Party version 2.12 updates party to make it work on
modern versions of Unix, and make it configure more easily.
Party is a real-time chat program for Unix systems.
It simulates a party line, where any number of users can talk at the same
time - if you type a line of text, everyone else sees it immediately.
Chat programs are pretty common these days. Party wasn't the first, but
it was an early one.
It's antiquity is reflected in the fact that it doesn't support networked
systems especially well, nor have a web interface.
However, its maturity is reflected in the fact that it has a clean and
simple interface, and a good set of well-integrated features that make it
easy for first-timers to get into.
It remains very popular to this day on several systems.
Portability is OK. Odds are good that it will run on your system, if it
is Unix and it isn't too bizarre.
I am no longer doing very active support on this system. I fix bugs, and
do occasional portability enhancments.
The original version of party was developed by Marcus Watts for System
III Unix some time around 1983 for use on the original Mike Myers' M-Net
system (this was the second free public-access Unix systems in the world).
I got hooked very early, and started making improvements to the look and feel
some time around 1985,
and had done a complete re-write by 1986.
An early version of party migrated to Chinet (the first public-access Unix
system in the world) where it sprouted many new features, including channels.
Many of those ideas were borrowed back into the M-Net version,
In later years, some MUD-like features and IRC-like features migrated into
Party has been heavily used on M-Net, Chinet and Grex for most of its long
history, and still is used today on those and other systems.
Party is easy to use.
For a beginner, you just run the program.
It drops you into the default channel
Things other people are saying appear on your screen.
To talk, you just type.
We find it is one of the most approachable programs on our
free-shell systems for newusers.
Party supports channels.
You can configure in any number of permanent channels, which don't go away
even when all users leave, plus any user can create a temporary channel just
by joining it.
Unlike IRC channels, you can only be in one channel at a time.
You change channels by issuing commands like "join oldfolks" or
Channels do not have channel operators.
Everyone in a channel has the same rights and privileges.
Nobody can boot anyone else out.
I consider this a feature.
Channels have logs.
You issue a command to scroll back in your current channel, even to see
things that were said before you entered
(using a command like "back 50" or just "-50").
Logs for permanent channels are restarted periodicly by a cron process.
Different channels may have different behaviors.
These can be configured arbitrarily for permanent channels,
and depend on the channel name for others
(for example, you might configure it so that channel names ending with
"_pri" are closable).
Channels can be closed.
If the channel is closable,
it can be closed (with the ":close" command)
so that nobody not already in the channel can join,
unless someone already in the channel invites them
(with the ":invite username" command).
Anyone can knock on the door of a closed channel.
Upper limits on the numbers of users in a single channel may be configured.
These can be different for different channels.
Users can be anonymous.
Normally, each line typed by a user is prefixed with their login id when
it is displayed to others.
Some channels can configured so that people can change their names,
or to randomly assign names to users, or to give all users the same name.
(Hey, it's a party - you are supposed to be able to do silly things.)
Or you can make it require that all users have unique names.
You can set a default alias to be used in any channel that allows you
to change your name.
Users can make "noises".
If you type a line like "/smile Charlie" a message like
"<yourname smiles at Charlie>" appears. The
list of these "noises" is highly configurable and can be different in
Users can be filtered out.
If another user is annoying you, the
":ignore username" filters him out, so you never see his remarks.
Users can read files into party.
The ":read" command can be used to read a file into party.
Most channels set a line limit on that size of such files.
You can also save lines from the party log into a file.
Users can configure party behavior in many ways.
You can set how many lines of history are displayed when you enter party,
whether backspaces and control-characters are stripped out of other users'
how long to wait when knocking on the door of a closed channel,
whether repeated lines should be filtered out,
whether you want to see noises or read-in files,
whether you want lines wrapped,
and many other things.
You can also define arbitrary Unix commands as filters to
feed all party output through.
Idle users can be disconnected automatically.
Each channel can have an idle timeout configured in.
Party can be run as a secure shell.
Normally party allows shell escapes, but you can turn them off so people
running party can't get out.
For more detailed information,
there is a man page for party here.
Current party source may be obtained
Sun Jun 8 00:15:48 EDT 2003