Chat

Introduction

rbnbChat

The rbnbChat application lets users communicate with each other via the DataTurbine.

rbnbChat provides a command line for rapid establishment of a connection to the DataTurbine upon start-up.  The graphical interface shows received messages in a display screen and allows the user to enter and send messages in a text entry field. rbnbChat has an array of customization options available, including options to secure a new rbnbChat session with a password, create rbnbChat groups, review old messages, log an on-going session, send alerts, and do many other tasks.

Setup and Startup

rbnbChat is part of the OSDT Installation.

At startup, the rbnbChat program allows the user to specify on the command line: a DataTurbine to connect to, whether or not to fetch all available messages, a user name, and whether or not rbnbChat should prompt the user for a password.  If the user does not specify their name at the command line, rbnbChat will prompt the user for it at a later time.

The user may choose to start rbnbChat without any command line arguments.  The user can select the New or the  Open buttons on the File menu to establish an rbnbChat session via the graphical interface.

Once rbnbChat is connected to the DataTurbine, the  user interface screen shows the messages received (including those sent by the user) and allows the user to enter his or her own messages.

Command Line Arguments

Use of any command-line argument causes rbnbChatto attempt to connect to a DataTurbine and establish an rbnbChatsession upon start-up.

Parameter Option Format Description
Server Address -a <host>:<port> The address of the DataTurbine server to connect to.

The default is to set the DataTurbine to localhost:3333, but not open the connection.

User’s Name -u <user name> Specifies the name the user is to be known by. This is the datapath of the DataTurbine channel used.

There is no default user name, and as needed, the rbnbChat application will display the Open Dialog to ask the user for a user name.

Fetch All Messages -f Tells rbnbChat to fetch all of the messages available in the DataTurbine in the start-up group.

The default is not to fetch any messages from the DataTurbine when the connection is opened.

Prompt for Password -p Causes rbnbChat to display the Open Dialog at start-up, to allow the user to enter a password for the creation of a private session.

By default, no password is applied, and rbnbChat establishes a regular, public connection with the DataTurbine.

User Interface Fields

Menu Bar

At the top of the user interface screen is the menu bar. The menu bar has five menus that control the connection (File Menu), the display (View Menu), refreshing (Refresh Menu), the settings (Settings Menu), and provide help (Help Menu).

File Menu

The file menu has buttons to create a new chat host and open a connection to the DataTurbine (New), open connection to a DataTurbine (Open), to close the open connection (Close), and to exit the program (Exit).

New

The New button on the File Menu creates a new Chat Host server and opens a connection to the DataTurbine. The rbnbChat program pops up a dialog box to ask for the DataTurbine server address, the Chat Host server name, the username, the password for both the chat host and the client connection,  the cache size in frames, and the archive size in frames.

Entering a password creates a private chat host.

The cache size must be greater than zero.  The archive size must be either 0 (no archive) or greater than or equal to the cache size (in which case, rbnbChat attempts to either append to an existing archive or creates a new one).

The following is an example of the New dialog.

rbnbChat_newdlg
Example rbnbChat New Dialog

Open

The Open button on the  File Menu opens a connection to a DataTurbine. The rbnbChat program pops up a dialog box to ask for the DataTurbine server address, the Chat Host server name, the username, and the password for the Chat client connection,.

Entering a password creates a private session.

The following is an example of the Open dialog.

rbnbChat_opendlg
Example rbnbChat Open Dialog
 

Close

The Close button on the  File Menu closes the open connection to a DataTurbine.

Exit

The Exit button on the  File Menu exits the rbnbChat program.

View Menu

The view menu has options to clear the message display, to select or deselect displaying the server, date and time, or military time, and to choose whether the displayed times will be in Greenwich Mean or in Local Time.

Clear

The Clear button on the  View Menu clears all of the messages out of the  message display.

Date

The Date checkbox on the View Menu toggles the inclusion of the date in the message display, with the format dd-MMM-yyyy.  (Example: 05-AUG-2001 is August 5, 2001.)

Time

The Time checkbox on the View Menu toggles the inclusion of messages’ send time in the message display, with the format HH:mm:ss.  (Example: 21:04:16 is 9:04:16 PM.)

