Here's a new beta with a couple of small improvements and bug fixes. There are still two outstanding bugs that a limited number of people are encountering: some incoming messages not appearing properly when auto-accept is enabled, and crashes when waking from sleep. I've been having trouble reproducing these issues myself, despite having consistent reports on reproducing the problems. I still hope to fix these two problems in the future.

The unified contact list behavior has been changed slightly in order to better suit differences in usage. There is now an option to either explicitly use the unified list. If this option is not checked, selecting "Buddy List..." from the iChat menu extra and clicking on the iChat dock icon will not automatically display the unified contact list. Be sure to check this option if you generally use only the unified contact list. The synchronization issues between the unified contact list and individual accounts should be fixed in this release.

The syntax for enabling the option to strip the background color from outgoing messages is the following Terminal command: defaults write com.ksuther.chax StripOutgoingBackgroundColor -bool YES. Swap YES or NO to disable the option. You may need to restart iChat for changes to take effect.

Changes from Chax 2.1.1:

  • (New) Quick Look support for inline image transfers (available by right-clicking an image)
  • (New) Contact lists can now be sorted by user handle (View menu -> Sort Buddies -> By Handle)
  • (New) New default to strip background color of outgoing messages (StripOutgoingBackgroundColor)
  • (New) Russian localization (thanks to Denis Avdeev)
  • (Change) The unified contact list can now be set as the primary contact list in the Chax preferences
  • (Bug) Unified contact list should now stay in sync properly with all accounts
  • (Bug) Auto-replies to ICQ users are now properly stripped
  • (Bug) Name notifications in the Dock now truncate better
  • (Bug) Selecting "All Contacts" from the Window menu now toggles unified contact list visibility
  • (Bug) Can now make all accounts invisible at once with the unified contact list

Download Chax 2.1.2 Beta 1


Ben Perry at 2008-03-20 00:15:50 -0400

download link broken Keep up the great work

Chris at 2008-03-20 02:08:38 -0400

Wow, seriously, you are awesome. Thanks SO much for the "sort by handle" feature I've so desperately been wanting and waiting for, it works GREAT. One more feature--(the dock/autohide(slide) feature (like Adium) and I'll be able to use iChat full time (I'm sure this one is a LOT more difficult) but the sort feature SERIOUSLY helps improve my usability! Thanks Kent, you are an iChat Saint! Keep up the incredible work!

meatleg at 2008-03-20 09:04:36 -0400

you fixed my previous issue with the all contact window! i noted that when closing and opning a group it resized towards the bottom instead of the top. THANK YOU! i did notice though that the preference for "Use Groups" does not save for me. i have to reapply that every time i restart. thanks! i love chax!

meatleg at 2008-03-20 09:06:00 -0400

actually, my privious issue with the contact windows isnt fixed.... (ToT) i swear it was the first time i installed it.... hmmmm oh well, i still love chax...

Ben Perry at 2008-03-20 10:15:12 -0400

Same issue as meatleg - using groups in the unified contact list is not retained across launches. Great otherwise. Can I make a feature request for OTR messaging. Cheers, Ben

Brian T at 2008-03-20 10:30:19 -0400

If you have the same contact on multiple accounts, the unified contact list gives no way to choose which account your using to send them a message. It just randomly picks one...

Skewbiedoo at 2008-03-20 18:45:38 -0400

Brian...if you setup the multiple accounts as groups in their own accounts, then turn on groups in the all contacts list, they will separate out on the all contacts list into those groups. I'm also having the same issue as meatleg, groups don't appear on launch. They have to be manually turned on after each new launch of iChat.

Joe Vu at 2008-03-21 17:43:26 -0400

I absolutely love your product dude. I do have one feature request. In Adium, what i love about that program is when you re-open anyone's IM box the log is integrated into the chat. This is great because if you accidentally closed the chat you don't have to go to your log viewer; it'll be right there. I'm hoping to see something like that in the near future. =)

Adam Betts at 2008-03-21 17:47:00 -0400

Quicklook for images is just beautiful! Any way you can swap the behavior so that way if you double click an image, it'll do quicklook instead of opening in preview? If I want to preview an image in Preview, I'll just either right-click or drag the image to Preview icon in Dock. Thanks :)

Jon at 2008-03-22 12:07:01 -0400

Same issue as a few above. The sort by groups in the contact list does not appear on launch. Keep up the good work.

