Customising Widget icons

This post looks at how to replace icons on the UserList with a style that better matches your site.

Standard icons

Standard icons

To start, if you don’t already have a Mibbit chat you can get one running in a few minutes by creating a widget and pasting the code into your web page.  All configuration is done through the Widget Manager including icons which we will look at now.

Mibbit has two sets of icons here: User icons (showing the type of connection) and Mode icons which show the status of each person. It’s important to know which you want to change, find or create a new icon and make sure you have a URL for it (upload it if needed).  Once you’re clear on the new style you want navigate to ‘Prefs’ and ‘Userlist’ in the Widget Manager and edit the user and mode icons entries, replacing the existing entry.

Once you save the new settings you can preview them here too. In this example we have used icons from the Crystal Clear set by Everaldo Coelho plus our very own frog!

If you’re looking for colors and text changes these are easy; use ‘prefs’ to set connect messages, change buttons and set the color of virtually any item on the whole config. Even custom Filters and prompt images can be configured with an upgrade.

 

Gaming marathons on Twitch

An increasing number of people have been connecting to chat on Twitch.tv using Mibbit. This is just one way to talk with the streamers and other viewers, there is the standard chat on Twitch or a conventional client, but if you’re hosting a lot of chatters it can be a help to have Mibbit on hand too.

To connect you’ll need to know the streamname and have your Twitch.tv account details handy.

Skip to the guide at Twitch support to find out more.

Besides the streams there’s also a bunch of channels on several IRC networks related to gaming on Twitch. Check it out http://search.mibbit.com/search/twitch.tv

Faster performance for 2012

Recently we looked through our stats for last year and were amazed at the numbers for the Mibbit IRC network, IRC client, Widget and website:  1.4m unique visitors, 10k peak connections, 3.0bn (yes billion!) IRC messages per month on average.

In response to the continued usage we’ve made performance changes to make loading and operation of the Main Client and Widget just a little bit faster.  These include;

  • Moved to Amazon s3 for storage of images and javascript (faster download to you)
  • Translation feature upgraded to Google Translate API v2
  • Caching recently translated words for quicker response
  • Improved Websocket support

As the standard for Websocket progressed to a new draft in December 2011 we updated our client to make sure the best performance was squeezed out of your browser.

Visitor browser usage followed general internet trends with Chrome and Firefox becoming about matched with 35-40% Mibbit users each but Internet Explorer lower than the general trend at around 10%. Interestingly the level of IE6 users visiting Mibbit is down to around 0.2% (ie6 must die!), much less than even the US average of 0.9%.  We guess that’s a reflection of the tech-savvy nature of you all!

Thanks for using Mibbit and happy 2012!

Upgrading translate API…

Back in June Google announced the retirement of their Translate API.  This didn’t go down too well with developers who made use of translation, but Google responded to the feedback with a version 2 of the API.

Mibbit has just completed work to upgrade to our service to v2 of the API, this means you can continue to make use of the translate commands in IRC chat and send and receive live translations as you go.

We’re interested in hearing your feedback on the new version, there are small changes like a different number of language pairs, but mostly it’s the same.  It’s no longer a free api, we’re looking at the best ways to keep it free for our users and need to hear how it’s performing.  So let us know – good or otherwise – contact@mibbit.com or comment on this page.

It’s worth mentioning Mibbit also supports several character sets and lets you use the Mibbit client or Widget in over 10 different user interface languages. See here for details.

Happy translating  :)

Fixed “Please wait” issue on login – caused by avast!

Mibbit has fixed the issue where a “Please wait…” message appeared indefinitely after login.  The technical details are below, the main thing is if you have been getting slow or unstable load of Mibbit after login or got the “Please wait…” message stuck on screen then things will work ok now with a reload.  Re-try using http://chat.mibbit.com or https://chat.mibbit.com, (reload if you have a window already open)

It’s good to have it fixed, but frustrating for many.  This is a general problem which has also caused havoc on other websites and apps, the Avast free anti-virus product has been getting in the way of normal web browser operations and causing headaches.  In their own support tickets the company admits “avast! is not fully compatible with html5..” and their advice is to “disable avast Web shield.”  For software to be preventing html conversations in this way is a pain,  fortunately they have accepted its a general issue and say they are working on fixing the problem in version 7 of their product – no release date though.

Thanks to everyone who tested out the fix and anyone who experienced the issue – thanks for your patience.  Let us know if it appears again.

Here’s the detail below :)

The issue;

Was caused by Avast-Free preventing normal interaction between the web-browser and the server.  Specifically with Websocket API.  When loading/logging in if Mibbit finds that Websocket is available to use it chooses it for faster performance.  On those kind of connections Avast has been allowing the server and browser to think Websocket is okay but then shutting down communication part way through the conversation.  Reports also came in that on Windows7 that it can terminate connections at seemingly random intervals too.

Support ticket;

Subject: [ASW #YJC-332850]: Avast free shields prevents legal WebSocket connections from occurring.

