Mibbit now does LaTeX

If you’ve never heard of LaTeX before, you’re not alone. LaTeX is a markup language for typesetting, and is often used to write formulae so that they show up properly.

Here’s the wikipedia article, with cool tutorials and references listed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTeX

LaTeX parsing is enabled by default, but it’s in prefs if you’d rather turn it off. Any LaTeX is enclosed in “{$ ” and ” $}” to signify it’s LaTeX.

For example, you could write “blauegh! Formula should be {$ f(x)=\int_{-\infty}^xe^{-t^2}dt $} and NOT {$ f(x)=\int_{-\infty}^xe^{-t^2000}dt $} silly!

And here’s an example of how it shows up in Mibbit.

tex

For some, this will be completely irrelevant, but it seems a useful thing to have in a visual webchat client :)

Time and country

All backends have been updated with new code, here’s the main feature updates:

  • Mibbit clients now respond to CTCP TIME requests, with the users local time and timezone.
  • The users local time and country are now shown in /whois replies. The country is via a simple lookup on the users IP.
  • If you have icons showing in the user list (Green/blue guys), you can click on one. They’ll all change to showing flags. Click again, and they’ll all change to showing time of day icons (mouseover for exact local time + zone). Click again and they’ll go back to icons.

morning – Morning (8:00 am – 12:00 noon)

day – Day (12:00 noon – 18:00 pm)

evening – Evening (18:00 pm – 22:00 pm)

night – Night (22:00 pm – 8:00 am)

This means you can easily see with a couple of clicks where people are, and what sort of timezone they’re in :)

ul_icons -> ul_flags -> ul_times

Some more prefs – Custom icons

monkeys* You can now change the colors of the text, and links that show up in input menus such as [Translation] [Pastebin] etc. Checkout [Prefs]->[Chat input].

* You can now change the icons that show to the left of users in the User List. If you don’t like the usual blue/green people, change it to something more fitting with the rest of your theme. For example, here’s some big monkeys.

Here’s the relevant settings, which can be found in [Prefs]->[User List].

icon_settings

Widget manager gets update

The widget manager at http://widget.mibbit.com/manager/ has been updated with the latest prefs system. So you’ll see previews for many chat elements, color picker, skins – all the same extras as in the main client :)

<tech bit>

Stability should be ok for now, the root cause has been traced to the Java DNS lookup system, which is just really bad. Download the source from sun and take a look :/ The result of dns lookups can sometimes be wrong, and can also crash the JVM with a segfault. Not good.

We had issues with the Java DNS lookup system when we used it for reverse queries, so I wrote a DNS client from scratch to deal with this. I’m now just modifying that to be able to handle forward queries / recursive lookups etc, then we will be rid of the Java DNS lookups entirely, and rid of the bugs/issues that come with using it sometimes. The replacement should be ready this week or early next.