When a room is created, the owner has the option of accepting room defaults or configuring the room. Pidgin chat rooms can be set with a variety of options. For example, a room can be set to allow people to speak privately within a room, or allow users to change the subject for the room. A list of options and their uses are below.
- Make room persistent preserves the room so that the room is not destroyed after all the participants log out. The default setting is that the room will be deleted when all of the users leave.
- Make room publicly searchable sets the room to be found when anyone searches for it through Jabber
- Make participants list public sets the list of people in room room available to everyone in that room
- Make room password protected is for the owner to enter a password for the room that participants will need to enter when trying to join the room.
- Maximum Number of Occupants sets a limit for number of users in the room at a time
- Present JIDs to enables either the room moderators or any users to see the participants' real names
- Make room members only limits the room to access by room members only
- Make room moderated allows individual participants to be added as moderators for a room
- Default users as participants sets users as participants of the particular room
- Allow users to change room subject Allows users to change the subject (title) of a room
- Allow users to send private messages enables people in the rooms to hold private conversations
- Allow users to send invites allows users to invite other participants to the room
- Allow visitors to change nickname Allows participants to change their nick name in the room, provided that the nickname is in the form of netid-something
Departmental ("Become") Account Chat Room Information
Some departments may find it useful to create private departmental chat rooms staffed by a number of people, such as a department charged with answering questions in "real time" from students, staff and faculty. However, since logging into a departmental chat room requires authorized members to "become" that account the users' identities are unknown which is counterintuitive to the OIT/Rutgers IM policy.
As a solution, OIT allows adding a hyphen so people in the departmental chat room or those visiting--for instance, a support chat room for users with computer-related questions--can talk with someone they can identify. For example, a possible room named "helpdesk" can have members named info-A and info-B and info-C, or helpdesk-joe, helpdesk-john and helpdesk-rob. OIT requires the departmental name (in this example "info" or "helpdesk") to be in the nickname, but what the department chooses to use after the hyphen is up to the account owner and any appropriate convention is available.
Departmental chat rooms can also be created hidden so that users outside of the department wouldn't try to enter them, and password protected. In the "helpdesk" example above, the password would next be given to 30 staff members members and they are all told to go into the room when they log in. What makes that important is:
The list does not need to be maintained on the server. The account owner gives the password to whomever s/he wants. If a new staff member is hired there isn't a change made on the server to update the list. Instead, the new staff member is given the password and invited into the room.
Everyone in the room can see who is present in the room. Those who want to chat with someone else they just look at the list of people in the room, and then can talk with them privately. The particular chat client might use the room's "send an instant message to this user" feature or the sender can use the name and send and send a regular instant message to them.
When staff members leave the department all the account owner need has do is change the room password and distribute it to the group.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) Options
An especially useful feature in Pidgin and Jabber is the IRC options. By entering a slash (/) and a command, Pidgin enables shortcuts to perform functions within a chat room. for example, typing /help displays the available commands for a context, or the particular room.
Typing /help [command] describes the function of that specific command.