Ok… let’s try this again. Text chat has been thrown to those of us interested in having it and willing to attempt to provide it. If we’re going to do this we have to agree upon some standards. The analogy of this being similar to the early (public) internet has been made and, having been there I recall one thing. It was a nightmare. What we have today is less nightmarish because people/organizations came together and created standards. There were only basic standards for things that existed in the pre-public net. As all the new things came along they just rolled it however they saw fit then someone else did it another way and so forth. Then people decided they didn’t want to use 20 different programs to, for instance, chat with all their friends. They didn’t want to use Yahoo messenger for some, ICQ for others, AIM for others, MSN Messenger for others… IRC and XMPP came about (IRC far far far older of the two) to provide standard realtime text chat capabilities. Today… what do we see… most chat systems use IRC or XMPP as their basis even if you don’t realize that’s why they use.
For chat we need to define a base standard set. It doesn’t matter what tech we use to implement it as long as we can all agree on some basic rules for it.
Some basic points;
A user wishes to chat. Having a user simply say I am - insert name - is not sufficient. There needs to be a mechanism to tie a chat user to a metaverse user. Unless HiFi doesn’t intend to handle avatar registration for this metaverse then it falls back to HF to give us a way to say - user x is really user x and can present his or herself as such. If HF isn’t going to do that then text chat isn’t dead - we simply pick another identity system such as open ID or whatever and move forward with it.
Contact lists. User will want contact lists, block lists etc. Does each disparate chat system maintain its own contact list? Assuming this all isn’t some colossal joke and this becomes something big - imagine how insane this single point is going to become without a standard for handling contacts and synching them across domains.
Groups. Users will want groups. Again - we could end up with each chat system on each domain doing this differently with no ability to have groups that can span domains/systems.
Local area chat. This would be equivalent to open chat in SL/OS where anyone within X meters of you can see what you’re typing in local.
Cross domain chat. We aren’t all going to live on the same domain or want to TP to same domain to communicate. A way to interconnect chat systems will be needed for that.
Security. It must be made as difficult as possible for anyone to take advantage of running a chat server and being able to snoop on people’s communications. This implies some form of encryption and that users have a way to reasonably assure their private communications are not being monitored by arbitrary persons. XMPP has abilities to do this as does IRC - if setup properly.
This only scratches the surface of things, but we need to talk about the basics - not whether or not text chat is needed or not, or what platform to use for it. Basics. Then you can roll your -insert tech based server type- and I can roll mine and someone else can roll theirs gluing it all up to a standardized interconnected system where we can all talk the way we want, when we want and from where we want.
Let’s try to keep this to a technical discussion of this vs a political discussion. We can take this to its own project space if necessary and not burden the forums with it.