The Converse.js User Manual
Welcome to the converse.js user manual. This manual is very much still a work in progress and is far from complete. Please bear in mind that it's the work of volunteers.
Although converse.js can be integrated into any website, for this user manual we'll refer to the canonical version at https://conversejs.org.
This documentation also integrates the converse.js chat client, so you can try out some of the steps right on this page! Just click the Toggle chat button at the bottom right of the page to open the so-called control box of the converse.js chat client.
Registering a new chat account
With converse.js you can register a new XMPP account on any publically available XMPP provider. To do so, click the Register tab on the chat client.
You will then see the registration panel as shown in the picture below.
Choosing your provider
Converse.js uses a chat protocol called XMPP (also known as Jabber) which allows "federation". This means that it's similar to email, in the sense that people signed in at different XMPP chat providers can still chat with one another.
For example, if you have a Yahoo! email account, you can send and receive emails from a friend with a Google email account. In the same way, if you have a chat account from Conversejs.org, you can send and receive chat messages with a friend who has an account at Jappix.com.
There are many free providers online which allow you to register a new account. You can see a list of some of them at xmpp.net. The xmpp.net website provides a security grading for the XMPP servers of the providers, which is very useful. They are however sometimes slow to add new servers to the list. A larger list of XMPP providers is also available at list.jabber.net.
Once you know which XMPP provider you'd like to use, you can type its domain name and click the Fetch registration form button.
Filling out the registration form
After you've clicked Fetch registration form, the chat client will contact the chat provider, ask for its registration form and then present it to you.
Different chat providers have different registration forms, but they're all relatively similar.
Check the security score
At the top of the form you'll see a colored bar containing the text xmpp.net score. This shows the security score for this server as determined by xmpp.net where you can test out a server for yourself. You should generally avoid providers with a poor security score (colored in red).
Choosing a username
As you can see in the registration form, the username consists of two parts separated with an @ sign, similar to an email address.
The first part is your unique handle which you need to choose. The second part is the domain name of the chat provider, the one which you chose in the previous step when you fetched the registration form.
When you want to give someone your XMPP chat username, or when you want to add someone else as a contact, you need to specify it in full, like you would an email address.
Once you've chosen your user name and password, click Register. If Successful, you'll be automatically logged in to your new account.
Adding a contact
In order to start chatting with someone, you first need to add them as a contact.
To do this, click the Add a contact link in the Contacts tab. This will slide open a dropdown in which you can type the username of the person you'd like to add.
Remember, an XMPP username (also called a JID or Jabber ID) is similar to an email address, in that you have both the user's handle and the domain name of the provider, separated with an @ sign.
Once you've typed the username and clicked submit, your request will be sent to this person. If they are online, they will immediately be notified of your request, otherwise they'll see it next time they come online.
Technically, when you add someone as a contact, you're doing two things. Firstly, you are adding the contact to your roster (think of it as an address book) and secondly you are asking to be notified whenever that person comes online.
A pending contact
The person you are adding as a contact has the option to either accept or decline your request. Until that decision has been made, they will appear in your roster as a so-called pending contact. In other words, their final status is pending on whether they accept or decline your request.
A normal contact
If the person accepts your contact request, they will get a chat status indicator in your roster and will also become clickable. Clicking on the name of the user will open a chatbox in which you can then start chatting with that user.
Removing a contact
To remove a contact, hover your mouse over their name and then click on the trash icon. You will be prompted to confirm, and if you do, the contact will no longer be visible in your roster.