Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Lace’

ajax im – Another Online Chat/IM

August 22nd, 2006 No comments

A new chat system surfaced on digg so we jumped into the demo chat to give it a whirl. ajax im is a stand alone web based instant messenger in its current state. Users can create accounts and buddy lists. Once you know the usernames of other users, you can add them and initiate instant message chats with that user. Overall, we liked the design of the interface. It was simple, clean and user friendly. Each chat window is resizable and moveable within the browser window. Various windows and tabs flash with updates and notifications. However, this is definitely the initial stages of development.

Performance was pretty good, but it’s hard to really gauge since we were not able to determine how many users were online at any one time. There were no admin or moderator functions such as kick or ban at the time of the review. Users did not have the ability to ignore others as far as we could tell. Basic functionality for bold, italic and underline text were available but no text colors or emoticons. Chat history was logged, though we do not know how much or how long.

Luckily we were able to catch the sole developer, Josh (chat username: twist), online and conducted an impromptu interview. He was able to answer a few questions for us. As we expected, the items that we would like to see developed further, are planned for the future. Josh was very receptive to our questions and feedback. He indicated to us that he was targeting a niche market of easily deployable and maintained open source system for small community sites, company intranets and the like. We definitely see a market for this and we have yet to find a suitable system that we would recommend for the average site owner (however, there are plenty of choices out there). Josh definitely has a lot of work ahead of him. For example, there is currently no way to display other online users (those that aren’t on your buddy list) so this is up to the individual sites to implement to their liking. While this approach is good for the knowledgeable, it will make it difficult for small non-technical site owners or businesses to deploy in a useful manner.

We did not discuss technical details since we have not taken a look at the code. We have downloaded the source code and will be taking a look in the future. After we review the code, attempt an install and test out the system for ourselves, we will follow up with a technical review.

Before we ended the chat, we did have a short discussion about the market and other competing or similar products. Userplane Webchat, Stickam and Lace were mentioned. In response, Josh left us with a teaser regarding audio. Of course, he did not say whether it was in relation to ajax im or another project completely, so I guess we will all have to wait and see.

ajax im Screenshot

Multi-Language Chat with Video and Audio Support

July 20th, 2006 No comments

We continue to update our chat system and it keeps getting more and more features. The latest addition is real-time language translation for a handful of languages. Users select the language that they want to input text in and the chat will automatically translate to English. Currently, this is only a one way translation and everything is displayed and stored in English. The chat still supports Stickam players which can provide live video and audio chat streams.

Just a reminder, this is a proof of concept so there will be bugs and features that are not fully developed. However, there is good news. We are slated to help beta test version 0.1.6 of Lace. Things should get interesting…

Check out the chat page for the feature list and chat room entrance.

Categories: Misc Tags: , , ,

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4th, 2006 No comments

For those of you celebrating the Fourth have a fun and safe day.

Other news, some more bugs were squashed in the Lace chat room. The main one is the one where ghost users were not going away. Users should now be removed from the user list within 15 sec if they leave the chat by closing the browser or navigating away.

Enter Chat Here

Categories: Misc Tags: ,

Week End Summary

June 30th, 2006 No comments

We’ve tested the free Lace chat room some more. Thanks to those who helped out. Some bugs were squished and some still remain. However, we have a nice list of things to do for the next week or so. It’s definitely not up to full public use, but feel free to test it out and chat a bit if there are others on. Email us with any comments, bugs, or suggestions.

A few things were added to give the users a slightly more personal and friendly chat. We incorporated a couple of icon sets from Mark James, famfamfam.com. Users can now specify their 2 letter country code and have their country flag displayed by their name. 7 emoticons were also added to give the users a bit more of a friendly feel. We will add more but this is just a proof of concept. The flag and emoticons were obtained from Mark James’ free icon sets in addition to a few other icons like the “question/help” icon.

The Stickam video chat player integration has been cleaned up a bit and works pretty well. Unfortunately, we are still optimized for the 160×160 player. We have not determined if we will support other player sizes. While it would be good to support all players, we feel that their larger size may be a hindrance for most of the users. But, we will evaluate this more and check the server logs to see what resolution our users are running. Maybe our users have the space available.

Categories: Misc Tags: , , ,

Chat Anyone?

June 28th, 2006 2 comments

We’ve been kicking around some ideas and are working on a proof of concept for free chat. It’s a bit of a hodgepodge right now and is just a way for us to play with different ideas. Feel free to check it out and see what you think.

Enter Chat Here
(currently only tested and verified to work on Firefox)

Features:

  • Powered by Lace chat
  • enter url link for your profile page
  • chat box is moveable
  • enter Stickam video chat player ID if you have one
  • Stickam video chat player is moveable
  • Stickam video chat player functions remain intact

Known Issues & To Do:

  • bug in IE, Stickam flash player does not load
  • add more features

As usual, comments and suggestions are always welcomed.

Categories: Misc Tags: , , ,