well, i have finished the chat stuff. Here is my need list
- custom buddy lists
- automatic access to admin via chat for support – no request, upon enrollment
- public chatroom
- available/unavailable status
- turn chat on/off
using drupalchat and the user relationship modules will allow you to do all this except for the on/off stuff. at least, i haven’t found it yet. I had to create a default relationship for all members (called Get Support!) that is linked to the admin account in chat. that way, when they are granted access to the site for the first time, they get a chat window that will show public chatroom and admin. no buddy lists to build for that. then, they can access their own user account pages and issue invitations to others to build their own buddy lists. Very nice and it only took one day to implement.
there is one other aspect. The ajax and/or long polling methods don’t scale. And I believe that I can see a performance issue simply from turning the ajax method on. I think that I can. So I am going to look at implementing a node.js server. if that is going to be a problem i’ll use the iflychat service. at least the free one until i can figure out where to go. and if it proves popular, i may just pay for it.