It is useful to understand some of the mechanics in order to get the best out the facility.
The browser window for chat takes place in four areas (frames) of the screen which operate independently.
The main area displays the chat.
There are three ways in which the chat is updated.
Clicking the 'Say It' button does not necessarily trigger a refresh. It simply sends your input to the chat server.
What happens after that depends to a large extent on your own browser and its settings.
This contains links to helpful information. The information is displayed in the main chat frame. Clicking the Show Chat link will restore the chat frame.
One of the links is to a Who and When page. Any regular chatter can have their details listed here. Just send me an email - email@example.com - if you want to be listed. The main idea is to indicate the times at which you generally check in. You can include a short bio. Give you Home page URL if you have one. Email address listing is optional (Some people prefer to remain anonymous and I'll respect that.)
This shows a list of people who have 'said' something. The time since they said it is shown in seconds. The frame is refreshed automatically every .. minutes or can be refreshed ny clicking the 'reload' button at the top or bottom of the frame.
The handles (or names) may have an image and/or a link associated with them. You can set your own image file and/or a link to a web page when you set your handle in the bottom frame.
A handle can also have a 'message' link beneath it. The link allows others to send messages to the handle, without knowing their email address. You can set up this anonymous link for your handle when you set your handle in the bottom frame.
Differences between web browsers are always a problem with this type of web application. Any browser that supports frames and forms will work with WWW Chat. Some, however, will work better than others.
Netscape 3.0 and 2.02, for instance work much better than Netscape 2.0 and 2.01. The reason for this has to do with the way the browser's handle cache. The difference you will notice is that with 2.02 and 3.0, messages you type will appear immediately, while with 2.0 and 2.01, you will probably have to wait 20 seconds or so until the chat page reloads to see your message. Microsoft Internet Explorer seems to work fine.
Another factor which can dramatically effect WWW Chat performance is the browser's cache setting. This determines whether or not the browser will check the server to see if a document has changed, versus simply re-reading it from memory or disk. Access to the cache setting will be different for different browsers. On Netscape, from the menu bar select Options then Network Preferences then Cache. Make sure that the Verify Documents feature is set to Every Time to ensure optimum WWW Chat performance. Users of other browsers should consult their browser's documentation.
If you notice an appreciable delay in response, then click the 'Refresh' button immediately after the 'Say it'.
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