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Chatr 0.4

Sunday 1 January 2006 - Filed under Chatr

I released 0.4 of Chatr, my AJAX/php chat software today. It getting fairly usable and I think any site that’s interested in having their users meet spontaneously, might want to give it a try.

The challenges I tackled in this version had to do with the nature of AJAX and its usually event-based operation. If someone leaves my chat room, it’s because they generally go to another page or close their browser. Both of these operations are quick and provide the javascript client zero time to say, “Hey! We’re exiting.”. I know Blogger does ask if you’re sure you want to leave so maybe I should take a look at their code. Anyway, at this point, the user is there and then he isn’t.

That means I have to keep track of pings to know that the user is still at the chat room. I ran into one problem where pings would stop coming in IE thereby leading to people being timed out but still looking at the room and requesting chat text as much as an active user. This “spectator” mode was not desirable so with this version I fixed it, those timed-out users now see an error message and their client recieves a message in the process to halt requests.

You can give it a try, download it or check out the readme.

2006-01-01  »  David Sterry