I've received a lot of emails asking about Chax on Snow Leopard, and I've been promising information about Chax as soon as Snow Leopard is released. So here's that information, along with the first build of Chax for Snow Leopard.

As many people have already found out, Input Managers do not load into 64-bit applications. They still function in 32-bit mode, but forcing everyone into 32-bit is obviously a subpar solution. Instead of using a passive system such as Input Managers, I've switched to using an application loader. This change has its pros and cons, but I believe this is the best solution for now.

You'll immediately notice after downloading the Snow Leopard version of Chax that Chax is no longer an Input Manager, but a full-fledged application. To use Chax, simply quit iChat and launch Chax instead. You can treat Chax as if it were iChat, you don't need to keep iChat in the Dock anymore. If you'd like to switch back to running iChat without Chax (who would ever want to do that?), just launch iChat as usual. One nice benefit of being a full application is Chax now uses Sparkle for updating, making updates much less annoying.

So what's in this first build? Growl, the unified contact list, the log viewer, dock icon notifications, warn-before-quit, camera snapshot, always on top, auto-removal of successful file transfers, contact list auto-resizing, and custom contact list fonts are included. What isn't in this build? Everything else, unfortunately. More features will be making a reappearance as time allows, but I feel that the most important features have been included

The reincorporated features have some minor changes also. There is no longer a preference to enable or disable Growl notifications — they are always on. You can use the Growl preference pane to enable and disable individual Growl notifications as you see fit. The log viewer is currently functionally identical, but it has been completely rewritten using blocks in an attempt to make it faster and more responsive.

Feel free to leave a comment saying which features you'd like to see come back the most. Chax is strictly a free-time enterprise for me, so it may take some time for some features to reappear, if ever. However, knowing which portions of Chax people actually use day-to-day is helpful in prioritizing.

Please keep in mind that this is an alpha and not yet feature complete. Depending on feedback and time, some more features may make it in before I release a final version of 3.0.


Download Chax 3.0 Alpha 1


Josh Bryant at 2009-08-27 22:57:39 -0400

One feature that really made Chax useful was the "auto-accept" of things like text, video and screen sharing invitations. The whole having to *accept* a text invitation in the first place never made sense to me, so I love bypassing that. And the auto-accept of screen sharing is most useful when needing to access a computer behind a firewall. And I know it's less important to most, but I also was in love with the hidden preference to remove the blue highlight around the text input field on chats. Thanks for all your hard work. Running as an app seems a bit weird but understandable that it's the best way since InputManagers are no longer allowed. Cheers!

vector at 2009-08-27 23:05:27 -0400

good christ, this is way slicker than an input manager. well done sir.

Sean P at 2009-08-27 23:53:21 -0400

I second "auto-accept". It's one of my favorite features - second to the unified contact list. Thanks for all your work!

rudy at 2009-08-28 00:14:17 -0400

thanks kent. glad to see you fixed the dyld issue with Chax getting aberrantly loaded into apps that iChax sub-launched. :)

Mark at 2009-08-28 00:38:27 -0400

You can auto-accept with Leopard and Snow Leopard iChat; just go into the Events section, and under Text Invitation, File Transfer initiated, etc. select "Run an Applescript", then select "Auto Accept".

Mark at 2009-08-28 00:47:07 -0400

P.S. I forgot to mention: Thanks for Chax! I'm donating $20 right now, and I hope everyone else does the same.

David Shepherdson at 2009-08-28 01:10:39 -0400

'Show status changes in messages' from the Notifications tab is the main feature I would really miss that's not already covered in this alpha. Beyond that, auto-accepting of text invitations would be very nice. Excellent work on getting something out for Snow Leopard so quickly; much appreciated!

Markus Spitzner at 2009-08-28 03:06:35 -0400

WIthout selecting “Use custom fonts in the contact list” my contact list looks like this: http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/5676/screenshot20090828at100.png

Markus Spitzner at 2009-08-28 03:11:12 -0400

It only happens if you don't “Show Buddy Pictures”.

Tino at 2009-08-28 04:26:19 -0400

you are my hero! thx for releasing an alpha that works pretty well!

Devin at 2009-08-28 04:41:42 -0400

Yes!!! As others have said, the auto-accept and the in-window status changes would be awesome. It's hard to remember what I need Chax for cuz it blends in so well I forget it's not native, but once I start using it without all of the features, I'll get back to you with which ones I miss the most!

Devin at 2009-08-28 04:42:51 -0400

Seriously, losing Chax was the one big regret I had about upgrading. No more!

Pascal at 2009-08-28 05:52:02 -0400

hello, i just tested the chax alpha and my friend told me that my written message recieved by him still appeared in html..., i believe that was fixed with ther chax version in leopard. my question: is there any way to enable it or is it a planned feature for the snow leopard chax? thanks for help or answers regards

Imre at 2009-08-28 06:21:34 -0400

Great! Thanks a lot! Let me give a short feedback: - it starts slowly comparing with ichat - header of contacts has some kind of drawing problem. My name and status is rendered on the top of the first contanct.

Imre at 2009-08-28 06:27:40 -0400

May i request to render the Mobile me and the Gtalk partners differently?

Ron Don at 2009-08-28 08:32:42 -0400

Features I use EVERY day. -Auto accept files -Auto accept text -Resize window Thanks Kent!

Loci at 2009-08-28 09:05:50 -0400

Thanks so much! Just got Snow Leopard running and was immediately missing Chax. Unified contacts a huge deal to me.

Brian at 2009-08-28 09:13:34 -0400

Thanks for the quick work. The Auto-resize was big for me, so thanks for getting that in. The only other thing I really miss is the auto-accept. Like the others said, it is available in Snow Leopard iChat, but the problem is that it brings the new chat window to the front automatically. So, if you're typing in one window, and iChat auto-accepts, you're jumped to typing in the new chat window. The way Chax does it is much better. Thanks again.

