Scripts for Educators Presents:
A simple real-time chat script
- Program Summary
- Who's Using Chat-N-Time?
- System Requirements
- Files Needed
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.
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
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:
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
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
"firstname.lastname@example.org." For example, if your email address is
'email@example.com' then you can often reach your system administrator at
'firstname.lastname@example.org'. AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy users should look for
"technical support" or "member services.")
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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
Unix: Type "gunzip chatntime.tar.gz" then type "tar -xvf
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
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
- 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!
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This page copyright © 1996, Kristina L. Pfaff-Harris. All rights