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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for ytalk (redhat section 1)

YTalk(1)										 YTalk(1)

       ytalk - A multi-user chat program.

       ytalk [-x] [-s] [-Y] [-i] [-h hostname_or_ip] username...

       YTalk V3.1.1

       YTalk is in essence a multi-user chat program.  It works almost exactly like the UNIX talk
       program and even communicates with the same talk daemon(s), but YTalk allows for  multiple

       The username field may be formatted in several different ways:
	    name	  - some user on your machine
	    name@host	  - some user on a different machine
	    name#tty	  - some user on a particular terminal
	    name#tty@host - some user on a particular tty on a
			    different machine
	    name@host#tty - same as "name#tty@host"
	    aliasname	  - an alias defined in your .ytalkrc

       You can specify multiple user names on the command line, ie:

	    ytalk george

       The -x option disables the X11 interface (described below).

       The -s option starts your YTalk window in a shell.

       The   -i   option   disables  the  auto-invite  port  (meaning  you  won't  see	"talk  to", but your talk daemon will beep you instead).

       The -h option specifies the name or address of the local machine; this is useful on multi-
       homed machines, or virtual hosts, to specify which network interface to use for communica-

       The -Y option requires a capital Y or N as an answer to any yes/no question.

       For each user on the command line, YTalk will attempt to connect to the talk daemon on the
       specified  user's  host and determine if that user has left an invitation for you to call.
       If not, YTalk leaves an invitation for him and tells his talk daemon to send an	announce-
       ment to his screen.  There is no dedicated YTalk daemon.  Right now, YTalk is able to com-
       municate with BOTH existing versions of UNIX talk daemons.  For any particular host, YTalk
       will  attempt  to  communicate with a talk daemon the caller's host also supports.  If the
       two hosts have no daemon in common, then UNIX talk will not function at all, but a connec-
       tion is possible through (and only through) YTalk.

       Once  a connection has been established between two users, they can chat back and forth to
       their hearts' content.  The connection is terminated when one of them  hits  control-C  or
       selects quit off the main menu.

       YTalk  is  perfectly  compatible with UNIX talk and they can even converse with each other
       without any problems.  However, many of the features of YTalk can only  operate	when  you
       are  connected  to a user who is also using YTalk.  For the rest of this document, it will
       be assumed that all connected users are using YTalk, unless otherwise stated.

       If you specified more than one user on the YTalk command line, then YTalk will process and
       add  each  user	to the conversation as they respond to your invitation.  As each new user
       enters the conversation, the screen is further subdivided into smaller  and  smaller  win-
       dows, one for each connected user.  Right now, the number of connected users is limited by
       the number of lines on your terminal (or window), for each connected user needs	at  least
       three lines.

       YTalk  does  implement  primitive support of the X11 Windowing System.  If the environment
       variable DISPLAY is set, then YTalk attempts to connect to that X server.  Further details
       about the X11 interface (and how to turn it off) are given below.

       As  each new user is added to the conversation, YTalk will transmit information about that
       user to all other connected YTalk users so that their  screens  will  also  subdivide  and
       incorporate  the new user.  If the new user is using UNIX talk, then information about him
       will NOT be transmitted, for his screen would be unable to accept multiple connections.	I
       have  given  brief thought to allowing at least the output of UNIX talk users to be trans-
       mitted to all connected YTalk users, but I have not written any code to do so.  Note  that
       even  though  UNIX talk cannot handle multiple connections, it is still possible for YTalk
       to handle multiple UNIX "talk" connections.  For example, george (using YTalk) could  com-
       municate  with  fred  and joe (both using UNIX talk), but fred and joe would be unaware of
       each other.  The best way to understand the limitations that UNIX "talk" places	on  YTalk
       is to test various connections between the two and see how things work.

       Whenever  you are using YTalk, you can hit the ESCAPE key to bring up a menu which at this
       moment has these options:

	       a: add a user
	       d: delete a user
	       k: kill all unconnected
	       o: options
	       s: shell
	       u: user list
	       w: output user to file
	       q: quit

       By choosing option "a", you are given the opportunity to type the name  of  any	user  you
       wish  to  include into the conversation.  Again, YTalk will accept an invitation from that
       user if an invitation exists, or will leave an invitation and ring the given user.

