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12. Multicast Chatting

MChat is a package allowing a conversation to take place between a potentially infinite number of people across the Internet. It uses the Multicast support that has been added to XEmacs in the early 21.0 days. At that time a rudimentary version of MChat was written, merely to illustrate the feature, and almost nobody knew it, apart from the other developers. This version is much improved and completely backwards incompatible ;-).

NOTE: before using this package, you most likely have to customize the mchat-nsl-method first. It specifies a program like nsl or nslookup in order to retrieve the IP number of your machine.

The main entry point to the package is the mchat function which allows you to open a multicast group based on the MChat protocol. There are a number a variables that can be customized and their doc-string should be self-explanatory. You might also want to look at the bindings (C-h b) in MChat buffers, or at the menubar entries to get an idea of what you can do.

WARNING: the current version (but there's also a limitation in the internals of XEmacs's processes) doesn't let you send messages longer than 500 octets or so, including the protocol header. I plan to change this in the future (see the todo list).

To configure this package, type:

  M-x customize-group RET mchat RET

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