Frequently Asked Questions for Mobile Colloquy Users
Table of Contents
- What exactly is Mobile Colloquy? Where can I find networks/channels?
- How do the completion popups work?
- Can I run Mobile Colloquy in the background?
- How does multitasking in iOS 4.0 work with a bouncer?
- How can I disable multitasking?
- How can I disable alerts while in the background?
- Can I use Push notifications with Mobile Colloquy?
- How can I stay connected for more than 10 minutes?
- How do I change the default settings?
- Why do I have to quit Mobile Colloquy to change settings?
- How do I change the way messages look?
- How do I join a new chat room/message a user?
- How do I change the topic?
- What commands are supported?
- What is Keyboard Selection?
- How do I report a bug?
- Can I get the source to build Mobile Colloquy myself?
- Why are you charging for an open source application?
- How do I get help for something that isn't listed here?
What exactly is Mobile Colloquy? Where can I find networks/channels?
Mobile Colloquy is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client for the iPhone and iPod touch. IRC allows many people to connect to an IRC network and talk to other people in various rooms on the network. If you've never used IRC before, take a quick look through here to find a network and to hang out in!
How do the completion popups work?
On a desktop IRC client you can usually press the Tab key to autocomplete a nickname when sending a message, which is really handy for saving you a whole lot of typing. Since the iPhone lacks a Tab key, and because there are also common commands and emoticons you might to use, Mobile Colloquy has chat completions.
As you type, you’ll see suggestions that match what you’ve typed so far. These suggestions will only appear once you've typed two characters, and unlike the iPhone's own autocorrection, will be ignored unless you tap to insert one.
Tapping the Close (the gray "X") button will stop any more suggestions for that word, and if you're not a fan of the feature in general, you can disable it entirely in Colloquy's settings (Advanced Behavior, Chat Completions).
Can I run Mobile Colloquy in the background?
Yes, starting with Mobile Colloquy 1.3 & iOS 4.0 if you have an iPhone 4, 3GS, or a third-generation iPod touch (32GB and 64GB models from late 2009) you can, though it's important to understand how it works.
Due to the way multitasking is implemented in iOS, Mobile Colloquy can't stay connected constantly. When you press the Home button or switch applications, Mobile Colloquy asks iOS to allow it to continue to run to complete a task in the background, that task being to keep you connected for as long as possible. Any highlight word mentions, or private messages you receive will trigger a notification while Colloquy is running in the background.
Tasks can only last a maximum of 10 minutes, so 9 minutes after you've switched away from Colloquy it'll warn you that you'll be disconnected in a minute. To continue to stay connected, just tap Open on the alert. Switching back to Colloquy before 10 minutes have elapsed, then switching away again will reset the countdown.
For more details on how multitasking works in iOS 4.0, see this excellent blog post from Craig Hockenberry.
How does multitasking in iOS 4.0 work with a bouncer?
For the first 10 minutes after you switch away from Colloquy, you'll only get notifications delivered locally. You'll get the same 9 minute warning, but after the full 10 minutes, Colloquy will disconnect from the bouncer and further notifications will be delivered via Push Notifications.
How can I disable multitasking?
As long as you're using 1.3.1 or later you can disable multitasking for a connection by tapping the blue arrow next to it on the Connections tab, then using the switch next to Allow Multitasking to turn it off.
How can I disable alerts while in the background?
Open Colloquy's settings (in the main Settings app) then select Alerts and use the relevant switches to turn off the multitasking alerts you don't want.
Can I use Push notifications with Mobile Colloquy?
Yes! See the bouncers page for more details.
How can I stay connected for more than 10 minutes?
The main way you can get past the limitation mentioned above is to use something called a bouncer (sometimes called a BNC or IRC proxy). A bouncer will stay online for you on a different computer or server which you then connect to from Colloquy. This is a service that Colloquy does not provide, it is something that you will either have to set up yourself or purchase from a third party.
How do I change the default settings?
Many settings, such as changing the transcript style, quit message or default nickname, can be changed by selecting Colloquy in the Settings application (scroll down). If there's a setting you want, it's probably in there.