       By choosing option "d", you can select the name of a connection to terminate.

       By choosing option "k", you can make YTalk forget all pending (waiting) connections.

       By choosing option "o", you can view and/or modify any of  the  YTalk  options.	 See  the
       OPTIONS section below for a list of YTalk options.

       By choosing option "s", you can invoke a shell in your YTalk window.  All other users will
       see what happens in your shell.	YTalk will automatically resize your window down  to  the
       size of the smallest window you are connected to, in order to ensure that all users always
       see the same thing.

       The "u" option displays a list of connected and unconnected users, as well as their window
       sizes and what version of talk software they are running.

       By choosing option "w", you can select any connected user and type the name of a file, and
       all further output from that user will be dumped to the specified file.	The file,  if  it
       exists,	will  be OVERWRITTEN.  By choosing "w" and the same user again, further output to
       the file will be terminated.

       Oh, one other thing:  when user A attempts to ytalk to user  B,	but  user  B  is  already
       ytalking  with  user  C,  user A's YTalk program will realize that user B is already using
       YTalk, and will communicate with user B's YTalk program directly in  order  to  initialize
       the conversation.  User B will see a nice windowed message like:

	    Do you wish to talk with user A?

       and  he	will be prompted for a yes/no answer.  This, in my opinion, is much preferable to
       blitting the announcement message and messing up user B's screen. The command-line  option
       "-i" turns this off.

       When  you  select  Options off of the main menu, you are given the opportunity to edit the
       YTalk options.  The current options are:

	    s: turn scrolling [off/on]
	    w: turn word-wrap [off/on]
	    i: turn auto-import [off/on]
	    v: turn auto-invite [off/on]
	    r: turn reringing [off/on]
	    p: [don't] prompt before rerings
	    a: turn asides [off/on]

       If scrolling is turned on, then a user's window will scroll when he  reaches  the  bottom,
       instead of wrapping back around to the top.

       If  word-wrap  is turned on, then any word which would overextend the right margin will be
       automatically moved to the next line on your screen.

       If auto-import is turned on, then YTalk will assume that you wish to  talk  to  any  users
       which  connect  to  other YTalk users which are connected to you.  That last sentence does
       make sense; try again.  YTalk will add these users to your session automatically,  without
       asking you for verification.

       If auto-invite is turned on, then YTalk will automatically accept any connection requested
       by another user and add them to your session.  You will not be asked for verification.

       If rering is turned on, then YTalk will re-ring any user who  does  not	respond  to  your
       invitation within 30 seconds.

       If prompt-rering is turned on, then YTalk will ask you before re-ringing a user.

       If  asides  is turned on (it may not be available), then keyboard input received while the
       input focus is in a specific users' window will only be sent to that user.   See  the  X11
       interface description below.

       Any  of	these  options	can be set to your preference in your .ytalkrc file, as described

       If your home directory contains a file named ".ytalkrc" then YTalk  will  read  this  file
       while starting up.  All YTalk runtime options, as well as some startup options, can be set
       in this file.


       Boolean options can be pre-set with the following syntax:

	    turn option [off | on]

       where option is one of scrolling , word-wrap  ,	auto-import  ,	auto-invite  ,	rering	,
       prompt-rering  ,  caps , noinvite , nodelay , asides , or X .  Setting these options works
       just like described above.  Turning X on or off will enable or disable the  X11	Interface
       described below.  For example, one could enable word-wrap with the line:

	    turn word-wrap on


       You  can  setup aliases so you don't have to type the full address of the user you want to
       ring.  There are three types of aliases:

       alias aliasname@ username@
		   Replaces aliasname@host with username@host for every host. The '@' at the  end
		   of username@ is not required.

       alias @aliashost @realhost
		   Replaces  user@aliashost  with  user@realhost  for  every user. The '@' at the
		   beginning of @realhost is not required.

       alias aliasname user@host
		   Replaces aliasname with user@host.


