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ASSS Custom Projects - Timestamping chat when alt-tabbed, is it possible?

Jason - Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:00 am
Post subject: Timestamping chat when alt-tabbed, is it possible?
First of all, let me start off by saying that I have limited programming experience/knowledge. I took a year of CS courses and they were all taught in Java, so I have a solid understanding of concepts, but I don't know jack when it comes to the syntax/capabilities/etc of C or C++.

That being said, I was wondering if it would be possible to add a timestamp to each line of chat in the chat window when I'm alt-tabbed. I spend most of my time in SS these days alt-tabbed, chatting with friends whilst doing other work. I often forget to look at the chat window and end up scrolling back through old lines of chat. It would be nice to know what time stuff was said.

I haven't the foggiest where to begin were I to try to do this. I'm assuming there's some way to take a look at the chat window and catch each new line of chat, then almost literally "stamp" a time over the window (I doubt it's possible to write to the window itself.) perhaps in another window. Maybe even output all chat into another window with the timestamp included.

Anyway, enough babbling. Please advise if you think this is possible, and if so, where should I begin? Or if it's something that's going to be over my head, maybe someone would like to try their hand at it?
Grelminar - Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:45 am
Post subject:
You picked a strange forum to post this question in, but I'll try to help anyway.

It would be really easy to do this if it were just written into the client itself, instead of attempting to hack it on top of it with some external program (which would be nearly impossible). Unfortunately, there's not much development happening on the client these days. Your best bet is to post this request on the game development forum here:

And hope that Mr. Ekted sees it. He wrote the code for the chat window, and can add it to his sources. It won't make it into a new client, though, until PriitK decides to release a new version.
Jason - Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:55 am
Post subject:
I apologize for posting here. I wasn't sure where else to put it. I considered posting at but figured these forums were frequented by more true (and intelligent) developers who could be the most helpful. So much for timestamping then!

Thank you for responding, Grelminar. By the way, despite my lack of programming experience/prowess, I'm all sorts of impressed with asss. It's pure sweetness. :]
Dr Brain - Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:58 am
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The 2nd possibility is to write yourself a chatnet client with timestamps in it. You could even write it in Java if you feel comfortable with its GUI.
Jason - Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:03 pm
Post subject:
Pardon my ignorance, but where can I find more detailed information about the chatnet protocol? I read over the sticky in the "Chatnet Protocol" forum, but it left me feeling uncertain as to how one would implement the protocol.
ExplodyThingy - Thu Feb 05, 2004 5:13 pm
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Those are the packets that would be sent back and forth. A year of CS class probably wouldnt have immersed you enough to teach about sockets and exactly how data is sent over the internet via a program.

You may not need to do all the detailed annoying crap yourself. Smong has a chatnet client out there somewhere, get his software and add the timestamp. It uses TCP protocol, therefore such clients cannot connect to SubGame zones. So, if you need to use the timestamps, you wont be able to see public or team chat in your zone. That is of course, unless you use ASSS in your zone.
Cyan~Fire - Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:00 pm
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If you wanted to do it in C (just to let you know), you would use ctime(time()), which returns a char array that would contain the timestamp. That would include the year and all though, so it would be a little odd. You would probably want to write a new function that takes a time_t value (which time() gives you) and turns it into just a time, not a date.
Dustpuppy - Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:30 pm
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Really, if you mainly chat and don't play, you don't need to be using Continuum. So you could edit Smong's chatnet client to add timestamps, or whine at Kirk till he restarts work on SubChat
Jason - Fri Feb 06, 2004 5:17 pm
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The only problem with not using Continuum is, as Explody mentioned, all zones using SubGame don't allow chatnet clients, so I'd be restricted to my ; chats. That's not too big of a deal, but still I wish I could use pub and team chats as well in zones like HZ and what have you.
ExplodyThingy - Fri Feb 06, 2004 5:24 pm
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Someday theyll move over to as3. Its not that they dont allow it, its that they dont even support the at all.
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