From Blue Mars Developer Guidebook
return to User Interface
There are three types of chat, Local Chat, Private Messaging, and Group Chat. They are all accessed through the chat window, which can be opened by Left Clicking the chat icon on the Toolbar or by pressing the "c" key on the keyboard (when not in a text input window).
All versions of chat allow you to share information through links and Blinks. To create a link simply type the URL into the chat box, making sure to include "http://" (e.g. "http://create.bluemars.com") then hit enter. If you see an underlined URL in the chat window you can click it to follow the link. You will always be prompted before the client opens a new webpage or follows a Blink from chat.
You can use Local Chat to communicate with everyone in your immediate vicinity. This is public chat, the best guideline here is that if someone can see you, they can also hear you. In Local Chat you can also directly communicate with your own Avatar, by sending Slash commands for chat. To send a slash command simply type a / then the command and hit the Enter key. Note: You are always logged into Local Chat so anything anyone says will be logged in your Local Chat chat log. Because of the large amount of data that can accrue in the Local Chat log, it is cleared every time you enter a new city.
Private Messaging provides one on one communication with another user. While you can talk to each other you cannot use slash commands in Private Messaging (yet).
There are two ways to initiate a Private Message.
- If the user is already your friend you can start a private message with them directly from the Friends List.
- If the user is not already your friend you can access private messaging through the Avatar Right Click Menu.
During a Private Message with another user you can invite one of your friends to join the conversation. To initiate a group chat left click drag a user's name from your Friends List into the chat window that contains the private message you would like them to join.
When chat is opened to begin with it has one tab named "Local Chat". When you open a Private Message session with another user you also open a new tab in the chat window. You can change tabs by left clicking on the one you want to focus on. The chat log for that tab will then be displayed in the chat window and your chats will go to that user. When you close a tab you also close it's Private Message or Group Chat. You close a tab by clicking the X icon on the tab. If you have more tabs than fit comfortably on the chat window you will get left and right arrow buttons to the left and right of the tab area. You can click these to move to currently hidden tabs. By resizing the window you can make more tabs available at a time. If you Left Click drag a tab outside of the window you will open a new chat window dedicated to that tab.
Chat windows let you see multiple chats at the same time. They function similarly to the main chat window with the exception that they do not have tabs. They contain only 1 Private Message or Group Chat session at a time. You can close a chat window by pressing the _ button or you can dock it back to the main chat window by pressing the push pin button next to the _ button.