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Thread: Chat Alternatives

  1. #1
    Will.Spencer's Avatar
    Will.Spencer is offline Retired
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    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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  2. #2
    Charles's Avatar
    Charles is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Erm, wow. There are a lot of chatroom applications.

  3. #3
    Mr.Bill's Avatar
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    Will have you come across any that will allow the user to see the chatroom like this proxy chat without requiring a login and they can see the chat right away. I like it but it doesnt have a admin area so no bad word filters or bans which is a downfall

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  4. #4
    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    That looks more like a shoutbox.

    I've been specifically avoiding systems that might let an unauthenticated person into the chat system. I spent too many years dealing with miscreants on IRC.
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    I was there recently, looks good, lacks some actions though.. but it'll grow

  6. #6
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    AVChat looks decent.

    Can a few of you guys take a look at the demo and tell me what you think?

    Blab doesn't look bad either. It's AJAX, which sounds nicer than the Flash technology which AVChat uses -- but it does seem slower than AVChat.

    It would be nice if you could also try out the Blab demo.

    Thanks.
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  7. #7
    Mr.Bill's Avatar
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    I liked the avchat when I was looking for one but the price is what kept me from using it. $400 for a chat program was a bit pricey for a site that was being practiced with.

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  8. #8
    Will.Spencer's Avatar
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    Weird... the first set of FlashChat alternatives I looked at were all fairly horrible, and now I've found three decent options in this last set.

    VisiChat looks decent. The demo is here.

    I was worried that I wouldn't find anything decent at all, and now the task instead is selecting between what look like multiple decent options.
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  9. #9
    Desan is offline Moderator
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    AvChat, and Visichat looked good for me. I would take the cheaper one.

    With what kind of website you are going to use the chat? Netbuilders?

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    Avchat en especially Blab seem to handle better in a separate window -when resizing- then Visichat. Blab seems to have the simplest look which I prefer over more cluttered systems like the other two.

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