Chax 2.1 is now complete, with unified contact list goodness. As a reminder, you can reopen the unified contact list by selecting "All Contacts" from the Window menu.

Two new hidden options from Chax 1.5 are also back, BlockAOLSystemMessage and DisableFocusRing. BlockAOLSystemMessage ignores all incoming messages from AOL's aolsystemmsg notification service. DisableFocusRing disables the blue focus ring around the input line in chat windows. To enable these options, enter this command into the Terminal and restart iChat:

defaults write com.ksuther.chax BlockAOLSystemMessage -bool YES

Substitute NO with YES to disable the option.

Changes from Chax 2.0:

  • (New) Unified contact list displays all contacts from all connected accounts
  • (New) Contact list pops to the front after a short delay when dragging a file onto a contact
  • (New) Options to control auto-away and auto-away delay
  • (New) Automatically go away when the screensaver activates
  • (New) Auto-accept for file transfers, AV chats and screen sharing
  • (New) Option to warn before quitting iChat when there are open message windows
  • (New) Option to display message sender names in the Dock icon
  • (New) Reimplemented hidden BlockAOLSystemMessage default
  • (New) Reimplemented hidden DisableFocusRing default
  • (Bug) Fixed encoding problem with status changes in message windows
  • (Bug) Export icon in the activity monitor now shows a text document
  • (Bug) Fixed issue where Growl notifications and the activity log would display some available statuses incorrectly

Changes from Chax 2.1b1:

  • (Bug) Unified contact list now reopens when the iChat dock icon is clicked and no windows are open
  • (Bug) Fixed error sending files with auto-accept enabled
  • (Bug) Unified contact list will reopen as the default contact list if it was the last open list


clint hime at 2007-12-13 12:45:12 -0500

i don't know if its related to you or not, but i got a kernel panic attempting to download 2.1 from the weblog.

Martin at 2007-12-13 13:10:45 -0500

Hey! As usual: Great work! Did you think of "meta-contacts"? I have several contacts as well in my AIM-list as in my ICQ-list. They appear doubled in my unified list.

Yaphi at 2007-12-13 13:17:40 -0500

Hey there. Is it at all possible for Chax to add a feature to move the tabs in iChat to the bottom a-la Adium?

Stan Lemon at 2007-12-13 14:16:26 -0500

Thank you so much for the work you've done on Chax. Chax makes iChat a professional and usable application for folks that need a more robust instant messaging solution. Your most recent addition of a unified contact list is exceptionally helpful. Again, thank you for your work!

Matt at 2007-12-13 14:58:53 -0500

Second on the 'meta-contacts.' It'd also be nice to tag the contact with a small icon under the status bubble indicating which service is being used, just move the status bubble up to make room.

Lee at 2007-12-13 15:08:46 -0500

I second the request for merged / meta contacts (and of course love what you've done so far).

Caliban at 2007-12-13 15:54:04 -0500

Hi Kent, Great work on Chax. However, there are still some issues with "Auto-accept text invitations." The first issue is that if a message is received from someone who is not on your buddy list, the message(s) will be accepted but the message(s) themselves will not be viewable. All that shows up is "Message from [screen name]" and there is no way of displaying the actual messages. The second issue is that the auto-accepted messages will be shown on whatever the current Space is, as opposed to the Space iChat is assigned to. Hope to see these fixed in the next version. Thanks for this nice little add-on!

Dave at 2007-12-13 16:19:43 -0500

Still desperately seeking AUTOHIDE. Thanks for what you've done so far, though!

Andrew at 2007-12-13 16:39:15 -0500

It's a shame auto-reconnect, the one feature i got Chax for has been abandoned :(

ljun at 2007-12-13 16:55:48 -0500

Can the "auto reply" not send if all the person does is a status change? I have "auto reply" enabled, and when it sets me to away, and someone changes their status from away to available, it sends an auto reply ... :P

Paul at 2007-12-13 17:04:25 -0500

Feature Suggestion (I'm a 1.5 user so don't know if it still applies): I'd love to be able to exclude certain users from the notifications (such as the blinking icon in the dock). I have a bot that sends me notices every few minutes, and I don't want that to constantly cause my dock to blink at me since it makes me less likely to notice and click when one of my real friends or colleagues pings me!

