'.

    You can control some chat functions in your User Control Panel.

That's about all I can think of at the moment-- it's been a long night. Don't forget, all the other stuff in the other post about Chat still applies, including the fact new members must post a few times on the forum before the chat function is available.

All for now, if anything goes south I'll look into it when I wake up...

:z_z_Z:
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NEW CHAT- Tools & Quirks (WHY CAN'T I JOIN CHAT??!!)

Postby dmac » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:17 pm

Since I've pruned off dead topics about old chat rooms which are no longer relevant to the forum, here are details about the current chat room (mChat) installed here.

UPDATED 01 FEB 2011

REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN CHAT

mChat is a mod for phpBB that is safely installed within this board. It is designed so no lurkers, impersonators, nor unknowns may enter chat. As of April 2014, to join chat you must be a regular forum member with 15 posts on the board. You MUST be logged onto this board to even see a link to enter chat. Also, your username shows up in the chat room for all to see. If you ever see "guest" in the chat room, no guests are actually lurking- guests are prohibited from entering chat but it shows up as a false-positive in the name list. There are only two reasons for "guests" to be seen in the room:

    A > A harmless search engine bot, like googlebot, is spidering the forum.
    B > Someone has hit a direct link to chat without being logged into the forum. Although the person cannot see the chat room (only an error message is seen on their end) the failed attempt still results in a false "guest" appearing on the chat list.

Chat is open 24/7, with formal chats regularly scheduled. Notifications of scheduled chats appear on the Forum index page, and often via an email news blast.

All registered users may enter chat, with few exceptions. To minimize fakers and spammers signing up to mess around, new members to the forum must make four posts before being allowed into chat. If any posts are spam or suspicious, the person will be dealt with appropriately.

The only other way to be excluded from chat is to get booted. If any posts a member makes have been flagged, and that member suspended, they cannot make posts or enter chat until the suspension is over. Likewise, behavior in the chat room can result in suspension or even banning from the board.

CHAT ROOM TOOLS AND QUIRKS

With yesterday's upgrade to the latest release of the chat mod, there have been several notable improvements and other changes affecting performance and behavior. Chief among them is that new posts in chat now appear at the bottom, next to the typing box. The typing box now also expands to allow you to see longer messages as you type them. Also, you can control sound and avatar display via your User Control Panel. Avatars are now smaller, and the list of people engaged in the chat room has been shifted to the bottom, which allows for much more room for messages in the chat window. Overall, this makes following the chat far easier.

The font may appear small to some. All browsers now allow users to change font/image sizes by simply using these commands:

    CTRL + to enlarge
    CTRL - to decrease
    CTRL 0 to return to regular display

There has also been a major change in how the chat room is coded to deal with "lurkers". After a preset time, if the person has not engaged in chat or refreshed the window, their 'Session' will 'Timeout' (end) and their name will be dropped from the list of those in chat. Even though they may otherwise appear to be logged into the chat room, they are not seeing any new activity in the room. In effect, they are automatically logged out and the chat stops refreshing, so they cannot see what's currently happening. It's hard-coded that way, so the only control I have is how long it takes to automatically end the session. Right now it's set to 10 minutes, but I can increase it up to 1 hour. The next paragraph explains why I set it to ten minutes.

The "WHO IS CHATTING" window now displays who has been in the chat room during the period specified in the "Session Timeout" mentioned above. Someone can come in and leave after 5 seconds, yet their name will remain on the Who Is Chatting list for the full duration. This is not an error, and there is no easy workaround, which is why I've set the timeout to 10 minutes. In other words, not only will you get bumped from chat after ten minutes of inactivity on your part, people who left chat may appear to be in chat for a further ten minutes after leaving.

For those who like to multitask when chat is slow, there is a great new function I added just a few minutes ago. If you leave the chat session open and go off surfing in other tabs within the same browser window, the chat tab will begin flashing when somebody has added a new comment. I'm highly impressed by that bit of code, because I think it will be useful to many here.

As before, the chat room displays new messages by refreshing that portion of the page. It only used to do it every few seconds, creating a small lag which allowed several posts to appear at once when busy (creating a traffic jam of sorts, further complicating following the chat). It now automatically posts new messages as soon as they are entered, so that problem has evaporated.

Overall, the board runs much smoother with less lag and hiccups. As before, if you are experiencing lag troubles, most likely you need to close down your browser and rejoin chat, or even reboot your computer. It may also be a bad web connection, or issues relating to this website's server. Also, double-posting appears to be a thing of the past. As of now, it happens only when the user hits the "enter" key too hard, too quickly, or repeatedly.

You may use the BBcodes and smilies shown in chat, and you may also turn chat sounds on/off by clicking the check-box near the bottom of the page.

That's about it for now. If I think of other stuff, I'll just edit this post so it's always at the top of the thread. I'll also answer any Qs you may have.
"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
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keddie28 AT gmail DOT com

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Chat Archive

Postby dmac » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:05 pm

As promised, the big chat session from April 13 has been archived on the site. It took longer than expected because the chat was so large- it broke site traffic records, in fact.
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Re: Chat Archive

Postby dmac » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:11 am

The Superchat Archive is still online, but it wasn't working properly for some time- nobody brought it to my attention, I just noticed it today when I went to add another archived chat. Long story short, the chat archive has been overhauled and, other than avatars not working properly in one archive, everything's a-ok.

Visit the Keddie Superchat Archive
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Re: NEW CHAT- Tools & Quirks (WHY CAN'T I JOIN CHAT??!!)

Postby Cheshire » Mon May 19, 2014 2:43 am

Hey Dmac,

I'm trying to read back to see what I missed after I left chat last night, but it will only scroll back a few minutes - am I doing something wrong?
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Re: NEW CHAT- Tools & Quirks (WHY CAN'T I JOIN CHAT??!!)

Postby dmac » Mon May 19, 2014 3:30 am

Click on the "archive" button on the bottom of the chat page.

BTW, I restored the CHAT link at the top of every forum page.
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Princess (Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:45 pm) • Cheshire (Mon May 19, 2014 3:32 am)
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