Military

The Military checkbox on the View Menu overrides the use of either the Date or Time options, and displays message dates and times in the message display with the format ddHHmmssZ MMM yy.  (Example: 23153933Z JUL 01 is July 23, 2001 at 3:39:33 PM, GMT.)

Greenwich Mean Time

The Greenwich Mean Time checkbox sets all displayed times to be in Greenwich Mean Time.

Local Time

The Local Time checkbox sets all displayed times to be in Local Time.

Font Size

The Font Size submenu on the View Menu allows the user to change the size of the font in which the messages are displayed in the message display.

Refresh Menu

The Refresh Menu has options to refresh the message display by performing a clear and then fetching some or all of the messages available in the DataTurbine for the current group.

10 seconds, 1 minute, 10 minutes, 1 hour, 10 hours, 1 day, 10 days

The 10 seconds, 1 minutes, 10 minutes, 1 hour, 10 hours, 1 day, and 10 days buttons on the Refresh Menu each clears the message display and then fetches the last 10 seconds, 1 minutes, etc. of messages available in the DataTurbine for the current group.

All

The All button on the Refresh Menu clears the message display and then fetches all messages available in the DataTurbine for the current group.

Options Menu

The Options menu permits the user to choose whether to beep on receipt of new messages, and whether to log the on-going rbnbChat session.

Beep on New

The Beep on New button on the Settings Menu toggles beeping on and off.  When beeping is enabled, rbnbChat will beep upon the receipt of any new message.  Beeping is off by default. Refreshed messages will not cause beeps.

Log

The Log button on the Settings Menu toggles logging on and off.

When logging is on, all messages written to the display are appended to the file “Chat.log” in the current directory.  Refreshed messages are not logged.

Help Menu

The Help menu has a button to show information about the rbnbChat program.

About

The About button on the Help Menu pops up a dialog box showing information about the rbnbChat program.

Sidebar

At the right side of the user interface screen is the sidebar. The sidebar shows the current connection information and allows the user to select the chat group.

Host

The current host is shown at the top of the sidebar. This is the full pathname of the chat host to which messages are sent and from which messages are received. The host provides the ring buffer (cache and archive) for the chat discussions. See the New menu selection.

Groups

The current group is shown in the middle of the sidebar. The current group is shown.

Clicking on the group pops up a list of the groups currently available in the chat host. Selecting any of the groups will switch you from your current group to the selected group.

At the end of the list is the <NEW> selection, which allows you to create a new group. This pops up the new group menu. shown below. Enter the name of a new group and select OK to switch to create and switch to the new group.

rbnbChat_groups
Example rbnbChat new groups menu

Users

The users in the current group are shown at the bottom of the sidebar.

Immediately under the Users tag is your name. You can change this name by opening a new connection.

Below that is the list of users in the current group. This list is updated when you switch groups, Message Display In the middle of the user interface screen is the message display. As messages are received byrbnbChat, it places them into this window. Each message is preceeded by the name of the person sending the message and, optionally, some combination of the sender’s server name, and the date and time at which the message was sent to the DataTurbine.

 

Private Mode

The user may enter a password in the Open Dialog or New Dialog when establishing a connection.  The connection is then private and rbnbChat is in private mode.

If a new chat host is created, then all discussions using that host are private and are protected by the password provided. All users must supply the same password to gain access to that chat host.

If a session is simply opened, then the password must match the password of the chat host, if any, or the user will be denied access.

In private mode,rbnbChat places a red border around the message display.

Message Entry

Under the message display on the user interface screen is the message entry field. The user can type his or her messages into this field. The field scrolls if the message is too long to fit. The message is sent when the user presses the Enter key and the message entry field is cleared.

Send Alert

A user may type a message into the entry field and then press the Send Alert button, on the right of the entry field, to send the message as an alert.  Alerts are displayed in a pop-up alert message box, as well as in the regular message display area, and rbnbChat will beep upon receipt of any alert message.

The following is an example of an alert message box:

rbnbChat_alert
Example rbnbChat alert message box

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