Quadrant at 2007-12-13 22:01:28 -0500

Hi, Chax really is the business and genuine thanks for your incredibly hard work. Is it possible to 'auto resize contact list to fit' when the Address Book/All Contacts windows is active? It would then save me opening both the Jabber (for gmail) and AIM Buddy List (for .Mac contacts)? I don't know if there is a technical reason why this can't be done but if I could have all my contacts in one compact window a donation would definitely be on it's way for all your hard work!! Thanks again

pissnaround at 2007-12-13 22:33:00 -0500

still having an intermittent crash of iChat with Chax installed, as I mentioned in MacUpdate... when ever I take one of my names offline, then disable it in the accounts menu, it occasionally crashes iChat. mysterious

Jay at 2007-12-13 22:54:23 -0500

Hi, I'm a dedicated Adium user - but the AV features of ichat are hard to pass up. Thanks for making this Chax pluggin to help iChat get up to speed. I have a couple suggestions that I think will make iChat way more usable. Basically I can't stand how if you have an chat window open (and you've closed the buddy list) you have to go up to window->Aim buddy list to get another going. It bugs me because I normally have chat windows open... but don't like the buddy list open cause it just clutters my screen. Is there any way to either: Dock the buddy list to a screen edge and have it autohide when the app isn't focused... or... add each of the online contacts to the context menu that comes up when you right click the ichat dock icon... perhaps a sub option would move these contacts to a submenu instead of the main menu for those users with lots of contacts (although I personally would rather them in the main menu)... Clicking on any of the contacts would initiate a text chat. If really adventurous, you could add a submenu for each contact that would allow the initiation of text/voice/video/screen types. Would REALLY love this feature so i could stop using that stupid buddy list that constantly is in the way. Thanks Hopefully other people agree.

Martín Vázquez Cabanas at 2007-12-14 07:46:23 -0500

Can you post the source code of this version? I might help you programming new functions.

neil at 2007-12-14 11:21:25 -0500

awesome update, thanks! i've been getting this error on launch for several versions - any thoughts? this is on an upgraded Leopard copy: "The file “Activity.chaxActivity” could not be opened because it is not in the right format." Also - if you could add the ability to hide Group labels for groups with no users online - that would be huge for me! Thanks!

Russell at 2007-12-14 15:49:39 -0500

Awesome update!!! A feature request of my own: If it's possible, do you think you can make separate contact windows for GROUPS rather than for service? So I'm glad now that I'm not forced into two windows, one for AIM and one for GChat. But the downside is that the unified list is too long to view all at once. It would be cooler to have two windows: "Grad school friends" and "Undergrad friends". That way I can have my groups, but still not have to sift through one giant window (and not have them arbitrarily spread out based on AIM service). Thanks!!

rcfa at 2007-12-15 03:51:16 -0500

Stumbled upon Chax today for the first time, and it almost addresses the one main reason I use Adium over iChat, while retaining all the great features iChat has over Adium (video, iChat Theater, etc.) That feature is, of course, the unified contact list, because it's pretty unbelievable that Apple would clutter your entire screen with contact list windows, just because you have more than one IM account. However, the problem Chax has not yet resolved (or I didn't figure out how) is this, and Adium solves that elegantly: I have multiple IM accounts, often for different purposes (business/private) and so do others. I have no control which of my IM accounts is used to contact which other IM account. Say person A has two IM accounts, both listed in their AddressBook entry, and I have two IM accounts. In Adium I can create a "unified" entry: that person shows up as on-line as soon as any of the accounts is on-line. But in any case, when I initiate an IM session, I can select which of my accounts is to be used, and to which of the other person's accounts I want to send the message. With Chax that crucial control is unfortunately missing, meaning I might reveal my private IM to people at work, and next I know I get harassed with computer questions from work late at night when I might be chatting with some friends overseas... If it were possible to bend iChat to work like Adium in that way, the only time I'd need Adium still would be to talk to some network iChat doesn't support, and for my uses, that's just in rare cases. Anyway, thanks for the work already done, but for now, I will still have to go back to using Adium, too bad...

