Massaging code into shape

Just released a new version. I’ve done lots of work towards the…. embedded version!
Merging the server tab with the chat channel tabs, and merging the layout from the previous embed version into the mix as well.
The end result is there is now a component that can display server stuff *and* channel stuff – useful in embed where you won’t have tabs.

edit: Just to clarify, there will be more than one version of embedded. One of the versions will be tied to a specific channel and won’t have tabs. Other versions will be a complete IRC client and so will have tabs :)

Also some features/bug fixes:

  • Halfop support – mode h is supported, as well as nicks starting with % to signify halfop. This is shown as a half yellow star.
  • Tab complete now works on PMs to complete either your nick, or the other persons nick (bug at the moment it is lowerCased).
  • Modes are parsed better now. +oo nick1 nick2 , +o-b+v nick1 *@spam.com nick2 will work now.
  • Security fix for typing notify. Previously it may have been possible to ‘spoof’ someone elses typing status… not any more.
  • MOTD is now printed in monospace. Makes ascii art work and just looks much better.
  • /kick works better now. “/kick axod”, “/kick axod go away”, “/kick #foo axod”, “/kick #foo axod go away” will all work now.
  • Unification of the gui for server tab and chat tabs, incorporating embed gui also. Some possible “dissapearing text cursor on ff2″ fixes.
  • /set is now deprecated. Use /dset for now to set your prefs… will go into the prefs tab soon.

We broke through 300 online users at peak yesterday which is cool, lets get to 500 next eh :)

Hosting down again….

If only my hosting was as reliable as the mibbit software.
It seems the network, switch, IPs etc are screwed up again.
I’m looking for a new host… This is less than useless

Please accept my sincere apologies.

edit: back up now. *sigh*

More useful features than you can shake a stick at

  • Fixed a bug when no server was specified (Used to connect to irc.mibbit.com)
  • You can now specify that new PMs should be blurred (option blurPMs)
  • Fixed a few bugs regarding the disappearing cursor on firefox2. Should improve further.
  • Implemented /list
  • whois and list replies now span the whole chat area – makes more sense really I think. Also channels and links are parsed and rendered.
  • Fixed a couple of bugs for IE regarding focusing.
  • Guests no longer auto-join #mibbit-guests. There is a link to join the live help channel. This is particularly good news for people linking to a server/channel on mibbit.
  • You can now remove /whois and /list replies from the chat output to make things cleaner.
  • We have a session limit with synirc.net now.

So the big feature, is /list.
/list is one of those commands that seems like a massive sledge hammer to crack a nut. It’s like asking a webserver for ALL PAGES just so you can find what you’re after.
Anyway, the way it’s implemented in mibbit:

/list on its own returns a list of the 20 most popular channels (most users).
/list [keywords] returns a list of the 20 most popular channels (most users) that also have ALL keywords specified, in the channel name, or the description.

So, a typical session might be:
/list javascript
/list ajax
/list web

But that’s gonna be awfully costly you say… Well no, because the good news is, the channel list is cached in mibbit. Not only that, but it’s shared between users.
That means if you do a /list, you most likely will just be getting data from mibbit, and not the irc server.
Channel lists expire after an hour, and then whoever does a /list next, will re-request it from the IRC server.

I think this is a pretty good idea, makes for a very responsive system to find channels. Course I plan other ways to find and share channels, but this is a start :)

New features, updates, bug fixes, etc

Here are the latest updates for Mibbit, got up to 280 users online on thursday which was pretty cool, glad people are using it :)

  • Your own nick can now be highlighted in a different color. (setting is nickHighlightMe. You can also set the color of other nicks highlighted – nickHighlight)
  • /part now works properly. You can use /part, /part #foo, or even /part #foo,#bar
  • Bug fix *should* mean it very unlikely you receive things from a channel after you’ve asked to part it. You should not get the channel popup after a close/part any more.
  • Bug fix on connection – If you try to connect to a server you’re already on, it’s handled gracefuly.
  • Idle times on /whois now show up in a human readable form.
  • Usermode changes now get shown in chat by default, (prefs colorUserMode, showUserModes)
  • /awayall can be used to set your away on all connected servers, and /backall can be used to show you’re back
  • /server can be used to connect to another server (address, including optional port, nick, optional channels, optional pass). For example /server irc.mibbit.com:6667 fred #foo,#bar
  • New servers have trust/iline (coldfront, webchat.org, darkmyst, rizon, nexuswar)

Note that the server tab is lagging behind at the moment. Some commands will not work in the server tab, so always put the commands into a channel/pm for now. The server tab will be updated soon.

Freenode

Looks like there were a few problems last night connecting to freenode. As far as I can tell this is simply their automated banning in place when too many connections are received at the same time, in quick succession.

I’ll be implementing some sort of staggering of connections on mibbit, to try and relieve the problem, as well as discussing with the freenode guys to work out a solution.

Sorry for the issue, but it does seem to be their automatic bot kicking in.

All I can suggest is that you leave it a minute, and try again. Do *NOT* try lots of times in quick succession, because this will only anger their bot more :)

Also got agreements with irc.oftc.net irc.coldfront.net irc.foonetic.net so those should all work a lot better now :)

248 users online, cool :)

Maximum of 248 users online today which is pretty good, still no server cpu load which bodes well for scaling into the thousands (Embed version etc).

