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Interface for Managing Instant Messaging Conversations Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032969D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 57K

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Chat Manager is an Instant Messaging client for managing both multiple windows and associated conversations, which frequently occur concurrently. Chat Manager provides a queuing capability that provides the automated IM window management, as well as allowing extensive other behaviors, based upon rules applied to queued messages.

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Interface for Managing Instant Messaging Conversations

Chat Manager is organized much like an email inbox, here referred to as a "Chatbox" (although, the email inbox and the Chatbox could be combined into a single communication interface ). As a new chat is initiated, an entry is created in the Chatbox, and an associated window is displayed in a preferred location, offset from the Chatbox. The user never has to contend with multiple open windows, yet they have complete and easy control over when they respond to any incoming message. They can also maintain a queue of all messages, which can be archived, or simply referenced later during a session. Specifics on the behavior and options are described below.

* When a message arrives, if it is the first message in a conversation, then there is no current entry in the Chatbox, and an entry is created, signalling a new conversation. New messages (i.e., messages that have not yet displayed in a chat window ) are indicated in some manner (flashing icon, color, etc.).
* Entries in the Chatbox are listed in order of initiation or in order of most recent response (a user-configured option), however rules can be used to provide other behaviors.
* If the user initiates a conversation with another, an entry is created in the Chatbox, as well. User-initiated conversations are differentiated from those initiated by others, either by icon, color, or some other means.
* Only one chat window is ever automatically opened at one time. However, a user can manually open a second (or third, etc.) chat window by clicking on an entry in the Chatbox . All entries in the Chatbox with an open chat window (typically, just one) are indicated in some manner (icon, color, etc.) .
* When a new message in a conversation arrives, if no other chat window is open, then the chat window for the incoming message is opened and the message is displayed immediately.
* If another chat window is open, the message is queued, awaiting its turn to display itself in a chat window.
* When the user clicks Send or Close on a chat window, it closes, and the next message in the queue, if any, is displayed in a chat window.

Queue order is normally FIFO, but can be altered using a rule (e.g., priority to those on Buddy List, or priority given to messages with longest wait time in the queue).
* If the user clicks Send, or just hits 'Enter' on the keyboard, without entering anything in the text response area, then the message in t...