Communicating

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Some Chat Tips For Beginners

General Tips

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)

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.

Click here for more information on chatting and communication within Active Worlds.

Communicating

Chatting with other people is an important part of the Active Worlds experience. When you enter a world, after the scene loads you may see avatars around you representing other people who are near you in the same world. Depending on the world's settings, you might also notice that avatars have names above their heads when you get close to them, or after that person has said something while they are in your chat range. When other people talk, in most worlds, what they say will generally also appear above their avatar's head. Eventually, the above-head messages might disappear or be replaced, but the names will remain. You can either read what people say as it appears above their heads, or in the Chat History frame which also displays messages from people who are behind you or off to the side, as long as they are within your chat range. The Chat History will also display whispers, and messages from parts of the system such as the Immigration Officer or the Building Inspector, and console messages.

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".

Avatar Pop-up menu

Whispering

Joining Using the Contact List, you can join other people in Active Worlds, wherever they happen to be. To join someone, right-click on their name and select Join. You will be teleported to their current location.

A successful join requires that the join be allowed by the person whom you are trying to join. It also requires that you have Enter privileges in the world in which that person's avatar is located at that time. Don't take it personally if people fail to accept your join requests. They may have left their computer unattended briefly and missed the request, or they may have set it to auto-reject join requests during a private meeting and simply forgotten to change it back. In fact, there are many possible reasons why a join request may not be accepted. It's generally a good idea to establish communication through telegrams before attempting to join someone. You can control who can join you with the Privacy dialog box.

If the person you are attempting to join has set their privacy options to block join requests from you or from all people, your join request will automatically be rejected. If the person does not accept or reject your request within 30 seconds, the request will expire.

Contacts

Telegrams

Sending Files

Sending Files

Sending files is accomplished by right clicking on a name in the contacts tab. A confirmation window opens for them and once they agree by clicking ok, a file transfer window opens up. You select the the file folder and the file or files to be sent. The other person has another window where they select the destination folder.

If either person is behind a router, the port that is used for this (port 3000) has to be forwarded to the computer where the AW browser is running. If this is not set the file transfer will fail.

Privacy

Public Speakers See: Public Speaker

Ejecting Users