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  1.    #1  
    Hi there...

    Things are far enough along that I thought I'd post some information about the Chatter software. [Those who have received eMail from me will notice some significant changes - i.e. added functionality in the first version. Please excuse the otherwise repeated material.]

    Chatter is for people who want to keep in touch with people (via eMail or IM) in a timely manner. It's NOT a pure chat program (I recommend Verichat for this), and it's not a pure eMail program (I recommend SnapperMail): it is a "contact" (read, "person" or "buddy") oriented communication package. The medium though which communications travel (i.e. eMail or one of the various IM services) is intended to be as transparent as possible to users.

    A "contact" in Chatter terms is an entity with a name and some number of email and/or IM addresses. Each contact has the equivalent of an chat dialog that can go on as long as you'd like (i.e. you can delete the whole thing or individual messages at any time). All messages to/from the "contact" appear in the same place, and all can be responded to "appropriately" (i.e. via eMail or IM, depending on online status, whim, etc...) If my friend Phil sends me an eMail or a Yahoo IM, or an AIM IM, I'll see them all in the same place. When I reply, I'll send that reply the way it came - or not, depending on what makes the most sense (if Phil isn't at his desktop with AIM, maybe I'll reply by eMail so he'll get it on his Blackberry.) eMail and IM's from non-contacts go to a generic "Inbox". That's the Chatter idea in a nutshell.

    I expect the early version(s) will require some extra time and patience on your part. To avoid mass confusion, I'll limit the first release to a half-dozen or so "lucky" people.

    The following features/unfeatures apply to the initial "alpha" release:

    INSTANT MESSAGING

    1) Support for AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and MSN

    2) Jabber (open-source multi-IM system with a host - pun intended - of free servers) is the platform used for IM communications. There is no fee for creating and using Jabber accounts on public servers.

    3) I would ask first users to use the Jabber server of my choice (nureality.ca). It is fast, reliable, and I am more familiar with it than I'd like...

    4) At first, only 12 "named" IM contacts will be allowed (with all of their various accounts). Note: eMail WILL be accepted from any sender - if it's not from a contact, it will go into the "Inbox". This restriction will be changed in short order.


    EMAIL

    1) IMAP eMail only checks "Inbox" for new mail. Other folders cannot be read/accessed, although in the future...? Chatter isn't intended to be a replacement for desktop eMail clients, but merely a useful adjunct while away from the desktop. Therefore, what makes most sense to me is having the ability to get new mail, read it, and respond.

    2) Chatter uses the "flagged" field in messages for its own purposes (i.e. the "flag" column in Outlook and Outlook Express). Let me know if that will be a problem.

    3) eMail is effectively pushed to the Treo as soon as it's received (typically within seconds of the server receiving it). I typically see messages on my Treo sooner than on my desktop (which checks the server every 2 minutes).

    4) No support for forwarding, reply to all, or cc/bcc. (Future releases will support most or all of these)

    5) No support for attachments. This isn't likely to change in the future. Again, this isn't intended to replace a desktop.

    7) Mail sending is via SMTP "login" authorization. If this means nothing to you, let me know who your provider is and I can find out whether this will work for you.

    Of course, you can use Chatter for IM only if you like....

    BACKGROUND OPERATION

    I typically keep Chatter as my "current" application (i.e. the one that appears if you tap the power switch once). The first version, however, will have the ability to receive IM's while other applications are running - without the use of SMS. This requires, of course, that the Treo has an open data connection...

    A future release will allow replying from IM's (i.e. in addition to receiving them) from other applications. Because this is done without SMS, messages can be pretty much as long as desired in both directions. Note: This facility will be enhanced significantly over the next month.

    SIZE

    The Chatter package itself is about 50k. However, I require the use of FontBucket, which provides additional fonts (without "hacks"), and comes in at 120k. The UI looks very nice with the additional fonts...

    BUGS

    Sure.

    WHEN

    The first version will be available by January 15th (a week from today).

    QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?

    Sure, great. I'm quite certain I've forgotten many important things here, so feel free to ask.

    FINALLY

    The software will come with some sort of generic license, but will continue to be freeware to the best of my thinking. The license will include such things as "don't blame me if your Treo crashes" and "you get what you pay for", perhaps couched in more formal terms.

    I can be reached at: chatsw@mailcan.com

    Marc
  2.    #2  
    BTW, I will try to get some screenshots up for people who are interested....
  3. #3  
    Id like to see the screenshots... Verichat has made my treo hard reset 3 times now, and while it is in final beta, I am always looking out for other choices. As long as I can get on AIM and Y!IM I am fine. ICQ is great though and might cause me to start using it again
    ...This ain't a phone or a PDA, It's a way of life!
    for all your multimedia needs, it's gotta be Starrwulfe Ltd!
  4.    #4  
    Strange. I've had my Treo since August 30th, and have spent a few months working on and off on Chatter. I've NEVER had a hard reset in all that time.

    I'll put up screen shots by tomorrow...
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by starrwulfe
    Id like to see the screenshots... Verichat has made my treo hard reset 3 times now, and while it is in final beta, I am always looking out for other choices. As long as I can get on AIM and Y!IM I am fine. ICQ is great though and might cause me to start using it again
    VeriChat is no longer in final beta-- You will want to make sure that you have the latest version from PDA Apps' website. I have been using v1.02 for exactly 10 days now without a single soft/hard reset.
  6. ralerner's Avatar
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    #6  
    I installed the latest Verichat (1.04) and it seems to be working very will for MSN IM but I am experiencing a problem with AOL IM: I see my buddies but they never come online for me to chat. I actually had my wife sign on her computer right in front of me and it truly did not show her as "Online".

    Thanks.
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by ralerner
    I installed the latest Verichat (1.04) and it seems to be working very will for MSN IM but I am experiencing a problem with AOL IM: I see my buddies but they never come online for me to chat. I actually had my wife sign on her computer right in front of me and it truly did not show her as "Online".

    Thanks.
    Start a new thread.
  8. #8  
    Me want test Chatter please!!
  9. #9  
    I thought I'd post a short msg about Chatter. I have had the opportunity to beta test the software for the past couple of weeks and now it is time to let those that might be interested in a Palm IM app that Chatter may just be that solution you are looking for.

    I have used VeriChat and Palm ICQ and at this stage I would definitely recommend Chatter. Chatter supports all IM clients (AIM, ICQ, Y!, and MSN) in a very easy to navigate interface.

    The main concept behind Chatter is to be able to communicate with people on your contact list no matter which IM service they subscribe to. You might think that isn't a very new concept with programs such as VeriChat and even Trillian on the PC out there, but where Chatter is light years ahead is in the fundamental design of the contact list. Instead of having a seperate contact for each service a person in your list may subsribe to Chatter allows you to create a single contact and fill in the IM information for all their respective services they use. Once that is done it no longer matters which service a person on my contact list is logged onto. All I have to be concerned about is the content of my message and pressing the send button. Chatter has done all the work of figuring out which service to send the message to and with the email setting for a contact I can even get that message to someone that isn't currently logged into an IM service. So, whether they like it or not that person I am trying to contact is going to hear what I have to say No longer do I have to deal with an unwieldly contact list or care about Online vs. Offline users or what service someone belongs to. It is all completely transparent with Chatter.

    I think Chatter has some great potential and is definitely the app I have been looking for, so keep the revs coming Marc I now use my phone more for IM than making actual phone calls!
  10. #10  
    Sign me up, I'd love to test Chatter!
  11. #11  
    Too bad it is not available for the Treo 270 - only Trero 300 supposedly.
    Darren Greenspoon
    www.allstarsportscamp.ca
  12.    #12  
    I'm pretty sure I could make Chatter available for other palm-based phones. The initial problem is that I don't have the other phones or the service to go with them.

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