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IP.Chat 1.2.0 Dev Update: It's the Little Things That Matter

Next up in our round-up of changes you can expect to see in our application releases this holiday season: IP.Chat 1.2.0. For IP.Chat 1.2.0 we decided to hold back on some of the larger changes we would like to implement, in order to better evaluate the server requirements on our side and ensure we implement the big features in a resource-friendly manner for all involved.

In the mean time, we hope you like the changes you can expect to see in IP.Chat 1.2.0!

Friendly URL

While IP.Chat really only has one URL, we've gone ahead and added FURL support for the IP.Chat page. This means instead of "site.com/index.php?app=ipchat" you can now access chat on your site at "site.com/chat". As search engines generally won't be supported by IP.Chat anyways, this change is more for the benefit of your users rather than for search engine optimization reasons.

Auto-Kick Inactive Users

We felt this requested change was especially relevant to IP.Chat, given that chat packages have a maximum online users limit. We have implemented a feature in IP.Chat where-by a user will be automatically kicked from the chat room after a specified period of inactivity. You can specify the period (in minutes) in the ACP, and if a user sits in chat but does not submit any messages or perform any moderation activities the user will be kicked after the number of minutes you specify.

This can be useful if you have users that will visit your chat room at the end of the night, and forget to leave before leaving their computer in the evening. Instead of the user sitting in chat all evening long (even though they are not really present at their computer), the software will kick them, and show the normal "You have been kicked from chat" message, freeing up more space in your chat room without you having to upgrade your chat package unnecessarily.

Shut Off User Messages

We have added a setting that allows you to disable the "User X has entered the room" and "User X has left the room" messages that IP.Chat automatically show when users enter and leave, respectively. This new setting was added based on direct user requests.

Ability To Hide Recent Chats

When you enter the chat room, the most recent chats are shown to the user who has entered. This allows them to quickly catch up on the current conversation so they know what is being talked about at present. Some users have requested a setting to NOT show this chat "buffer" when new users enter the room, and in 1.2.0 such a setting has been added. Instead, when the user enters the room (and the setting is enabled), they will start with a blank slate and none of the recent chat messages will be shown to the user if the setting is enabled.

Launch Chat In A Popup

Probably the most heavily requested feature since we launched IP.Chat, you will now be able to launch chat in a minimalized popup window. There is a setting in the ACP that, when enabled, will automatically force the chat tab to launch a popup window instead of showing chat in the page with the full IP.Board wrapper. Additionally, if a user is viewing the chat room on a regular page, there is a new button (near the sounds toggle button) that will launch the chat room in a popup window, allowing you to leave the full chat page in IP.Board and continue navigating the forums.

Wrap Up

We have also performed some miscellaneous code cleanup to better optimize the code, and provide for better developer documentation for our third party developer community. We have intentionally kept this IP.Chat update scaled back so that we will be better positioned to deliver some bigger features for you in the next major release. We hope you find the features coming in 1.2.0 useful, and look forward to your feedback, as always!

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