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blog chat release

February 24th, 2002

Blahg is the name for my blog chat app. It’s small, light, works across platforms (IE and Mozilla on Win/Mac/Linux), and is fun to play with.

I hope to learn enough about Radio Userland in the next while to build the server-side in Usertalk with the object database, but for now, it uses PHP and mySQL on the server side.

This image on the right will tell you if I’m online and listening with my master chat client.

If so, you can click it and we can yap.

You can download the source and run it on your own blog. It’s free and open to use how you like.


Oops – wasn’t deleting old posts after retention period. Fixed.

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BlogChat goes gold

February 24th, 2002

What is BlogChat?

BlogChat is a little chat room. It’s sort of a private little instant messaging system that doesn’t require an account or any special software. It is only active when the person who is hosting it is online and running the master chat application.

If you want one of your own, you will have to run the server part of it on a machine with PHP and mySql, two open source free tools that run on Windows under IIS and Apache, Linux under Apache, and most likely Mac OS/X (although no reports of that yet).

If I’m in, you can click on the status button and come in for a chat. Soon I’ll post a page of BlogChat links listing others who are already hosting this new blog phenomenon. See below for a couple of the early adopters.

If I’m not online, it’s because I’m reminding my wife and kids that I exist outside of my basement office. They might have forgotten that this week.


No more milestones. Ship time for BlogChat. Download it and have fun with it.

I’ve called it BlogChat 1.0 although I may have done so with the last release. This is the first version under the GPL.

I’ve had SOOO many people help me on this, I really honestly can’t name them all because it was such a flurry of activity I didn’t stop to gather their names and URLs. If you’ve been part of this wacky collaborative design effort, send me an email and I’ll compile a list.

Special thanks to Doc for starting the blog rolling, Eric for attracting the design community along, Tim for dropping by my office and piping the feature requests to me while I coded, Dwight for being an early supporter, and of course, Dougal and Nate for being the first to implement.

Everyone else, you know who you are. Thanks.

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Now, lemon freshened with borax!

February 22nd, 2002

New BlogChat hosts:


Congratulations to Dougal for being the first to publish a new BlogChat. There are others on the way, too. I’ll blog them when I’m given the go-ahead.

I’m calling it BlogChat now because there’s a fantasy D&D role-playing game called Blahg it seems. I wouldn’t want to offend some three-headed beast from Thregnorr or some such thing.

I’ve only now started copying the chat data to an archive table, so I couldn’t possibly name everyone who has visited. Notably, though, Eric Costello came along and then blogged it, which has provided a great deal of visits. My mental globe now has a lot of pushpins in it from all over.

I’ll do another release later today and then let it settle for a bit.

In the meantime, if I’m not in, go see if Dougal is!

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Collaborative development

February 21st, 2002

Well, it’s been a wacky day. Lots of folks dropping in to see Blahg in action. All the collaboration, suggestions, and requests were fantastic. Tim Aiello dropped by in the afternoon and helped to field the questions while I madly coded. The result is a remarkably matured app all in one day. Download the code and have a look for yourself. I’ve just released 1.1.

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Talk about the Two-Way-Web!

February 20th, 2002

Doc blogged me on this, so the chatters keep rollin in. I’m refining the tool as we go and it’s lots of fun. Good thing I’m at home today!

I’ll wait a bit before releasing an update since changes are coming along furiously. Consider the current release a preview for testing your environment.


I’ve been chatting with some of the people who visit my blog, see me online, and press the button.

It’s remarkable to see where they all come from. In the last 24 hours I’ve chatted with people from Sydney, Texas, Pennsylvania, Rotterdam, Manhattan, Winnipeg, Sweden, Vancouver, Maryland, Victoria, Utah and others I’m sure I’ve missed. Sometimes there have been up to four of us chatting away at the same time.

I feel a sense of the global community drawing closer around me as I find new ways to connect myself to distant minds via human conversation.

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blog chat update

February 18th, 2002

I’ve got the blog chat working pretty well now with both IE and Mozilla. The only problem is that sometimes upon submission your line will be echoed back to you twice due to timing between submission and poll.

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Live blog feedback

February 17th, 2002

My latest fun experiment is a little blog chat app. You’ll see an image on the right here that tells you whether or not I’m currently available for live text chat. Now you can tell me I’m full of shit without delay!

It works so far in IE. I’ve tried it in Mozilla and it has problems but I’ll work out all the operational kinks before I make it cross-browser.

It uses my JavaScript Remote Scripting library for client-server polling and PHP/mySql on the back end. Less than 100 lines on each side of the client/server divide.

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Skating Smackdown, One of the Evil Ns

February 15th, 2002

Mary Wehmeier has a lot of perspective on this Olympic skating judging scandal. I sent her an email with my observations:

It confuses me that the French judge is getting all the flack for turning her decision one way or the other, when nobody is
questioning at all the implication that every other judge had an entirely fixed position from the outset – Canadian, American,
Russian judges alike. Sounds like the French judge was the only one accorded any sort of free will at all! If it had been the
Russians’ perfect skate and the Canadians’ error, would it still have been voted the same by each judge with the French judge
as the swing vote, I wonder?


scottandrew speaks for all of us when he points out a few of the reasons why Netscape (at least 4.x) is one of the Three Evil “N”s which send my spidey senses reeling when introduced to a project. ( the other two are Notes and Novell, fyi )