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An open-source version of iPhone's native Messages app
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Supporting Files

AcaniChat - HTML5 WebSockets & Node.js chat on the iPhone

An open-source version of iPhone's native Messages app

AcaniChat screenshot


Currently, AcaniChat features message persistence with Core Data and a chat view that allows you to send chat bubbles to yourself. Next, we'll implement sending messages over the network through the Acani chat server.

  • ConversationsViewController: List of conversations (UITableViewController)

    • Coming soon...
  • ChatViewController: One-on-one Chat (UIViewController)

    • chatContent (UITableView)
      • Identical UI (colors, layout, and font size) to iPhone's Messages app
      • Conditional timestamps (only shown every so often)
      • Delete edit-mode: Delete one message at a time or clear all at once
      • Trims whitespace on ends of messages; prevents sending blank messages
    • chatInput (UITextView)
      • sendButton.enabled = [chatInput isEmpty] ? NO : YES
      • Collapses & expands (between one & four lines) with content
      • becomes scrollable after content exceeds four lines

iOS Technologies

  • UIKit

    • UINavigationController
    • Custom UITableViewCells
    • Core Data
  • Coming Soon

    • ZTWebSocket & AsyncSocket

Design Practices

AcaniChat is simple yet modular, implementation-agnostic, and extensible.

  • Create views programmatically

Authentication: Facebook Connect & NSURLConnection

AcaniChat will implement authentication through various third-party accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, GitHub, etc.

Connection: HTML5 WebSockets - ZTWebSocket & AsyncSocket

AcaniChat will soon be able to connect to web servers that support HTML5 WebSockets. It will use ZTWebSocket, built on top of AsyncSocket, to support a WebSockets connection.

Server: HTML5 WebSockets - Node.js & Redis

Using [Node.js][] & [node-websocket-server][], we built a chat server called [acani-chat-server] that supports HTML5 WebSockets connections.

Chat: Redis PUB/SUB

The Acani chat server uses [Redis][] & the [Redis PUB/SUB functions][] to implement chat. Each user subscribes to the channel named after her username.


Related Projects & Links

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