Whisper

The Current State of Affairs

by on Jan.15, 2010, under Uncategorized

As of now, the transport component is finished (or as feature-complete as I want it to be). It supports the following key features (among others) in no particular order:

Public chat, instant messaging, group chat, image retrieval, profile retrieval, teleportation (all types), autopilot, group join/leave, friendship management, avatar searching, group searching, nearby avatar tracking, event searching, event info retrieval… and much more.

The transport can also be configured to throttle traffic for each client, ban clients (by IP), whitelist clients (by IP). You can even configure it to disallow image transfers and nearby avatar tracking to save on bandwidth  (as these can result in quite a large amount of traffic).

The transport was written and completed in about 6 days

By the time the transport was completed, I was fast running out of holiday! My initial thought was to make the first client an iPhone piece of software. However, knowing how little time I’d have to invest in the project after returning to work, I decided to stick with something a little easier and more useful. My first client implementation would be in Java! Since I use both PCs and Macs, this suits me quite well.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am definitely not a graphical user interface designer. I find it much more interesting to solve a problem via software than to spend time making sure buttons look pretty! However, I’d have to bite the bullet for this project as this is something I would find useful.

The client, so far, has taken 9 days to complete. It’s as feature complete as I care for it to be at the moment. It supports everything that the transport supports except for event searching and event information retrieval and only displays a limited subset of the information returned from a profile request. However, some notable features that it supports are as follows (again, not in any particular order and not at all exhaustive):

Chat, IM, group chat (obviously),
Displaying a map of the Sim that you are in with nearby avatars plotted,
Second Life and First Life image retrieval when looking up profiles,
Nearby avatar gender display,
Nearby avatar proximity display,
Decent URL highlighting (this really bugs me in software!),
Type in the text window and it’ll automatically focus the text input (another pet peeve of mine),
The ability to toggle images and nearby avatar tracking (sometimes you might not be in an area where displaying images is appropriate),
Save login details (with/without passwords)…

I’m happy with the functionality of the client. However, as you can imagine, to achieve this in 9 days, I really had to cut corners with the neatness of the underlying code. While it’s not entirely horrible, it’s not very clean! At the moment, I’m going to test the client out for a while to make sure it’s stable before progressing.


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