Flash Chat Help
The ICQ Flash client was introduced by ICQ inc some time ago as a full replacement to the old java client that many networks were using. ICQ were one of the first if not the first to make use of a full flash client on IRC and have since only done minor upgrades to the client.
Sadly ICQ although produced a note worthy client, failed to provide a good .. well any real documentation with there client for usage by the average user. This page is at present to be used only in terms of understanding how the interface with some brief guidelines on where to say and put commands thrown in, by no means is it a complete guide.
So have arrived at the chat page ( http://www.icq.com/icqchat/ ) your looking to get to grips with the flash client, see how it works and basically get down to business with using it. The only minor thing standing in your way would be the annoyance of well
How it works - this is somewhat simple, most flash clients have always been capable of working on IRC its all really down to the IRCd, now most modern IRCd's used modules to allow the flash client to speak with the server, a note worthy mentioned IRCd that can do this is InspIRCd and the upcoming UnrealIRCd 4 which will both be allow the client to speak fluent IRC'ish.
As ICQ run an older version of unreal, they actually use a closed source layering method ( hard coded ) to allow the client to communicate with the IRCd with little major draw backs!
What do i need - a modern browser is suggested, such as firefox, safari or opera. Internet explorer will also do the job but its not within me to suggest it, so i wont - use at your own risk. You will also need Adobe flash plugin/addons for yor respected client, linux users are advised to use the latest beta release as this will allow for a much smoother time. Windows and mac users should be fine with whatever there prompted to use.
Where do i go from there - Well this is the obvious point where you start chatting, so the first suggestive and required thing would be to pick a room! There are a ton of rooms on the ICQ website which all follow the ICQ layed out set of rules, some channels will however have some specific to them rules, if you are unsure - ask one of the operators.
Having pcked your room youw ill be presented with your first look at the ICQ flash client, dependant on your connection speed you may see the loader which is the ICQ logo really - so having loaded the client you will see...
This! the first screen is somewhat simple, as you can see the People Chatting and Chat Rooms area is blank, this is because you have not as yet connected to the server. You are required to pick a nickname, now considering IrCQNet has been around since late in 1998 a lot of nicknames are taken, so try to be somewhat original with your nickname as if its taken its very likely you will have your nickname auto changed by services!
Once you have selected your nickname you can click on further you will then connect to the network and join automatically the room you selected as your room of choice, that will look a little something like this:
You will notice that of course I picked #Canucks as my test bed room and that now the People Chatting and Chat rooms area has filled with information. The layout is somewhat simple but to any new user there will be something's they are uncertain on so the below hopes to explain them:
The "tabs" as there dubbed are basically where all your chats will be contained such as all the channels your in as well as any private communications your having will all be listed in these tabs, they act to allow you to switch rather easy. You will always be able to tell a channel from a PM as channels will always have a # in front of there name as in the example above.
You may also note that a tab can be no longer ( in name ) than 6 chars, # does count as one char, but room names can be a lot longer, so you may encounter a small issue if you are in two similar named rooms or talking to several guest nicks with appended numbers.
The switcher is a very easy tool and its name speaks for itself, if you have focus on #Canucks and click he arrow pointing left it will move so your focus is now on Status, if you then click the right arrow you will move back to #Canucks its a very easy and simply way to move between tabs more so when you have a lot of tabs and have expanded them to beyond what the client can "see"
The Nick List
This little list can get very confusing for new people, as its labelled People Chatting but with most if not all regular people on the network and everywhere else on IRC this will be called The nick list simply named as its where all the nicks in the current channel your chatting in are listed.
Double clicking on anyone's nickname will allow you to private chat with that person so its very MSN like in that respect. Users with a little @ at the side of there nickname are operators of the channel, basically they are there to ensure the room stays healthy so to say. Not all operators are humans however so if you do encounter issues and need an operator your suggested to switch to your Status tab and type /join #ophelp the / is required.
The Channel List
Again ICQ have named this Chat Rooms but really it is sort of a mix of what its called or how its supposed to be thought of, in short it is a "mini channel list" it lists all the rooms that ICQ have on there website. It is not however a full and complete list, for that again click or switch to your status tab and type /list <subject> replace subject by the subject matter that interests you.
It should be noted that singular word searched are best, such as list #french - wildcards are supported but they are beyond the scope of this document so if you need help with channel listing again status tab then /join #ophelp to seek further advice
Similar to how the nick list works you can double click on any of the channels and you will join that one channel, you may join upto 10 channels with no limit on how many private channels you may join. It is advised however for the sake of navigating a little easier within your space that you do actually close any old and redundant private conversations to allow for easier switching.
The options area is somewhat hidden away if your not looking for it that is, but clicking this icon will give you the options area and the following options...
Hide join / quit messages
This can be handy when your in a busy room, this is also known as conferance mode as you dont want to see every join and part so you hide them thus freeing up some of the screen.
Override text format
This will allow a more browser specific look to what you see, its not suggested you turn this on if you have a none standard ( ms based ) font for your browser.
Ignore private messages
With this on you will not receive any private messages, this is handy but if your wishing to ignore just one person, see below.
This is a short cut to a command really and allow you to change your nickname, simply type in the nick you wish to use then click change nickname followed by ok and all your settings will be applied.
Last of all to cover is the chat interface which is as simple as they come!
If your used to chatting on the old ICQ which required you to click send to send a message then you can still do that, however if you just type and press enter when done you will have no issues and your text will be sent.
Also if you look at the top right of the screenshot you will see the X - this allow you to part/close any channel and/or any private messages.
Which as mentioned above can be quite handy when you have a lot of channels open that you don't want and a fair few private messages.
However you can not close the status tab as this is quite crucial to the client so if you wish to actually leave IRC you should either type /quit or close your browsers window/tab to end your IRC session.
These commands are defined as basic as there are only a very few that are specifically suggested for use by the flash or any other web client which is not capable of handling things like ignores or notifies native to itself.
You are limited to a max of 20 or so ignores at the moment. Ignoring a user or addingthem to your silence list is basically ensuring you will not receive any further messages from the user you add.
You are limited to a max of 20 or so notifies at the moment. This command in short allows you to see when a certain user does come online, its like a smack in the head letting you know they are here :)