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  1. Chat Alternatives

    I'm looking into alternatives to FlashChat.

    I'm trying to avoid Java based chat solutions, as I believe that they will be too difficult to support. Too many people have trouble running Java applications. This throws out DigiChat, and addonChat.

    I tested 123FlashChat, but it's Java server was horrible.

    More simple chat systems like RealChat and v3Chat are available, but I'm not convinced of the real value of going to a less-featured system.

    I have yet to look at a demo of Parachat, because I am not really enamored with hosted options.

    The makers of FlashChat have released an AJAX interface for FlashChat. I will almost certainly be buying that and installing it. It will not, of course, keep me from looking at alternative chat applications.

    vBXirc and vBChat both appear to no longer be supported, so they are not being considered.

    eZIRC is still supported, but it's just a plugin for PJIRC. PJIRC hasn't had a new release since 2004.

    Overall, I like IRC based solutions and I am not at all bothered by running our own IRC server -- but I would want a way to prevent non-members from accessing it.

    phpMyChat is free and has a good feature set. There is a phpMyChat Integration with vBulletin and a phpMyChat Who's Online Mod. Unfortunately, the integration is very old and unsupported -- and cannot even be downloaded at this time.

    Feeta vB Chat is a fork of phpMyAdmin which is designed for vBulletin integration. Unfortunately, it has a history of bugs and it hasn't been updated since 2004.

    Userplane has two options, "just too expensive" and "slathered with ads". I'm not enamored with either option.

    Gagalive is a hosted and embedded chat option. It lets to put a "mini" chat window into your forum. It's super-easy, but it's not what I'm looking for.

    Flashcoms might be awesome, but the pricing of $999 for a 24 month license didn't motivate me to look at it deeply.

    meebo is a hosted chat system. Their vBulletin integration is only available is you have "over 500k monthly users" and pricing is not listed. I tend to avoid vendors who are afraid to list pricing. It generally means that have a weak value proposition.

    mibbit is another hosted chat "widget". It looks nice, but it's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a community chat, not a "connect to every network on earth" chat. It also does not appear that a vBulletin member integration is possible.

    The phpopenchat web site is down. I don't know if it's a temporary glitch or a permanent failure, but it does prevent me from reviewing their application.

    SparkWeb is another IM client. I'm really looking for something that uses our vBulletin member database.

    These chat applications have been evaluated and look reasonably good:

    Last edited by Will.Spencer; 17 April, 2009 at 10:42 AM.
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