The GlobalTalk Chat Stack 0

Posted 2024-03-08 | Back to blog index

The GlobalTalk Chat Stack 0.2.0 is released! The preferred HyperCard-based multi-user chat system for the MARCHintosh GlobalTalk network.

I've added text escaping courtesy of @uliwitness so you can now type quotation marks without breaking it!

I've also made usernames bold in the chat log, and added a "emoji" feature where you can tack a single character from Susan Kare's classic Taliesin or Cairo fonts to a message.

A screenshot of a HyperCard stack with a chat log on the left, a user list on the right, and a list of dingbat characters in a scroll field on the bottom.

Aside from any bug fixes/compatibility issues, this is probably the last version in I'm releasing in a while.

HyperCard's Apple Events-based AppleTalk networking is blocking, and the permissions model requires polling for new messages, so when it's going out across the globe to get new messages every second, it freezes your whole computer.

This makes for a terrible laggy experience that can't really be fixed.

When I have more time I'll investigate writing my own AppleTalk networking XCMDs

The latest version of the stack can always be found in the MARCHintosh folder in the share “Blackbird” on the zone “BaroNet” on the GlobalTalk network.

I looked into existing AppleTalk networking XCMDs and the only thing I could find was Apples AppleTalk Toolkit, which even comes with the source code!

Unfortunately it's written for a really old version of AppleTalk, and the XCMDs are hardcoded to check for the printer port so wouldn't even work on anything with an Ethernet port. They also don't support zones, so they would have to be customized to add that.

(and yes I already ended up putting out an 0.2.1 with a scroll fix I had forgotten to put in, again thanks Uli for help)

I've released 0.2.3 with some code cleanup so I don't have to be quite as embarrassed if someone looks at the code to learn how this works or wants to hack in their own functionality (which is encouraged!!)

I've also disabled switching between cards using the arrow keys since that was an easy way to accidentally log you out.

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