The IRC server list has been updated a bit, with default channels for most of them.
Bug fix for channels with a : character in them. Previously this confused the client.
/cs /ns /ms /os all work now (ChanServ, NickServ, MemoServ, OperServ)

Trying to get IRC servers to up connection limits is pretty hard. Especially older IRC networks.
Quakenet for instance:

* You can’t email them – your email gets bounced back saying only ‘subscribers’ may email.
* You go in their #help channel, ask a question, wait for a reply, then they auto-kickban you for “idling” without answering.
* Once I did get a reply, it was that in order to *apply* for ‘trust’, you have to have a channel on quakenet, and be oper on it. This also requires you get 5 other opers on it. The staff member I asked about it said it was a pretty old stupid rule, and that once I had trust I could just forget about the channel. Seems like a *lot* of hassle to go through personally…

Also gamesurge suggests I use flash or a java applet so that the connections come straight from the user.

Having said that there are some nice newer IRC networks that are great and don’t have quite such draconian rules :)
Someone described to me how you register a channel on quakenet and it truly sounds like a mamoth task involving email, convincing 5 other people to hang around there etc, compared to ‘/cs register #channel ‘ ‘/cs set #channel guard on’

Please note that Mibbit is not an anonymizer, it does send your IP address to IRC servers, and any abuse will result in *you* getting banned. Not the gateway, but you.
Also planning some limits within mibbit. For example, it’s possible that in the future, if you get kicked too many times from channels, we’ll block your access to mibbit.

Sorry about the lack of an embedded version alpha, but work should start on that next :)

Also a large amount of people seem to want to turn off the auto away feature. I’m not sure why people don’t like it yet, seems useful to show people you’re not really there. For me, it’s quite irritating going into a channel to find 1000 people listed, and not having any idea how many of those are just people who joined 2 years ago and leave their server on 24/7.

However, to disable autoaway, log into mibbit, then in a channel type /dset autoAway 0
this will save the preference to the server.
At the moment the default is autoAway after 10 minutes. I’ll most likely up the default to 30mins or an hour for new users.
Also if it’s just the notifications in the chat output that annoy you, /dset showAwaysBacks false

Oh some other interesting facts:
* When 248 clients connected, server load was around 0.10
* Using about 1.7GB of data transfer a day
* Average user has 1.3 IRC server connections open
* Between 8,000 and 9,000 users/sessions a day currently

A few updates

Just a few updates,

  • /oper now works (/oper username password)
  • Fixed a bug in the userlist – sometimes it would get confused between op/admin.
  • /quote works now (Takes rest of the line as literal IRC command)
  • Fixed a bug in tabs – sometimes the sort order would get messed up with dead tabs.
  • Fixed/vastly improved the firefox 2 “disappearing cursor” issue.
  • Ability to “kill” users who persistently spam (Yes, the idiots have appeared, sending spam to channels on irc.mibbit.com. It’s hard to feel anything but pity for these sad souls).
  • New settings for tabs (tabFontSize, tabFontFamily, tabColorAlert). So if you’d like the tabs bigger, or you hate the yellow color highlight, change them.

Got up to about 175 users using mibbit yesterday at the same time, which is a record so far. Thanks everyone :)

Mibbit down

Unfortunately www.mibbit.com is down due to some switch problem at the data center.

Hopefuly all will be fine again soon :)

(BTW We do not use cpanel ;) That is some other random machine the bad switch is forwarding our traffic to)

Edit: Looks like we are back online. Bad switch. I’m told it’s been replaced.

IRCAtWork is now part of Mibbit.com

www.ircatwork.com is now a part of Mibbit.com. Hopefuly the new visitors will find mibbit has some features lacking in cgi::irc. However, if there are features you miss from cgi::irc just add to the WishList on the wiki, or contact us.

Some updates:

  • identification with NickServ and joins are now sent after a 001 reply from IRC servers (Solves some problems with servers that didn’t like us).
  • /j now does the same as /join
  • If you set chatOutputMaxLines to 0, that now means unlimited chat history (Might run out of memory on your browser of course. A decent logging system is on the todo).
  • If you’re linking to mibbit (See previous post), you can now also include nick and pass to have them pre-filled in. The user then need only click connect.
  • /clear clears the current channels output. Handy if you don’t want someone to see something over your shoulder.
  • Bans and unbans now show up in channels. (Options to hide them/change color).
  • AutoAway, AutoBack. The default is to set people as away after 10 minutes of not saying anything. You can change your settings with /set or /dset for now. Also custom autoAway message.

That’s about it for this update, stay tuned for more soon :)

A few mibbit updates

A lot of time has been spent chasing IE bugs :( However….

* IE6 ‘ghost’ userlist issue has been fixed.
* The infobar now shows any announcements we need to push out.
* The prefs gui is started, you can manage your auto-connects from here so far.
* New settings for chat output – you can turn on and off the time column, set its width, also set the nick column width. For example when the embedded widget is about, you might want no time column, and a smaller nick column.
* If you’d like to link to mibbit, you can now include a server and channel which will get pre-filled into the connect form. For example http://www.mibbit.com/?server=irc.freenode.net&channel=%23mibbitrocks

Things would be so much quicker if it weren’t for browser bugs :) Rest assured the embedded version is on the way…