Jolita at 2008-03-22 12:57:23 -0400

I also noticed that groups disappear when relaunched. And I completely agree with Joe Vu about integrating recent message history. Kent Sutherland is aware of this request and said he'd look at it eventually. I think donations might help :)

Jolita at 2008-03-22 14:56:51 -0400

Another bug: having set to show contact short names they appear properly when starting iChat. Then if I change it to show full names (which works just fine) and later change back to show short names, Jabber users stay displayed with full names while AIM follow the new setting.

mimihzs at 2008-03-24 07:14:41 -0400

Hi My name is mimihzs, living in Liaoning, China. Thank you for developing the Chax 2.1.2 Beta 1, it's useful, really. But I found there was not the language pack of simplified Chinese. So I spend about a week on re-localizing it. So I send this letter with the language pack of Simplified Chinese for Chax 2.1.2 Beta 1. I wish it can be turned into the official language pack. You can download it at the URL:

James at 2008-03-24 15:44:39 -0400

If this is not the most appropriate avenue for a bug report, please let me know where I should be posting. Upon first open of a new message window through the iChat system tray buddy list, two instances of the message window for the target user will appear, one on top of the other. This occurs in Chax 2.1.2b1 and can be consistently reproduced on iChat 4.0.2 (604) and OS X 10.5.2: Begin iChat completely disabled (not minimized, enabled through the system tray, or offlined). Enable iChat through the system tray. Select a buddy to being a chat with through the system tray buddy list. Two stacked message windows to the same user should appear. This only occurs on this first invocation, and will not recur until iChat has been completely closed down and restarted.

Chris at 2008-03-24 22:24:29 -0400

Here's one bug that I believe has affected me is this version and previous versions: Occasionally the top of the buddy list, with the feature "automatically resize the contact list to fit" will go above and behind the menu-bar if the ichat window touches both the top and bottom of the screen (may not be the cause, but just to add more details). It usually happens when returning to iChat when reactivating the window, bringing it into the foreground, but almost always happens when switching back to my computer from being active on another computer during an active screen-sharing session. Thanks for your continued efforts, a donation from me should appear soon. (I would encourage everyone to donate $5 for every feature they can't live without in iChat) to awesome Kent! "He da man!" :)

Ben Perry at 2008-03-25 08:54:43 -0400

Hey again. Just tried out the StripOutgoingBackgroundColor. But I'm not sure what I should be looking for that should change. Is this the Balloon Colour? Also is Strip meaning remove or make stripey like a zebra? lol. Keep up the great work.

Ben Perry at 2008-03-25 08:56:12 -0400

Erm oops - I suppose I should have read the description at the top a bit better. Strip meaning remove. Ok however, I'm still not seeing any change even after restarting iChat? Ben

Paul at 2008-03-25 15:19:54 -0400

Great product, very useful and I appreciate it very, very much. I noticed with 2.1.2b1 that when you enable the option of show message senders name in the dock, it now shows both first and last name (or as much of the last name as possible). I believe in previous versions it would just show the first name. Not a huge issue, but something I noticed. Thanks again!

robert at 2008-03-28 21:30:44 -0400

I love being notified of ichat messages, but I don't want to be notified of who and who does not become available. how do I turn that part off?

robert at 2008-03-28 21:39:15 -0400

In the above, I'm referring to Growl notifications with Chax.

nemo at 2008-03-29 20:43:27 -0400

Hallo, I really like Chax but I still have to use Adium because some issues. If you coud please take a look at this list and maybe implement it, you would make Chax (and so iChat) much more useful and even I could use it. - Arrageable Groups: I want to move one group and put it above other (groups A, B -> I want to rearrange it to B, A). It's almost working in this beta but... - Fix this already mentioned bug ("iChar doesn't remember to show contacts in groups afret relaunch") - Merge two (and more) contact's accounts (e.g. Jabber and AIM) to one icon. Example: I have one person with Jabber+ICQ and I see this person in Contact List as two different persons (one with Jabber and one with ICQ). So I would like to merge these multiple items to one icon (person) and when clicked, I would have option to send message to Jabber or ICQ (and next time the last option used would be default). Just like in Adium. - Fix better ICQ integration to iChat: I have to set all contact's ICQ numbers in Address Book as AIM, otherwise iChat can't add name (nickname...) from AB to ICQ number in Contact List. I know I'm asking a lot, but without these essential features it's very painful for me to use iChat and I'm sure that I'm not the only one who would appreciate these functions. I have some others ideas about new features for Chax but they can wait. These I mentioned above are the most important. Thank you very much. P.S.: If I explained something unclearly, tell me and I will try to explain it again.