       On machines with multiple IP addresses (multiple interfaces, or virtual	hosts),  you  can
       choose  the  default address to use for communication with YTalk, using the localhost com-
       mand in your .ytalkrc file.  The syntax is:

       localhost hostname-or-IP-address


       The purpose of readdressing is to allow Ytalk connections  across  point-to-point  network
       gateways  where	the  local machines know themselves by a different address (and typically
       hostname) than the remote machines.  The basic syntax of a readdress command is this:

	    readdress from-address to-address domain

       The readdress statement simply makes a claim that the  machine(s)  in  domain  communicate
       with  the machine(s) at from-address by sending a packet to to-address .  Since most users
       have no use for this whatsoever, I'll describe it only briefly.

       THIS IS NOT ROUTING.  For example, my machine at home is connected via PPP to the  network
       at  my  office.	 My  machine at home thinks its ethernet address is and its
       hostname is "".  The network at my office has the address   When
       I'm  connected  via  PPP,  my  home  machine  is placed into the office network as address with hostname "".

       YTalk needs to know that if it is running on domain and receives packets from  that  it should respond to, not  right?  right.
       okay, okay, okay.  I put this line into my .ytalkrc on both ends:

	    readdress talisman

       On my home end, this translates to:


       which  tells  my  home  machine	to  advertise  itself  as   ""   instead   of
       ""	when  YTalk-ing to machines on the network "".  On the office
       end, the readdress command translates to:


       which the office machines basically ignore.

       Note that, in this case, the problem could also have been solved by telling the home YTalk
       to use the interface, when doing YTalk requests across the PPP link.

       Enough.	 For  more  information  on how to use this, consult the source code or send me a
       letter.	:-)

       If the DISPLAY environment variable is defined when  YTalk  starts  up,	then  YTalk  will
       attempt to communicate with that X server.  A window will be created for you and each user
       you are connected to.  The X11 Interface can be disabled either by specifying  -x  on  the
       command line or by putting this line into your .ytalkrc file:

	    turn X off

       A  window  is created for each individual user in the conversation.  If the input focus is
       in the main window (ie: the one with "ytalk" in the title bar) then anything typed will be
       sent  to  all  connected  users.  If the input focus is in one of the users' windows, then
       anything typed will be sent as an aside to only that  user.   If  the  "aside"  option  is
       turned  off  (see above) then ytalk will beep and not accept anything typed when the input
       focus is not in the main window.

       YTalk consults the X11 Resource Database for these user-definable configuration options:

	   YTalk.display:  X server to connect to, defaulting to the  DISPLAY  environment  vari-

	   YTalk.reverse:  reverse black/white pixels.

	   YTalk.font:	font to use, defaulting to "9x15".

	   YTalk.geometry:  window size, defaulting to	"80x24".

       Work is being done on the following ideas:

	    1) a dedicated YTalk daemon.
	    2) MBCS/NLS support.

       However, as this was claimed over 5 years ago, I wouldn't hold my breath on it. :=)

	   System-wide defaults file.

	   User's local configuration file.  This file overrides
	   options set in the system ytalkrc file.

       Britt Yenne

       Roger Espel Llima

       Special	thanks	to  Carl  Edman for numerous code patches, beta testing, and comments.	I
       think this guy spends as much time on ytalk as I do.

       Special thanks to Tobias Hahn and Geoff W. for beta testing and suggestions.

       Thanks to Sitaram Ramaswamy for the original YTalk manpage.

       Thanks to Magnus Hammerin for Solaris 2.* support.

       Thanks to Thilo Wunderlich for Linux support.

       Thanks to Jonas Yngvesson for aside messages in X.

       Thanks to Andreas Stolcke for fixing the X resource database calls.

       Thanks to Pete Wenzel for fixing the #elif directive.

       Thanks to John Vanderpool, Shih-Chen Huang, Andrew Myers, Duncan  Sinclair,  Evan  McLean,
       Larry Schwimmer, J. Adam Hawkes, and Mark Musone for comments and ideas.

       Thanks to Steve McIntyre for patches and ideas.

       The README file shipped with ytalk gives detailed attributions.

       Please mail any bugs to the maintainer of this version, at <>

					   10 May 1999					 YTalk(1)

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