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     Rooms interface
    Filed under: — David @ 11:16 pm

    As I continue to work out the rooms concept, I’m rethinking the client interface. My current thought is to give the client a global Connections window, which shows a list of the servers you’re currently connected to, with a list of rooms available when you click the disclosure triangle. This list may also include bookmarks and Rendezvous servers, with an indicator for which servers you are actually connected to (such as the presence of said disclosure triangle). Other columns in the list could be how long you have been connected to a server (or in a room), and how many users are there. The help tag for a server could also show you which account you are logged in with.

    One thing I haven’t settled on yet is whether any services should be independent of rooms. Should there be a global file sharing archive, or should there just be one in the main room?

    I’m inclined to put everything in rooms, even though it means I’ll need to rethink some things to fully integrate the room concept into the system. I want to do this because I think it’s an important part of the concept and potential of the project, plus I think it’s going to be one of those things that will be more effort the more I put it off.

     Rooms
    Filed under: — David @ 11:17 pm

    Coming back to this after a couple of months (having been distracted by schoolwork and other things), I’ve been thinking a lot about chat rooms - actually, they would just be rooms, and chat would be one of the things you could do in them.

    The way it would work is when you start a new room, you specify what you want to happen in it - like chat, tabletop file sharing, and tic-tac-toe, or something like that. So there would be an instace of each service running in the room, all linked together. Access to those services is basically all or nothing; when you enter a room, you can access anything in it. If you leave, or get kicked, you lose access to everything.

    The way it’s implemented in the current release, there is no concept of rooms at all. There is one chat, and when you log in, you are in that chat. Actually, it would be possible to modify the client to log in without joining the chat, although the client’s chat interface can’t currently distinguish between “logged in” and “in the chat”. That’s going to change to a room system, where there is a main room that the client will join automatically, thus allowing for the distinction between “logged in” and “in the chat room”. If you wanted to, you could leave the main chat room while still remaining logged in to the server, and you’d still have access to global services like news and file archives.

    One concept I’m still working out is having multiple instances of the same service in a room. Does it make sense to have multiple chats in the same room? Multiple tabletops would be useful, and multiple instances of a game makes sense especially if it’s a two-player game and there are more than two people in the room. I still have to work out the details.


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