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5.8 Logging Chat Messages

Note: This feature is available only with VolanoChatPro.

The chat message logging support allows you to transcribe the conversations in your public and private chat rooms so that they're available for later use, such as posting the transcripts of a moderated event or interview to your Web site.

Logging public conversations

Room types

Chat message logging for public rooms is enabled by setting the following VolanoChat server properties to true in the properties.txt file.

transcribe.room.permanent=true
transcribe.room.dynamic=true
transcribe.room.event=true

Public chat rooms are those found in the list of rooms when the VolanoChat applet is started. Public chat rooms that are always present in the server are known as permanent rooms and are defined to the VolanoChat server by listing them in the rooms.txt file by default. Public chat rooms that are created dynamically through the group parameter of the VolanoChat applet are known as dynamic chat rooms. Public chat rooms that are created for moderated events through the group parameter with the stage parameter set to true are known as event chat rooms.

Note: To log personal rooms created by the MyVolanoChat applet, make sure to make them public with the applet parameter:
<param name="public" value="true">

Using this parameter, the chat messages in the personal room can be logged into a file with the same name as the room name just like normal public chat rooms. However, they will also be shown in the list of rooms in the VolanoChat applet.

Log files

The location and file name suffix for the files containing the public chat room messages are defined by the following two properties:

log.chat.public.dir=webapps/ROOT
log.chat.public.suffix=.html

The log.chat.public.dir property defines the directory or folder where each of the public chat message log files is to be created. By default they are saved to your webapps/ROOTdirectory so that they can be pulled through the internal HTTP server. If you're going to be regularly serving these pages, it is recommended that you use your existing web server to host these pages. The log files themselves are the same name as the room whose messages they contain, followed by the file name suffix defined by log.chat.public.suffix. For example, with the definitions shown above, the chat messages for Sample Permanent Room A would be found in the location:

"/vchat2.6.1/webapps/ROOT/Sample Permanent Room A.html"
Warning: If you use special characters in the room name, either in your rooms.txt or dynamically through the group parameter in your HTML, the chat server may not be able to log your session. This is because some operating systems, especially Windows, do not recognize certain characters as valid for filenames and thus the VolanoChat server can't save the file. If you're having problems with transcriptions, make sure you room name is limited to alphabetic and numeric characters only.

Log format

The format of each message in the public chat message log files is defined by the property:

format.chat.public={3,date,[dd/MMM/yyyy:HH:mm:ss]} <b>&lt;{0}&gt;</b> {2}<br>

where {0} is the name of the sender and {2} is the chat message text. The example above results in an HTML formatting of each message, such as:

[27/May/2002:14:42:22] <John> Hi there!

You could instead define the plain text format:

format.chat.public={3,date,[dd/MMM/yyyy:HH:mm:ss]} <{0}> {2}

resulting in chat messages that look like:

[27/May/2002:14:42:22] <John> Hi there!

Logging Private Conversations

The logging of private chat messages is enabled by setting:

transcribe.room.private=true

You may want to log private chat sessions as a means for recording customer interaction with your online help desk staff, sales representatives, or stock brokers.

Log file

All private chat messages are logged to the same file, whose name and location are defined by the following server property:

log.chat.private=

Log format

The format of each message in the public chat message log files is defined by the property:

format.chat.private={3,date,[dd/MMM/yyyy:HH:mm:ss]} <b>&lt;{0} -&gt; {1}&gt;</b> {2}<br>

where {0} is the name of the sender, {1} is the name of the receiver, and {2} is the chat message text. The example above results in an HTML formatting of each message, such as:

[27/May/2002:14:42:22] <John -> Mark> What's up?
[27/May/2002:14:42:30] <Mark -> John> Not much here. And you?

You could instead define the plain text format:

format.chat.public={3,date,[dd/MMM/yyyy:HH:mm:ss]} <{0} -> {1}> {2}

resulting in chat messages that look like:

[27/May/2002:14:42:22] <John -> Mark> What's up?
[27/May/2002:14:42:30] <Mark -> John> Not much here. And you?

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2014-07-11 — An updated version of the VOLANO chat server that supports the latest Java 8 Plug-in is now available. More…

The VOLANO® chat software for the Java™ platform lets you build on-line communities and add real-time social networking to your Web site. More…

John Neffenger <john@status6.com>
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