rcfa at 2007-12-15 03:53:21 -0500

Oh, one more thing I forgot: in the regular iChat contact lists, I can re-order the groups by dragging the group headings, e.g. putting AIMBots to the bottom. In the unified contact list, they seem to be alphabetically ordered, and nothing I do makes them go somewhere else.

Bart Dorsey at 2007-12-15 21:25:47 -0500

First off, I love the new version of chax with the unified contact list. Second, I don't know if it would be possible, but it would be nice to be able to use "smiley" plugins like other IM clients. For instance, I and my friends use these. I do miss these from Adium.

clint hime at 2007-12-16 02:27:55 -0500

to Bart Dorsey, download the "more ichat smileys" plugin. you can find it on macupdate, it will put in alot of smileys.

Steve Johson at 2007-12-16 17:01:04 -0500

I have the following problem: when I place a video call to my 88-year old mother, her iMac/iChat is configured to automatically accept the call. However, the screen saver running on her iMac contnues to hide other applications (including iChat). The result is that I can see her, but she can't see me unless she gets up and crosses the room to wiggle the mouse. Is there a way iChat can tell the screen saver to terminate when a call is accepted? Thanks.

Mike at 2007-12-16 21:14:00 -0500

Thanks for adding the auto-accept and names in dock features! Really makes iChat much more convenient. I'd also like to throw in my vote for auto-reconnect. I like iChat's new tab bar that shows partial messages in it, however i'd really like the option to move it to the right side, and maybe keep it present even if there's only one open chat. Once again, thanks for developing this!

Eli at 2007-12-16 21:52:54 -0500

thanks for the update. Any chance you you can the chat room drawer that holds that users to just a sidebar on the right, kind of like linkinus?

Eli at 2007-12-17 03:13:16 -0500

I forgot to say turin it into above. a good example (with source) is the MissingDrawer plugin for text mate:

jake at 2007-12-17 05:27:15 -0500

my vote is on the "mute while away" feature! otherwise, keep up the great work!

Jostin at 2007-12-17 20:39:36 -0500

The iChax tabs were much better than iChat's new tab system. I can't use shortcuts, and I can't stand seeing my buddy's aim icon. It'd be great if you brought that feature back!

clint at 2007-12-17 21:09:02 -0500

So I've just seen a growl message saying a user i had chatted with went away, but this user is not on my buddy list. i had simply chatted with the person a few minutes previously.

compuguy1088 at 2007-12-17 22:12:47 -0500

For some reason, with both the 2.1 beta, and the stable release, everytime I loose connection in iChat, and reconnect, iChat crashes. Because I didn't have this problem in the previous version of Chax, it must be something to do with the newer version.

Tone at 2007-12-17 23:54:33 -0500

Hey, thanks for Chax, like many others, it makes the switch from Adium to iChat possible for me. One thing I've noticed is that status changes initiated via AOL's IM Forwarding ( don't show up in message windows as other status changes do. So when my contact signs off, and his status is automatically switched to "Mobile," I get no indication in the message window. If that could be fixed, I'd be a donating little bastard. Thanks!

Mike at 2007-12-18 10:00:27 -0500

Thanks! You addressed my one remaining serious problem, that clicking on the iChat icon when the contact list window was closed brought up the AIM Buddy List only. Now the unified contact list always appears by default. Thanks again--now it's perfect for me.