Why do I have to quit Mobile Colloquy to change settings?
We're just following the Apple guidelines for handling infrequently-changed settings for iPhone applications.
How do I change the way messages look?
Select Colloquy in the Settings application and tap Transcript Style. Previews of the different styles are available here. Although you can't modify or add new styles yourself at present, there is a discussion as to how we might be able to do this in future releases on ticket #1375.
How do I join a new chat room/message a user?
Tap the "+" button in the Colloquies tab.
How do I change the topic?
Type "/topic " followed by the new topic and tap Send.
What commands are supported?
Colloquy supports a majority of the common IRC commands, such as /msg and /notice. It also supports a few other commands in order to perform searches and browse websites. They are:
/google query - Searches Google
/wikipedia query - Searches Wikipedia
/amazon query - Searches Amazon
/browser URL - Opens the URL entered in the browser (regardless of your Open Links In setting)
/browser - Opens the browser
/url URL - Opens the URL entered based on your Open Links In setting.
While Mobile Colloquy takes the locale to search on Google, Wikipedia, or Amazon with from the system settings, it is possible to search using different languages. All you have to do is specify a locale other than your default one. This is done by typing a country code like "de" before the search term. So if you were American and wanted to search the German version of Google for "kuchen", you would type /google de kuchen.
What is Keyboard Selection?
While we figure most people will prefer to tap chat-completion suggestions to insert them, Mobile Colloquy also offers the option of inserting them using the keyboard. You can switch to Keyboard Selection in Colloquy's settings (Advanced Behavior, Chat Completions).
With keyboard selection, instead of only being able to tap suggestions to insert them, you can also wait a second after a suggestion pops up, tap the Space key until the suggestion you want is highlighted, and finally tap the Enter key to insert it. The Space key will only select suggestions if you pause from typing for a second, otherwise just as with Tap Selection mode, continuing to type will ignore suggestions (you can tell you've waited long enough when the Send key changes to Enter).
If you accidentally invoke suggestions with the space bar but don't want them, either tap the Close button (the gray "X") or the Space key until the Close button is highlighted and then tap Enter to dismiss them. You can also keep typing while in this state, and Colloquy will insert a space and the letter you pressed while dismissing the suggestions.
How do I report a bug?
If you think you've found a Mobile Colloquy bug, check to see if you are running an earlier Colloquy version. Please update through the App Store if possible before filing bugs that may have already been fixed. Next you should search through the tickets to see if anyone else has already reported it.
If you can't find a a previously reported bug, you are ready to file a ticket. Since we share the ticket system with Colloquy for Mac, you need to specify "Colloquy (Mobile)" from the component menu, and a mobile version from the version menu. Keep in mind, the better your bug report, the higher the chance that your bug will be addressed quickly.
Once your ticket is filed, and you gave us an email address, you will receive email when it is updated or the status changes. After the bug is considered fixed, you will usually be asked to update to the most recent release of Colloquy and try it, to make sure that the fix works for you.
Can I get the source to build Mobile Colloquy myself?
The full source for Mobile Colloquy is available from the Colloquy Subversion repository and can also be browsed via Trac. To build it, follow the instructions on this page (building the Mobile Colloquy project rather than the main one) after you've installed the free iPhone SDK. Be aware that to run it on a device rather than just in the simulator, you'll need to be enrolled in Apple's iPhone Developer Program, which costs a minimum of $99.
Why are you charging for an open source application?
Firstly to support the developers who poured blood, sweat, and objective C into it, as they need, despite our best efforts, to eat. Secondly because putting anything on the App Store costs a minimum of $99 for the iPhone Developer Program membership, regardless of how open/closed the source is. Finally, charging for open source software really isn't that odd or rare, and is actually somewhat encouraged by the FSF.
How do I get help for something that isn't listed here?
The easiest way is to click here, which will bring you to #colloquy-mobile on irc.freenode.net. If you want to join manually, from within Colloquy by tapping the "+" button in the Colloquies tab, then "Join a Chat Room", finally tapping "Join Colloquy Support Room".