Chat

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This article shares content and wording with Communicating.


Talking to other users, or "chatting", in Active Worlds is similar to chatting in any other Internet chat environment. Simply type whatever it is you would like to say and hit the ENTER key. Your words will be broadcast to everyone else nearby. Similarly, whatever words other people type will be sent to you and will appear on your screen.

If you are new to chatting over the Internet, you will quickly discover that chat has a unique set of rules and jargon (sometimes referred to as "netiquette") that can be confusing to a newcomer. But never fear, in just a few minutes you can familiarize yourself with some basic guidelines and in no time you will be chatting like a pro!

Here are some basic tips to keep in mind if you want to have a positive chatting experience:

Never type in all capital letters. WHEN YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING! People generally find this very annoying. Be polite to strangers. If you don't know the people you are talking to, it is appropriate to be as polite as if you are meeting someone for the first time in real life. If someone doesn't want to chat, don't harass them. There are plenty of people in Active Worlds to talk to. If one person doesn't want to chat with you, just move on, don't pester them. Don't be offensive. Offensive behavior is totally inappropriate unless you are in private and among good friends who have indicated that they do not mind. Otherwise, you will just annoy everyone and you will wind up getting muted. Also in certain worlds and areas within worlds (such as Ground Zero in AlphaWorld) offensive behavior may be grounds for ejection.

Some common terms

Over the years, Internet chat has adopted some shorthand equivalents for common terms. Here are a few of the most common:

   * LOL - Laughing Out Load
   * ROTFL - Rolling On The Floor Laughing
   * BRB - Be Right Back
   * IMO - In My Opinion (also IMHO for In My Humble Opinion) 
   * AFK - Away From Keyboard

Here are a few of the most common abbrivations/emoticons you will find users using exclusively in the Activeworlds Browser:

   * ((<User Name>)) - This is to give someone a hug, adding parentheses around someone's name will let them know you hugged them.
   * AFAW - Away From Activeworlds

Smileys

"Smileys" or "emoticons" are special combinations of characters that people sometimes use to indicate emotion. Most are intended to look like a smiling face turned sideways. For example:

   :-)

There are an almost infinite number of variations on this simple theme.

To talk to other people:

To talk to other people, all you have to do is type your message. What you type appears in the Message box, also known as the Chat Entry box, which is located just below the Chat History. After typing your chat message, pressing the Enter key sends your message. Then you'll see your message appear in the Chat History window, and other people that you are within chat range of will see it also.

To mute other people:

If someone is speaking that you would rather not see any more chat messages from, you can mute them. To mute someone, right click on that person's avatar and select Mute from the avatar pop-up menu. You can un-mute them again later by repeating the same procedure.

Chat Window

You can resize the chat window by changing the border between the main 3D-view window and the Chat History frame. Just position the cursor over the border between the 3D-window and the chat window until you see an up-down arrow, then hold down your primary mouse button and drag the border to the desired position.

You can also use the scroll-up and scroll-down buttons next to the chat history to look at messages that have scrolled off of the screen. These buttons move the text in the window up or down one line at a time. You can also click either above or below the 'slider bar' divider between the scroll buttons to move the text up or down one 'page' at a time.

The Chat History window displays any error messages you may get while building, for instance if you try to build too many objects in one place, or change someone else's property. These errors are given to you as a message from the all-powerful "Building Inspector".

The avatar "pop-up" menu can be invoked in one of two ways: you can right-click with the mouse directly on an avatar in the 3D window, or you can right-click on a line of chat text in the chat window to bring up the avatar menu for that user.

The various options available on this menu depend on what rights you have and what type of user they are:

   The top line of the menu identifies the name of the user you clicked on. If the user is a citizen, it also displays their citizen number. If the user is a bot, it displays the citizen number of the bot's owner. Citizen number and bot owner information is only available if the world server is running version 3.1 or later. The other menu options are as follows:
    Mute
    Allows you to mute the user. When a user is muted, you no longer receive any of their chat messages.
    Whisper
    Allows you to whisper to the user. Whispers are private chat messages that only the recipient sees.
    Add to contacts
    This option is enabled if the user is a citizen. It adds them to your contact list.
    Eject...
    This option is enabled if you have eject rights in the world. It allows you to eject the user from the world.
    View Home Page
    This option is new in Active Worlds 3.1 and is enabled if the user is a citizen. It allows you to view their home page if they have one set.
    Look up citizen...
    This final option is only enabled for universe administrators and if the user is a citizen. It opens the citizens dialog and looks up the user's account. 


Whispering A whisper is a chat message sent directly to another user. When you whisper, the recipient is the only person who can hear what you say.

The whisper controls are disabled by default in simple mode. If the whisper controls are not visible in your browser, either press the Advanced Mode button, or select Whisper from the Show Menu.

To whisper to someone, first select their name in the "Whisper To" list. Then simply type your message in the whisper field and press Enter like you would for a normal chat message. You can also whisper to someone by selecting Whisper from the avatar pop-up menu.

Whispers appear in your chat history window in blue italics to distinguish them form normal chat. Whispers that you send are listed along with the name of the person you whispered to.

Note that you can quickly switch back and forth between the normal chat field, the whisper list and the whisper chat field by simply pressing the Tab key.

Also note that in order to whisper to someone, they must be physically nearby and they must have already revealed their identity by speaking (either via normal chat, or by first whispering to you.) Mute blocks whispers as well as normal chat. If there is currently no one around to whisper to, the whisper field will automatically disable itself.

Be aware that in some worlds the ability to whisper may be disabled for tourists. This option is set in the World Features dialog.

If you don't want to whisper you can hide the extra whisper controls from the Show Menu or by pressing the F8 key.nl:Chatten