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Chapter 21. Forums, Chats, and Other Add-Ons > Add Live Chat to Your Site

Add Live Chat to Your Site

For years, one of the strengths of the big-name online services such as America Online was their ability to host live chats—text-based discussion groups where all participants are active at the same time. You type a comment, others respond, and so on.

For the most part, this sort of interaction is beyond the capabilities of an HTTP server or even many CGI applications, because Web technologies rely on the static approach—click a link, load a page—that HTTP offers. While that works for forums and bulletin boards, live chat requires a different technology. In the case of Web-based chat, this is usually a Java applet, although other options also abound.


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