Reply-To: support@support.avast.com

Hello,

avast! is not fully compatible with HTML 5. We are already working on fix which will be released with the new avast! version 7. To resolve the problem at the moment please disable avast! Web Shield

- Run avast! Antivirus

- Choose REAL-TIME SHIELDS from the left menu and then from the left sub-menu select Web Shield

- Then just click on the STOP button and try it again

 

Best regards,

 

AVAST Software a.s. 

 

If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me again.

 

Ticket Details

===================

Ticket ID: YJC-332850

Department: [ENG] Technical support

Priority: Default

Status: On Hold

 

Investigating issue with Avast-free

We’ve received reports of an issue where ‘Please wait..’ sticks top-right and user settings don’t get loaded.

 

Testing has reproduced the issue when Avast-Free is installed.  Temporarily disabling ‘web shields’ on Avast solves the issue and Mibbit is allowed to load normally.

 

We’re currently investigating along the lines of the discussion in this existing avast forum note;

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=68270.0

 

More as we get to it.

 

** Update: 16 Nov. we have a fix in testing.  If you experience this issue send feedback to bugs@mibbit.com **

 

** Update: 21 Nov. Avast have confirmed their software does not support WebSocket connections properly  **

 

From: “avast support center – ALWIL Software” <support@support.avast.com>

Date: 21 November 2011 12:54:50 GMT

To: help@mibbit.com

Subject: [ASW #YJC-332850]: Avast free shields prevents legal WebSocket connections from occurring.

Reply-To: support@support.avast.com

 

Hello,

 

avast! is not fully compatible with HTML 5. We are already working on fix which will be released with the new avast! version 7. To resolve the problem at the moment please disable avast! Web Shield.

 

- Run avast! Antivirus

- Choose REAL-TIME SHIELDS from the left menu and then from the left sub-menu select Web Shield

- Then just click on the STOP button and try it again

 

Best regards,

 

AVAST Software a.s.

 

If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me again.

 

Ticket Details

===================

Ticket ID: YJC-332850

Department: [ENG] Technical support

Priority: Default

Status: On Hold

 

 

Happy Halloween! { ^_^ }

Filled up on sweets and candy apples?  Try out our Halloween skin on your chat widget and you can get it looking like this, it’s simple to load up by following this quick wiki:

 

 

Skins are a useful way to get to grips with customising your widget, there are several to choose from and if you don’t see something to match your site there’s an option to upload your own back-drop image to suit you.

New to the Widget?  Check-out the fastest way to get chat on your website here.

 

Trivia and other games on IRC

Besides connecting you with your community, friends and colleagues IRC has always had its own little time-sink hidden away – text games.

 

Combining bots and clever scripting to manage the interactions of chatters with a large database of questions has produced hundreds of games based on Trivia and many, many others.  Trivia is where you compete to be the first to answer questions correctly to become winner of much kudos and a high score record.

 

The range of games extends further across things like Yahtzee, Blackjack, the mischievous IdleRPG and even recreations of the popular classic Uno!  And you can play them on multiple networks.

 

Searching for irc games is easy using one of the search engines like Mibbit Search or netsplit.de. By far the best list of games on IRC is this page from SearchIRC.com. Game channels are rated by number of users and a freshness factor based on how recently it’s been used. See http://searchirc.com/dir/Games/IRC for more info.

 

IRC games are a good way to meet new people and have fun.  Try Trivia on EFNET or Rizon, both good places to start and our own; #games and #trivia on Mibbit.

 

Finally check out www.mirctrivia.net

which oddly uses the Mibbit widget.

 

Happy gaming :)

 

Chatting Minecraft.

 

If you’ve ever got chatting about Minecraft you might also be one of thousands who use IRC to hookup and collaborate with new people about the popular game.  As its first release comes closer the level of interest grows too, we’ve seen the number chatters increase not only on the official channels but on other IRC networks, forums and special events.

 

You can check out the Mibbit index of places to chat Minecraft here, one to note is Qubetubers.com

 

 

 

Qubetubers last big event raised money for Childs Play charity and saw over 2,000 chatters on the Mibbit Widget and 18,000 viewers.  They have a schedule of events going on and one even saw the creator of Minecraft ‘Notch‘ join in, at which point it went crazy.

 

Events like these are an excellent way to get to know the game and find out about mods.  Check out the Minecraft communities here;  http://www.minecraft.net/community   Official channels hosted on irc.esper.net IRC network include;

 

#minecraft – Official channel

#minecrafthelp – Help and support from community

#mcchatter – General community chatter

 

Qubetubers is at irchighway.net #Qubetubers

 

And if you’re looking to discuss the November release when the game comes out of beta then lookout for Minecon in Las Vegas, looks like it’s going to be big.

How to show Nickname in input bar

The user nickname can be shown to the left of the chat input bar thanks to a new preference setting called ‘Show your nick’.

 

nickname ‘demo647′ shown on input bar

It’s a handy thing if users have joined a Widget from a shared link and don’t know about nickname services, now you can provide an easy way for them to change their nick – clicking the name pops a dialogue box asking for the new nickname before returning the user to the chat.

 

Although it’s most likely to be useful in the Widget the feature is available in the main client also.

 

For a quick guide on how to set it up see here; in keeping with all other Prefs the color can be changed to any hex / rgb code you prefer.  Click the image below now to see a live demo.

 

Widget demo