Scripts for Educators Presents:


A simple real-time chat script


Program Summary
Who's Using Chat-N-Time?
System Requirements
Files Needed

Program Summary:

Chat-N-Time is a simple Perl real-time chat cgi for the web. It lets you hold real-time conversations on a web page. Users log in, and then can type what they'd like to say into a text box, and hit "Enter" or click a button. The chat window refreshes itself every 10 seconds or so, so that others looking at the page will be able to see the new addition to the conversation. (You can modify this refresh setting.) This program requires the use of frames, though, so non-frame browsers won't be able to use it.

Works with Internet Explorer 5 and Netscape 2.04, 3.04 and 4.7 but possibly not with other browsers. If you encounter a problem with a certain browser, please let me know which browser you were using! While it also makes use of a META "Refresh" tag, users who can use frames but not META tags can refresh their own screens by clicking another button.

Features of Chat-N-Time v2.8

Enable or Disable HTML for users: You can decide whether to allow chat room users to enter HTML code or not. (Demo is set to disable HTML.)

Configure number of lines to show: You can decide how many lines of chat you want to display before the chatroom erases the oldest line from the screen. (Demo is set to 15 lines.)

Chat Logging: You can choose to log all your chat room activity to a transcript file. (or not!)

Chat Censoring: You can set up a list of "bad words" and the program will filter them out of the chatroom.

Private Messaging: Your users can send private messages to one another while in the chatroom.

Online help: The /help option will only show up to the person who typed it and not clutter up the rest of the chat room.

View Who's Online: You can see who's online before entering the chat room, and during a chat.

Configurable Refresh Time: You can tell the program how often to refresh the chat screen. (Demo is set to 10 seconds.)

Clear out old chats when the room is empty: You can configure the program to clear out the chatroom when no one is left logged in, or to leave all the old chats there.

User actions or "emotes": Users can type "/me runs away" and the chatroom will display "TheirLogin runs away" in a slightly different text mode.

(Yes, I know, this would be better with Java, but hey -- what do you expect for free? :-)

There is a working version online for you to play with (on a Unix system).

This was ported to an NT server with no modifications, but if you put in the full paths to the various files, they need to look like this (double backslashes): C:\\InetPub\\wwwroot\\yourlogin or like "c:/InetPub/wwwroot/yourlogin" depending on your version of Perl.

Who's Using Chat-N-Time?:

Well, I know that hundreds of people have downloaded it, but where they've put it, they're not telling. If you've gotten it to work, let me know! :)

Here's a few that I searched up on the net:

IQ Tests
TriLogiC Group, Ltd. Chat There doesn't seem to be a link to this page on their main site, but they've done a lot of translation and modification so it looks very nice.
Maryland Institute, College of Art

System Requirements:

The machine where your script will be run should be a Unix or Windows NT server with Perl 5.000 or higher and a web server that supports CGI such as Apache, Netscape, NCSA, IIS, O'Reilly Website, etc.

You must be able to execute cgi programs on your web server. If you're not sure whether you have permission to do this, or are not sure how to configure the files, please ask your system administrator. (Usually "" For example, if your email address is '' then you can often reach your system administrator at ''. AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy users should look for "technical support" or "member services.")

Files Needed:

[an error occurred while processing this directive] The following files are required. You may download the package in a gzipped tar file. If you have Netscape or Internet Explorer, and you want to download this, try holding down the "shift" key while you click on the link. This should give you the option to download the file.

Unix: Type "gunzip chatntime.tar.gz" then type "tar -xvf chatntime.tar" to uncompress and expand the package. If you are using Windows, then I suggest you get WinZip, which will handle tar.gz files. You can find WinZip at TuCows.Com.

The following files should be included with this distribution:

the actual program that processes the data from the form.
The HTML file containing the frame source for the chat room.
the HTML page that contains rules and/or instructions for users of the chat room. This is displayed in the upper frame of "chatmain.html" at first.
Should be BLANK when you start out. This will contain the actual chat.
Should be BLANK when you start out. The program uses this to keep track of users online.
contains information on how to get started using the program. READ THIS before you get started!
This file

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This page copyright © 1996, Kristina L. Pfaff-Harris. All rights reserved.