Tuesday, January 22, 2013

If you don't see Java, Flash & Mobile, you're using old room code

With all the recent publicity garnered by Java and its vulnerabilities, the ParaChat Flash chat client has seen a surge in usage.  The Flash chat client feature became available in a ParaChat software update released in Fall of 2012, and is included with all ParaChat service levels.  Although the original ParaChat Java chat client is still the most feature-rich of our user interfaces, the Flash chat client is an incredible alternative.  No matter whether your personal strategy is to universally disable Java on your system, selectively disable Java, or completely uninstall it, the Flash chat client is readily accessible on the ParaChat log-in panel.

The ParaChat software update provided users with a chat client type selector on the log-in panel.  

To log in using the Flash chat client, simply click the Flash radio button before clicking Connect.  Once the Connect button is clicked, the Flash chat client will automatically load.  Our objective when creating a Flash chat client last year was to retain a sense of familiarity with the user interface for those who have been using the ParaChat Java client for the past 16 years.  Given the different technologies, the appearance of the chat client is almost identical, but some functional differences do exist.  Of note is the manner in which private chat must work, as well as some of the administration and moderation features.  For detailed information about using the ParaChat Flash chat client, please visit the ParaChat Software Documentation.  In the left navigation, click Client User Guides -> Flash User Guide.

If offering a chat client selector on the log-in panel is not your cup of tea, or you prefer to offer only certain choices, the log-in panel is completely configurable to eliminate the choice(s) you don't want.  The legacy room code is also available in your ParaChat service administration area in case you simply want to embed the chat client room code that works best for you.

Not only did the ParaChat software update provide users with a chat client selector on the log-in panel, it included many other great features too.  For example, customers now have the opportunity to link ParaChat to their Facebook and Twitter pages by adding Facebook and Twitter icons to their log-in panel.  The icons clickthrough to the Facebook and Twitter page URLs you provide.  For free service levels, the user interface now automatically detects whether a user logs in from a mobile device so the mobile device user interface is pre-selected.  The mobile device user interface is an HTML chat client that also works great for screenreaders.  For those users who choose the Java chat client, new copy/paste functionality has been built in to make it not only possible to copy/paste in and out of the chat room without need to embed a signed Java applet, but to make access to your computer's clipboard more safe.

So if you don't see the Java, Flash & Mobile selector on your ParaChat log-in panel, that's a good sign that you are using old room code.  To retrieve the latest room code, please log into your ParaChat service administration area, click the My Rooms tab at the top of the page, configure a room, then click the Default Room Code link under Display Room Codes.  Replace your old room code with the new room code, and publish your modified web page.

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