Egalite is a instant messenger program.

It provides server-based chat and presence for XMPP compatible servers, such as jabber and google talk, and many others.

Egalite also provides direct chat over SSL sockets without server interaction.

Finally, Egalite provides simple IRC.

There is an IRC channel where you can talk about Egalite, named #egalite on the server chat.freenode.net.

Server (Xmpp) Chat

For server chat, the people you chat with are identified by their user name on a server, and the server name. For example, alice.smith@gmail.com or bobjones@jabber.org. To manage these accounts, open the Identities menu and select Server Accounts.

Direct Chat

Definitions

For direct chat, the end points of a chat are specified by identity and address.

An itentity corresponds to a person, and is verified by an SSL certificate.

An address corresponds to a communication port on a computer or other communications device, such as a phone, netbook or tablet.

In order to be connected to incoming chat from other people, your Egalite must listen for incoming connections. To do this, you need to start a listener.

A listener is a pair of address and identity. The address specifies where to reach you for direct chat, and the identity specifies who you are for purposes of this address.

Starting a Direct Connection

To start a direct connection with another Egalite user, you need two things:

Accepting Direct Connections

For other users to connect with Egalite on your computer/device, a listener has to be active. For this purpose, you need to have an identity, which is a SSL certificate. You can create one with Itentities→Create Certificate and use it later.

To start listening for incoming direct connections, use File→Add Listener. This will start a dialog which allows you to select an identity (which you created earlier), and then a address to listen on.

The listener address is one that your computer/device makes visible to the outside world. The outside world here can be the entire internet, or a local network that your computer is visible on. See Obtaining Listener Addresses below for more.

As usual, you can enter the address as a numerical IP address, or as a URL.

Obtaining Listener Addresses

To accept direct connection to your computer/device from outside you local network, you need an address that is visible to the rest of the world, and that will accept connections. The listener acts like a server for these connections.

Many ISPs restrict small customers behind NAT from accepting any such connections, others require special configuration. There are many ways of accepting incoming connections on an external IP address.

One way is to acquire an IPv6 address. This is very convenient, and in the reasonably near future most businesses will have to deal with IPv6 for reasons completely unrelated to chat applications.

Some ISPs provide IPv6 addresses to their customers. This is the best way if it is available to you. If not, IPv6 addresses are available for free from tunnel brokers. Which service is best for you depends on your geographic location. You can check this web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IPv6_tunnel_brokers, and services like SixXS, Hurricane Electric, Gogo6/Freenet6. Check your ISP and the internet for your local availability.

Mixing IPv6 and IPv4

Egalite can listen to, as well as connect to, IPv6 and IPv4 addresses. With separate listeners, some can listen on IPv4 while others listen on IPv5.

Of course both ends of any particular connection have to use the same protocol.

Certificates

Egalite requires that the end points of a direct chat present SSL certificates. These certificates can be generated by Egalite, or read from PEM format files, or pasted in PEM format.

Egalite allows you to create self-signed certificates for the purpose of direct chat using the menu item Itentities→Create Certificate.

Direct Addresses

When connecting a direct chat, you need to specify the address that the remote end of the chat will be at.

These addresses are stored as direct contacts.

You can specify the address as an IP numberical address (IPv4 or IPv6), or as a host name for the DNS service your computer (or device) uses.

IRC

Egalite allows connecting to multiple channels on multiple IRC servers at the same time.

Nicks

IRC identities are called "Nicks". You can manage them in Egalite by selecting the Identities menu and then IRC Nicks.

Channel List

At the top of the (docked) IRC channel display is a list of channels which you are connected to. Click on a channel name to raise the history display for that channel to the top, and to send input to that channel.

Channels with activity (someone send a message to the channel) are highlighted in the list.

Channel Label

The Channel Label acts as a multi-function button:

Channel History

The channel history display usually scrolls, and you can drag the content and flick it (version 0.5 and later).

To select and copy text from teh history, it can be helpful to stop the drag/flickable behaviour by Double Clicking on the channel name label. To re-enable the behaviour double click again.

Channel Topic

Some channels keep the topic text short and to the point, while other channels do not. To expand the topic text, Press-and-Hold the channel title box.

Configuration

Icons

Egalite provides a number of standard icons for things like the status of contacts, making it easier to see if they are online, away, don’t want to be disturbed or similar things.

You can replace these standard icons with icons on your own system. To do this, you can edit the icondir and iconsize items in the style section of the configuration.

To find an icon corresponding to the state of a contact, the icon file needs to have a standardized name. These are the names used by Egalite:

Status Icon File Names
user-away-extended.png
user-away.png
user-busy.png
user-invisible.png
user-offline.png
user-online.png
Note

Icons are typically scaled to fit into the space given by their surroundings. Therefore, changing your icons to a different size may not have the effect you anticipate. Icons with more bits are not always displayed bigger.

License and Warranty

This is free open source software, hence the usual licensing. And the usual warranty, or lack thereof:

Copyright © 2010,2011 Bernd Stramm All Rights Reserved