Sylvere from Paris at 2009-08-28 09:28:44 -0400

Hi to all of You!! This is one of my favorite application, help me a lot everyday to auto accept sharing screen to get back home and work on my computer when i'm out, do enjoy all option with AutoAccept !! Thanks for all and just relax my friend, we will wait for you...

Jason at 2009-08-28 10:08:55 -0400

Thanks! I was totally missing my Chax dock icon flashes... Great job!

Michael Johnston at 2009-08-28 14:37:29 -0400

I love you, Kent!

Joshua Thomas Ryan Wallace at 2009-08-28 14:40:59 -0400

I love Chax to death, I just replaced it with the icns from iChat and renamed it iChatx so that it would feel more at home in my dock and such. However, I hate buddy pictures in my list and if those are not shown, my buddy list turns into a complete mess. Just a bug reporting and I’ll be back on iChat till that’s fixed but thank you so much!

David at 2009-08-28 15:24:55 -0400

I've got a BIG bug on my end... all the contacts are written on top of each other, effectively making this program useless.

Kent Sutherland at 2009-08-28 15:26:51 -0400

For everyone having trouble with contacts overlapping each other in the contact list, enable custom contact list fonts in the Chax preferences and select Lucida Grande 12. You'll get the same effect as the default settings except the rows won't be piled up on each other. The next release will this fix problem.

snl at 2009-08-28 16:40:55 -0400

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Now to crack the whip!!! just kidding. I would really like to see auto accepting a video/text chat request for back to my mac functionality. Did I say THANK YOU!!!!

Bailey at 2009-08-28 17:07:23 -0400

Just used the alpha for 5 minutes and you included the features I use the most. This is mostly just a kiss-your-ass message to say how awesome Chax is. My world is better with your code in it. cheers!

Lori at 2009-08-28 17:08:17 -0400

First thing I did after my iMac rebooted into Snow Leopard for the first time was install this Chax beta. I love it! :) Its got the stuff I mostly cared about, frankly, I can't really remember what _is_ missing. hehe

Gnagy at 2009-08-28 18:18:14 -0400

Losing Chax and letterbox were the two biggest drawbacks of moving to 10.6 - thanks for all your work and once I have income I'll be giving you a $20 donation since you've been writing a great plug-in for many years. thanks again.

Devin at 2009-08-28 19:58:35 -0400

When I first launched it, it was having all kinds of display problems. I went in the to settings and turned on auto-resize, and then quit and relaunched and it was fine. I don't know whether changing the settings actually made the difference or not. The only issue once it was launched was the list didn't fit, but I just collapsed and reopened a window and it auto-sized just fine. However, it gets all messed up if I don't display buddy pictures. But still, great to have Chax! This is only alpha 1, so bugs are expected. Hopefully they get smoothed out!

Ryan Sullivan at 2009-08-28 21:19:24 -0400

‘Show status changes in messages’ from the Notifications tab is a BIG feature I LOVED. Thanks a ton

vector at 2009-08-28 22:41:31 -0400

@Joshua Thomas Ryan Wallace after launching chax, it should automatically replace itself with the .icns from iChat.app; it does that for me.

meatlegee at 2009-08-29 01:28:11 -0400

besides the all in one contact window I use these: -Auto accept files -Auto accept text -Resize window as well as the show icon in dock! Thanks! I love chax!

Imre at 2009-08-29 01:58:01 -0400

Feature request: - Auto accept files - Auto accept text Thanks in advance!

Martin at 2009-08-29 03:43:40 -0400

I'm so happy to see Chax for Snow Leopard. But one gib thing is missing in this Alpha (don't know how hard it is to implement): That annoying html in ICQ-messages isn't filtered. All of my non-iChat-ICQ-Friends are complaining about that html-stuff. ;) But it's really great to see you're working on all that Chax stuff. Thanks so much, Kent!

weichsel at 2009-08-29 04:22:51 -0400

Thank you for bringing Chax to Snow Leopard! Great work. Please consider porting the ICQ message filtering. It's my favorite Chax feature.

Robb at 2009-08-29 10:58:30 -0400

My #1 use for Chax: -Auto-accept screens/video/files/everything If you find the time that would be great!

MHA at 2009-08-29 11:11:53 -0400

Auto-accept of text chats is pretty much the only thing I couldn't live without Chax for. Most other things have made it into iChat along the way. Oddly, running Chax instead of iChat, my buddy list is all squashed. I'm looking for an e-mail address to send you a screen shot, but not finding one. Please drop me a note so I can send you a screen shot to show you what I'm talking about. The buddy list is unreadable with all the entries jumbled together. Thanks for working on a Snow Leopard version! -- MHA

Ed at 2009-08-29 14:03:12 -0400

The ability to hide Mobile users would be a welcome addition!

Markus23 at 2009-08-29 14:45:15 -0400

I second that, PLEASE integrate the ICQ-HTML Bug Solver Stuff :-D and maybe the Resize Window Stuff :-) Thanks alot for your Work

David Celis at 2009-08-29 16:15:31 -0400

I can't believe nobody has said tabbed message windows yet! That was the main reason I ever went back to iChat from Adium; Chax gave me back my tabbed windows.

David Celis at 2009-08-29 16:18:42 -0400

I can't believe I forgot that was an iChat option now! Whoops :\

Trevor Meier at 2009-08-29 17:28:57 -0400

I'm new to Chax... wondering if there's a way to combine contacts who are the same person on multiple services?

Kent Sutherland at 2009-08-29 17:33:14 -0400

@Trevor Meier: Technical limitations in 10.5 prevented this from being possible. It remains to be seen whether this has changed in 10.6, but right now it's looking that way.