Opera, chat and managing contacts.
Thursday, December 14, 2006 12:45:10 AM
If you start using Operas contact management, you can see if people are away and send private messages too. That requires that people use the online status system that you can see in chat menu or by clicking network in chat panel with right mouse button. But let's see how you can manage your contacts.
Make sure that you have created chat account so you can follow these instructions.
First thing you need to do is to open chat panel. You can open panels by clicking arrow on the left side of the screen and the selecting chat panel. Even faster way is to press ctrl+5. Once you're done you can close the panel by pressing F4. If you want to see the panels again, you can press F4 again.
As you can see in the picture, there's number of different panels, but panel we're now focusing on is chat panel. You can do same things here that you can do from chat menu, but that's not all you can do.
OperaNet, Europe is the name of the network we're using now, right clicking that gives list of choices in away status. One important one is offline, which disconnects you from the network.
If you're already connected, click that small arrow before the networks name, it then gives you list of rooms that you are in or have visited.
Properties might also be worth checking out, but not usually necessary.
Easiest way of adding contacts is visiting same room that the person you want to add as a contact is in. As you can see in the picture above, there's no button to add contacts. But the thing we are looking for is in nicklist. Right click on nick of a person you want to add as a contact.
As you can see in the picture, there's number of different choices. One interesting one to try out is Who is.
Private chat is used usually too much, but that shouldn't be a problem if you send private messages to people you know already. Otherwise you might send message to someone who isn't available right now, or even not interested in chatting privately with you. If you're looking for people to chat with is much easier anyway, if message is seen by more that one people.
Most important one right now is the "Add nickname to contact". Click on that and dialog pops up in which you fill in all kinds of contact information. Most important field is filled in already, so you can press OK if you don't want to explore. Otherwise you can fill in other fields if you want to use contact with mail client too or maybe choose icon for that particular contact.
Now the setup should be complete. If you did everything correctly (and I didn't miss any important details), your situation should be more or less similar that in this picture. Though it's too bad that updating contacts in chat panel takes Opera some time. If you don't see your contact yet, you can disconnect and connect again.
If you click contact with left mouse button, you can send private messages with contact, so you don't need to share same rooms at all anymore. You can just use Opera like any instant messaging client. Or actually to really achieve that, you can use Bitlbee. Here's instructions how to do it.
You can see if contact is away straight from contacts icon. Though if contact likes to change his/her nick a lot, you need to go back to contacts preferences and fill in some additional nicks in chat tab. Though if you don't do that, things are not that bad, you just see that your contact is offline, which is not really the case, but close enough.
Actually, this is ultimate harassment feature and someone might use it for sending messages you don't want to see at all. Luckily there's antidote for this feature. /silence command. Syntax is:
You can type it in any chat window. It's not permanent, so you'll loose it if you disconnect. If you want to make it permanent, you have to add it in servers properties. In Outgoing tab, there's field labeled "perform commands when connecting". As long as the command is there, you can't see messages from the nick you have silenced.
If you want to try alternative way to add a contact, here's how to do it from contact panel. It's good alternative if one you're trying to add as a contact is not online right now or you don't want to visit same room. Clicking panel with right mouse button brings up context menu where you can add a contact.
In this case you need to fill in the nick in chat tab. If you can't find it, you can see where it is in the last picture.
So, that's all for this time. I hope you learned how to use Operas chat feature more effectively. It's quite basic, but not so simple as it would seem at first glance.