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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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Awesome. :)

On the option for the chat buffer, does that affect private chats too? If someone exits and returns to the chat and had a private conversation going on, it'd be useful if they could still see the conversation they were having even if they can't see the open chat buffer.

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I have found with both ip.chat and the chatroom feature in CometChat, nobody uses them because there is no list of users in the chatroom on the main forum page. No one goes into the chatroom to see who is chatting, because most of the time no one is there. There is no reason for them to hang around in the chatroom waiting, because other users won't know they are there unless they go into the chatroom to check. So it ends up being empty, all the time.

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[quote name='SuperNoob' timestamp='1292031452']
I have found with both ip.chat and the chatroom feature in CometChat, nobody uses them because there is no list of users in the chatroom on the main forum page. No one goes into the chatroom to see who is chatting, because most of the time no one is there. There is no reason for them to hang around in the chatroom waiting, because other users won't know they are there unless they go into the chatroom to check. So it ends up being empty, all the time.


There is indeed a list of users in the chatroom on the forum index.
http://screencast.com/t/yhQhiFAY

There's also that helpful indicator icon.
http://screencast.com/t/otBW9sjY

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what about moderation event chat?
I'd like to invite some celebrities to take part in chat, then I need some moderator to accept question to this person.
Such functionality we have in ParaChat that we are using now and this is the last thing that keep me to have ParaChat instead of Your chat

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Hmmh, nice things,  especially popups. But I would have liked to see other things. :(

• a indicator for typing - a small keypad that show that other user is writing
• clickable usernames for easy insertion of username of other member
• changeable font colors (by users)
• changeable font size (by users)

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I would buy IP.Chat, but the idea that people are going to idle and chat on a website is ridiculous. I'd love to see a plugin for IRC support, but if that's not in the cards then IP.Chat is useless for me.

We already have a home on an IRC server, so I'm not going to move folks into the web for less benefit.

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Great news... really appreciate the update! Tho I don't think any of these items were things I was hoping for. Tho I might like the popup window option once I see it.

Looking forward to more enhancements in 2.0 and I pray that isn't a year out.

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Perhaps a list of who is chatting in a hover box over the chat menu tab?

The current list is buried in the bottom of the page and no one looks there. As one member stated earlier, more will chat if they see who is in there.

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[quote name='Claudia999' timestamp='1292066611']
a indicator for typing - a small keypad that show that other user is writing

In a chat with 10 people, that little keypad would be on constantly, which would defeat the purpose of it being there.

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Nice work with the pop-up-chat, (its enabled on the demochat on this board). Is it possible integrate it more with the board, like the pop-up placed at the hook-position right on board index. My uses want to chat and surf at the same time

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. You have all made some great points, and I invite you to start a feedback thread in the IP.Chat forum so that we can review each one individually.

http://community.invisionpower.com/forum/436-ipchat/

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[quote name='Wolfie' timestamp='1292198028']
[quote name='Claudia999' timestamp='1292066611']a indicator for typing - a small keypad that show that other user is writing



It would be terrific in a private chat.

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I pay for a 50 user limit in chat, so idling isn't as much of a problem. What is a problem is the auto-kick constantly kicking out members and moderators alike who have only been idle for a few minutes. I feel that this actually defeats the purpose of paying more for a user limit, because it discourages users who aren't extremely active in the chat from using it, or visiting it just to sit and enjoy the discussion.

This blog posting states that you can adjust the auto-kick limit in the ACP, but I have found no such option in the app settings, or member/usergroup settings. I even checked my Client Area. How do we adjust or disable this "feature"?

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