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Hawthorn chat

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Edited by Sam Marshall, Friday, 5 June 2009, 17:00

Two posts for the price of one today - I wanted to plug Hawthorn chat.

Hawthorn is a personal project of mine - it wasn't developed in work time. It's an open source (GPL) text chat system designed to be unbelievably simple (to use, not to install) with virtually no features and high performance. It doesn't work on its own; you need to integrate it with an existing website that has an authentication/logon system.

Here's some of the reasons you might be interested in it if you want to add text chat to a website that you run:

  • Hawthorn has no features except text chat (group chat, one box). There's nothing for users to learn.
  • It is, hopefully, extremely fast; and doesn't place any load at all on your existing server.
  • No browser plugins are required; it's all JavaScript. (The server-side runs in Java, but users don't need to have Java installed.)
  • It can be integrated into JSP or PHP web applications using the provided libraries, or into virtually any other platform if you do it 'from scratch'.

And last but not least...

  • It comes with built-in support for Moodle! This installs as a course block and allows either coursewide chat, or group chat, or both. Supports groupings, too.

Check out the PDF that comes with the download if you want to learn more; the documentation's quite extensive.

Although I didn't develop this as a work project, we're evaluating this for possible use here. At present though I don't think anyone has tested this on any kind of scale so be a bit cautious if you do try it. smile

PS Google Wave? Screw that noise... smile

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