Michael at 2007-12-18 10:09:56 -0500

Thanks, Chax is a great tool. In addition to liking some of the suggestions here (meta-contacts ala pidgin, even better if it picked up the "same person" via the address book), I have a couple of "nice to have" features to suggest. 1: per-contact ability to suppress messages. Live Journal (for example) has a bot that will tell you whenever you've had a comment added. It should never get an away message. -- this might be implemented as custom away per-contact ("tell my wife I went to the store, tell my boss I'm working, tell anyone else 'I'm not here"...) 2: ability to merge log folders (a,b,c,&d are really the same person/subject/chat, so put their chats into the same folder)

Steve at 2007-12-18 15:57:34 -0500

I love this update but I had one problem with my unified contact list. When I put the computer to sleep (i.e. shut my laptop), when the computer re-awakens, I can't get the unified list to show my buddies and continuously shows the offline status. However, I'm still online and appear to be so according to the ichat menu control (this happens without it) and individual account buddy lists. I dunno if having multiple accounts per type (2 AOL, 2 GTalk) is causing this but its a bit of a pain involving restarting ichat. Closing/re-opening the unified list doesn't help things either.

Â¥z at 2007-12-18 19:37:29 -0500

PLEASE bring back the good old tabs!! :)

jacques at 2007-12-18 19:48:28 -0500

Please re-enable tabs. I loved that feature.

t-Doom at 2007-12-18 19:48:36 -0500

Chax seems to be the only solution for ichat users with an icq-account to prevent ichat from sending those pesky html-glibberish. I'm lovin' it. And yes, those extremely space-saving chax-tabs were so much better than those built-in, recently introduced with 10.5 Leopard. It would be so cool to have them back. At least as an option. thx 4 this gr8 plug-in.

Dave at 2007-12-19 01:03:51 -0500

I couldn't find an email address, so I hope you pay attention to this for bugs. I have a friend who uses his email address as his AIM account name. I also have him added on my Google Talk account - under the same email address. This creates a conflict on my unified contact list... he only shows up once. Could Chax check to make sure that contacts with the same username on different accounts show up? I can see it getting obnoxious if somebody has multiple AIM accounts or something, but it does get obnoxious because of the differences between AIM and Google Chat/Jabber.

desp at 2007-12-20 16:05:03 -0500

Thanks for the great app! iChat 4 added the option to display buddies' nicknames instead of full names or handles. However, it's missing a similar option for the self contact. Please add a way to display my nickname, both in the contact list and in messages.

ben at 2007-12-25 21:54:30 -0500

When I come back from sleep on my macbook pro ichat signs back on, but the buddy list says i'm offline and doesn't expand to show online contacts.. I have to restart ichat to get the unified buddylist back up.

Anthony Potts at 2007-12-27 17:22:59 -0500

I just installed Chax but when i start iChat i dont see anything different, no preferences tab, nothing. I see the new entry in the library when i look on my hard drive. Im running Leopard with all the latest updates. Can you help?

Peter Payne at 2007-12-27 17:30:58 -0500

Yes, please please please address the lack of auto reconnect. Also, when I launch iChat in Leopard the program WILL NOT log in to AIM for me, no matter what, making me manually type command L. Can you possibly address this, as part of auto reconnect?

meatleg at 2007-12-29 17:12:18 -0500

i love chax if u could give us the option to hear the recieve messages sounds while video, audio chatting i would love it. i really hate how i dont know that someone has sent me a message because there is no sound while im conferencing thanks...

Kevin Herrer at 2008-01-01 00:07:26 -0500

I'm having the same issues with the unified buddy list as ben (December 25th, 2007 at 9:54 pm). I found a workaround so you do not need to restart iChat. #1.) Set all accounts to back. #2.) Right click on the dock iChat icon, and select "All Accounts". That should get the unified buddy list working again.

Kevin Herrera at 2008-01-01 00:09:43 -0500

Misspelling in my name :)

James at 2008-01-08 20:28:20 -0500

I found Chax looking for a way to auto reconnect iChat when my internet connection has a hiccup. Please put it back and you have a guaranteed donation! Thanks much, James