Michael at 2008-03-31 07:53:51 -0400

There are some slight translation mistakes in the German Localizable.strings. This is how it should be - it would be great if you could fix those before 2.1.2 is released: away_status_msg = "%@ ist abwesend. (%@)"; away_status_change = "%@ änderte seine Abwesenheitsmeldung. (%@)"; away_status = "%@ ist abwesend."; idle_status = "%@ ist inaktiv."; available_status_msg = "%@ ist online. (%@)"; available_status = "%@ ist anwesend."; changed_status_msg = "%@ änderte seine Status-Meldung. (%@)"; changed_song_msg = "%@ änderte den Song. (%@)"; no_group = "Keine Gruppe"; growl_says = "%@ sagt"; growl_offline = "%@ ist offline"; growl_online = "%@ ist online"; growl_idle = "%@ ist inaktiv"; growl_away = "%@ ist abwesend"; growl_available = "%@ ist anwesend";

Chris at 2008-04-01 13:47:54 -0400

Hey Kent, I've never really had the "show buddy pictures" feature enabled because it automatically defaults each contact to two-lines. Any chance that we could get the "show buddy pictures" option to keep the contacts on one-line, essentially showing the buddy pix smaller to fit the one-line height? It would let my buddy list be a bit more colorful than just a list of names. Thanks, I know you're working hard on this plugin! -Chris

Eric at 2008-04-04 22:42:20 -0400

Kent, Can't tell you how much I love this product. Makes iChat oh so much better. Also, thank you for taking so much time to develop such an awesome plug-in for free. If I knew you I would buy you a steak dinner. One question- is it possible to enable the "invisible" status in AIM from the unified contacts list? If it is possible, I think those of us that use AIM primarily, but have a growing Google Chat contacts list would really benefit when we don't want to catch up with all of our college buddies on AIM. Thanks, Eric

Eric at 2008-04-05 15:55:05 -0400

Kent, Thanks for the update. The invisible from All Contacts is amazing. One more question: in this Beta, you have to choose to view groups every time you relaunch iChat- groups aren't automatically shown. Is this the way it was designed, or is a fix forthcoming? Thanks, Eric

Martin Fraňo, XcoRpi at 2008-04-06 06:54:10 -0400

Good day, I'm a satisfied user of the chax expansion and the Apple iChat. Yet I have some substantial expansions, which many people lack in iChat. Saving of at least 4 last written messages in chat after reopening the window at least after 4 hours Meta contacts support - more protocols MSN/ICQ/gtalk like in Adium Support for Apple Scripts - like Adium/iTunes Options of HUD background in the message windows and the contact list Viewing the number of unread messages in the dock icon like in Adium X Hotkey/shortcut/button for transferring the song currently being played in iTunes

Ben Perry at 2008-04-06 23:54:02 -0400

@Eric - It's a bug and I assume will be fixed in forthcoming version. @Kent - feature request: custom image based on status. Availabe, Away, Idle. I suppose this could be done with an apple script but might need to expose the status change event to trigger an apple script. anyway, just an idea. Love it more and more each day. Regards, Ben

MatZ at 2008-04-07 13:56:56 -0400

XcoRpi: Man, I felt like reading my own words when I saw your comment, I totally agree with ya, I'd suggest these improvements too ;-)

calvin at 2008-04-08 01:08:36 -0400

hey good job on this chax improvement, been a user for quite a while. anyways i've been having a problem that kinda befuddles me. i opened ichat half an hour ago and noticed it uninstalled by itself. this happened a couple times in the past (kinda late in mentioning now, i know :P ) but i'm just wondering if anybody else had this problem. other than that, keep up the good work man and i'll be sure to donate when i get paypal up.

kamilio at 2008-04-09 12:27:08 -0400

I agree with Martin Fraňo, XcoRpi

Sector5 at 2008-04-09 12:37:29 -0400

XcoRpi: cool idea. Please integrating (developing) this futures to next version of chax! Please, I send you donate to paypal!)