Hashtag support in Widget unavailable

Our Hashtag feature has allowed Widgets to follow Twitter hashtags for some time, placing Tweets inline with chat.  This has worked pretty well up to now.

On March 11 Twitter changed its API’s terms of service without warning, the terms describe new ways in which developers must use the API and display Tweets.  The changes are proving a little tricky to qualify exactly, but for the moment at least this affects the Hashtag feature making it currently unavailable.  We appreciate there are a good number of Widgets which have enjoyed using the Hashtag parameter, we will look at whether we can responsibly adhere to the new requirements placed on developers going forward and get service resumed.

The original announcement from Twitter is no longer available to read but from what we understand the changes do mandate strict user interface and functionality guidelines for all developers.  These include placing the users full name and avatar next to tweets which may not be to everyones taste, or achievable within certain Widget configurations, but we’ll look at the detail and come back with an update shortly.

Update 28.4.11:  we’ve asked but currently have no new information from Twitter about whether their new terms are being implemented correctly.  At this time our hashtag feature remains unavailable.

Sound support extended

Sounds can be set to play whenever events happen in your chat – new PM, your-nick-mentioned and so on – you can choose what these are in prefs. Of course, supporting sound in all browsers has sometimes been tricky but now, depending on your browser capability, Mibbit plays .ogg and .m4a sounds in addition to Wav and Mp3.

To use your own sounds pick an audio file in the right format for your browser and upload it to the web. Next, enter the reference to the file into Prefs replacing the standard Mibbit one.  Save and Close and you’re done, the new sound will be played each time the event happens.

For Widgets, where visitors have many different browser types, you might wish to upload several different audio formats of the same sound.   If you do this and remove the reference in Prefs to the file extension we will detect local browser sound playback ability automatically.  This is done in the following order:  .ogg > .mp3 > .m4a

We’ve found Chrome plays most things, Firefox is fine and IE will play mp3 unless you’ve upgraded to IE9 which supports more.

And if you need it you can play sounds from the command line using ‘/splay <url>’  This kind of thing is useful for putting into aliases or even with the onJoin command. :)

Google doc viewer support upgraded

We’ve supported Google’s awesome document viewer since last year when we introduced it alongside support for YouTube and image thumb-nailing.  Now, Google have provided an upgrade so it reads a bunch of new file types, this is not just limited to rounding out Microsoft document support but adds Postscript, Adobe, Autocad and more, we’ve checked it out and added it into the client.

If you haven’t used the viewer before give it a try, it loads up in the extra pane on the right hand side of chat and can be popped out if needed.  See the long list of file formats the viewer will load - it’s amazing it will read Adobe Illustrator, Psd, and all the latest Microsoft Office formats.  Enjoy :)

Channel name spam

If you’ve ever noticed people posting #channel names into chat you’ll know they’re clickable.  This is a great feature for sharing content but it can be a pain if too much of it gets in the way of chat.  For this reason we’ve listened to operators and networks and decided to implement changes which will remove some of the spam, particularly where people are only pasting channel names so they themselves can click on them.

From today, when a channel name is sent with nothing else on the line it will not appear in chat if the user clicks on it themselves (timeout applies). Users who send and click will get a message informing them the line of chat was not sent:

^^ This line didn’t get sent ‘#<name>’ because you clicked it quickly, to join a channel use ‘/join’ command (http://wiki.mibbit.com/index.php/Join)

All channel names sent with other text on the line will appear as usual, all the word-filters continue to operate as before too.

We hope this is useful for operators and networks alike to help reduce the level of unnecessary channel name chat.

If you’re new to the filters functionality see here for a helpful guide to what’s possible for preventing unwanted stuff in your channel(s).  These work on the Main Client and the Premium Widget, and if you need to kick or ban an individual use the standard  IRC commands for this to remove them from your channel.

We appreciate the feedback on this issue, as always if you’ve any comments or suggestions for how to improve this further we’d love to hear them.