Dialogue Experimental Toolkit (DiET)
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README.md

Getting started

This repository is a netbeans project. If opened in netbeans it should run "out of the box"

If the jar file is run without any command line parameters it will show a GUI that lets you choose whether to run the server or the client.

Starting the server

To start the server, use java -jar "chattool.jar SERVER

The server will listen for incoming connections on port 20000

To change this, use java -jar "chattool.jar SERVER %PORTNUMBER% where %PORTNUMBER% is the portnumber

Starting the client

To start a client from the commandline you need to specify the IP address and port number to connect to

java -jar "chattool.jar" CLIENT localhost 20000

It is also possible to start clients (locally) from the GUI by selecting the button "Additional Client"

Speeding up testing cycle of conversation controller objects

The process of starting the server and clients and then logging in is quite tedious when developing. To get round this you can start Conversation Controller objects, along with the required number of clients by using the following syntax:

javac -jar "chatool.jar" nogui_ccname_autologin CONVERSATIONCONTROLLERNAME

For example:

javac -jar "chatool.jar" nogui_ccname_autologin DyadicTurnByTurnInterface

This will automatically start the chattool, load the ConversationController object, initialize the clients and log them in.

The default number of clients to start is 2 (which is specified in Configuration.defaultGroupSize

These can be saved in netbeans project configurations

Programming the chat-tool

ConversationController object

The main part of the chattool is the ConversationController object. The chattool is designed so that when you are program an experiment you only need to modify code in the ConversationController object.

The ConversationController sits in the middle between all the participants. All chattext, GUI events, keyboard events are sent to the ConversationController object.

Workflow when programming the chattool

The standard approach to creating a new experimental intervention is to:

  1. Create a subclass of DefaultConversationController
  2. make sure that showCCOnGUI() returns true (this will display your ConversationController class in the GUI)
  3. Customize the conversation controller object, e.g.
    • modify participantJoinedConversation(...) to specify what happens when a conversation logs in
    • modify processChatText(....). This method specifies what happens when a participant sends a message. The default behaviour is to simply relay the message to all other participants. This method can be modified to, e.g. selectively block (shadowban) messages, or to transform messages (e.g. replace or add text), or to send entriely artificial turns. There is a large set of methods in Conversation, such as Conversation.newsendArtificialTurn(....) for doing this.
  4. Test the setup locally (run as demo) or by using the method above (Speeeding up testing cycle of conversation controller objects)

During an experiment

To get input from the user:

Show a popup and receive the response in the ConversationController object