Wish : chat between client and server
Wed Feb 19 22:23:01 2003
:: Two instances of notepad... You type in one, the other person types
:: in the other. Simple.
: But there's only one input focus. When you type, he can't. When he
: types, you can't. One notepad or two isn't important.
: Not so simple.
Two notepads naturally segregates history without needing to add
annotations manually; but yes, there is only one locus of control, so
you have to have social conventions about who's supposed to be typing...
eg, type "over" when you are done composing your message; works with
one, two, or N notepads.
Yes, it's not ideal. You can still wrestle for the cursor, etc.
But it's simple, straightfoward, and works with most any notepad-like
editor on any platform (ie, the exact same concept works in an Xvnc window).
But if it's not enough, you can use the same concept as that I
suggested for transfering small files, and provide a messaging facility
for most any client facility. Base it on the cutbuffer; you have a
little app that monitors the cutbuffer and pastes it to the end of
a text widget when it changes. Then the client simply composes a
message, either in a specialized applet, or in (say) notepad,
puts it into the cutbuffer, and sends it.
It's still not ideal, but 1) anybody can implement it, and then
petition for the VNC protocol to be extended to accomodate it
(ie, add something that acts like the cutbuffer data, but which
is logged to somewhere external apps can get to it rather than
actually going into the cutbuffer, and 2) it can co-exist with
other apps using the same data channel by use of mime types, etc,
so it can be made quite featureful without needing VNC itself
to change (and obviously, it *can* be bundled with your own
distribution of VNC without realvnc or tightvnc adopting it).
Note that it solves the "type folks typing" problem, it can add
time and whofrom annotations to the displayed log, and all in all
it's a real live chat facility that can be added at the cost of
(say) ten lines of tcl/tk scripting or so. Or VB or whatever.
Only downside is the dual operation needed to send: the message from
the client side: copy and then send; on the server side, just typing
at the message panel suffices.
Fairly simple. Can be had Real Quick at Very Low Cost.
Now how much would you pay? But wait, there's more ...
Wayne Throop firstname.lastname@example.org