Please consider a donation to the Higher Intellect project. See or the Donate to Higher Intellect page for more info.

Hotline 2.0 Ideas from Hinkley

From Higher Intellect Vintage Wiki

Original document can be found at

Okay, lemme know what you think of this.  And feel free to do some 
mockups of it :)

BTW, this is for a 2.0 version of Hotline.  The first GM will be 



On the Toolbar, the Chat, News, Files, New User, Open User, and Server 
Connections (see following) buttons behave like this:

Click to open the window (eg, chat) for the last server used.  If there 
is no last server, the option-click behaviour is used.  Option-click 
shows the "Open" window (see description following).

If the user clicks and holds the button down for half a second, or drags 
the mouse out of the button, a popup menu is shown.

This popup menu shows the last 10 servers that were used since the 
program was started.  The most recently used is at the top.  Following 
that is a divider, and the users favourite bookmarks (those that are in 
the "Favourites" folder in the Bookmarks folder). Select a server from 
the menu to open the window (eg, chat).  This menu could also have an 
"Other..." item which shows the "Open" window.

A "Chat & News" button could also be added to the Toolbar, which would 
open both the Chat and News window for the specified server.

Note that there is no Connect button - the popup menu or "Open" window 
(see following) is used instead.  Likewise, there is no disconnect 
button.  Connections are closed transparently, based on closing of 
windows, idle time etc.


The Open window is used for selecting a server, and then opening a window 
for that server.  Which window gets opened depends on how the Open window 
was invoked.

The Open window is resizable and consists of four tabs:  Recent, 
Bookmarks, Tracker, Address.  The purpose of these tabs is to provide the 
user with a way to select (identify) a server.

The Recent tab shows a scrolling list with the names of the last 30 
servers the user has accessed.  This list is saved to disk when the 
application quits, and restored when next opened.  The most recent server 
is at the top of the list.

The Bookmarks tab shows a scrolling list with the names of the servers in 
the Bookmarks folder, and a text box for entering a password (the user 
may choose not to save the password with the bookmark).  There are also 
buttons for creating, deleting, and modifying bookmarks.

The Tracker tab shows a popup menu, a scrolling list, and two text boxes. 
 The popup menu is used to select a tracker.  The server names from the 
tracker are displayed in the scrolling list.  The text boxes are for 
optionally entering a name and password.

The Address tab shows four text boxes:  Server Name, Server Address, 
Login, Password.  The user can then directly enter the details of a 
server.  The Server Name text box is used when displaying the server in 
the Recent list.  If not supplied, the address is used.

An "Open" button is separate from the tabs.  This button dismisses the 
window and accesses the server specified in the tabs.  For example, if 
the user option-clicks the Chat button on the Toolbar, the Open window is 
displayed, and the "Open" button is renamed "Open Chat".  The user then 
uses the tabs to select a server, then clicks "Open Chat" (or hits the 
enter key).


The user needs a way to tell what server a window is from.  Thus a 16 
pixel or so horizontal bar is added to the bottom of every window.  This 
bar displays the name of the server, possibly the address as well, and 
could also be color-coded.  Clicking on this bar shows a popup menu with 
Chat, News, Files etc.  Choose an item to open it for that server.

Unlike the other windows, there is only one Tasks window.  Each task 
displays the name of the server it is from in a line above the task 

Note that there is no Tracker window.  The Tracker is available from the 
"Tracker" tab in the "Open" window.

There is also no user list window.  The user list is attached to the 
right side of the Chat window, with the buttons above it.  Clicking the 
zoom box causes the list to show/hide (toggle).  Only those people who 
have their chat window open are shown in the list.

To help deal with the problem of not enough desktop real estate (aka too 
many windows), there is yet another window, the Window Manager window.  
When a user-defined keyboard shortcut is hit, the Window Manager window 
is shown above all other windows (modal).  This window consists of a list 
with the names of all the other windows, and what server they are from.  
Double-click a window, the Window Manager window hides, and the specified 
window comes to the front.  For example, the list could look like this:

   Window              Server
   ------              ------
[] Chat                Macline
[] Chat                OmniMac
[] Files               Dennys
[] Test Folder         Dennys
[] Tasks               n/a

The [] is an icon that represents what type of window (chat, news, 
files).  The user can click on the "Window" or "Server" title to sort by 
that.  The Window Manager window could also be used to close and hide 

A popup menu of windows is also available.  This menu is available in the 
menubar, and via a context menu - command-control-click (configurable) in 
any window.  For example, the menu could look like this:

- Macline -
- OmniMac -
- Ambrosia -

Select a window to bring it to the front.  Select the server name to 
bring ALL of that servers windows to the front.


This window, available to administrators, provides information on what 
each connection to the server is doing.  This can be thought of as a 
Tasks window for the server.  For example, the list may look like this:

User        Address          Activity
----        -------          --------
hinks    Chatting
hinks    Downloading file "filename.sit"
hinks    Downloading file "movie.sit"
Phil          Listing files
Phil          Downloading news "Multiconnect"

The window has two buttons - Stop and Refresh.  To stop a task, click it 
and then click Stop.  To refresh the list of connections, click Refresh.


Users can send messages to each other independent of a server 
(client-to-client).  The private message button on the chat window sends 
these messages.  Keep in mind that this is used in situations where you 
do not want to use private chat.

All messages appear in the Messages window, which consists of a list and 
text display area.  The list shows the names of people who have sent 
messages (may appear more than once).  Click an item in the list to 
display the message in the text area.

To reply to a message, select the message you want, then click the Reply 
button.  Messages stay in the list until you click Delete.  Each message 
has a date/time stamp.


 /|  _
/ | | |                     Adam Hinkley
| |_| |                     CEO/Software Development
|  _  | O T L I N E
| | | |COMMUNICATIONS       [email protected]
|_| | |