The "Buddy Message" page is where you can use the previously created "Buddy List" to create, read, send and delete messages you and your buddies exchange. This area is completely separate from the other IM areas. It has it's own Log On button you press when you wish to take advantage of this feature. This is an "off-line" messaging system that is very useful for corresponding with other members who are not currently online with the IM Server. You and your buddies can access your own messages the next time a connection is made to the IM server. An e-mail (SMTP) sending feature is also available so you can reach your buddies at the e-mail address they entered in the member database.
These three objects, "Full", "BM Select" & "BM List", together make up a "multi-mode" control area. Currently there are three types of List Modes it supports; "Buddy List", "Online Messages", "Offline Messages". Each of these modes is in effect an entirely different application but with a general similarity. In order to conserve desktop landscape and resources we have combined all three modes on one page. We have even managed to make a fourth mode work on this page too; "BM EMail". Each of these modes is explained below. But first let's look at the other two controls that make up the control group.
Full -- By default this control is "checked" (enabled). In the enabled position, every time you hold the left mouse button down the list below it will expand to the right to give you a "Full View" of the detailed information contained in the list. When you "un-check" this control (disable it) the list will always look as it does now and will not expand.
BM Select -- This button does the actual "selecting" of the highlighted row(s) in the list below it. To use any of the entries in the list you must first highlight a row by clicking on that particular row and then press "BM Select".
Buddy List -- This is a list of current "Buddies" that you have previously selected from the "Buddy List" page tab. This is in effect an "address book" that you have created containing information from the membership database. For security reasons this information is not editable and only one buddy can be selected at a time. This read-only list with an individual selection mechanism and was made like this in an attempt to limit any possibility of "Spamming".
Online Message List -- In the "Online Message" mode you are ready to check the IM server for any messages for you that may be stored there. See the "BM Command" section below for more info on entering the "Online Message" mode. In the online message mode, after online messages are displayed in the list, you simply select the message you wish to read by either double-clicking on the message or press the "BM Select" (see the explanation above) button to display the contents of the message in the objects on the right of the list. Several other operations can be carried out on the items in this list. For more details on these operations see the "BM Msg Options" section. For some of these operations you may select multiple rows. To select multiple rows just simply hold the "SHIFT" or "CTRL" keys and simultaneously click on the row(s) you want to select. Repeat this operation for every row you wish to select. The selected rows will have a "color bar" across them (usually a wide dark blue color background).
Offline Message List -- In the "Offline Message" mode you are ready to check the local message store for any messages for you that may have already stored there. See the "BM Command" section below for more info on entering the "Offline Message" mode. In the off-line message mode, after off-line messages are displayed in the list, you simply select the message you wish to read by either double-clicking on the message or press the "BM Select" button (see the explanation above) to display the contents of the message in the objects on the right of the list. Several other operations can be carried out on the items in this list. For more details on these operations see the "BM Msg Options" section. For some of these operations you may select multiple rows. To select multiple rows just simply hold the "SHIFT" or "CTRL" keys and simultaneously click on the row(s) you want to select. Repeat this operation for every row you wish to select. The selected rows will have a "color bar" across them (usually a wide dark blue color background).
Note: The "Offline Message List" is available when off-line in "Buddy Message Mode". The "Offline Message Options" are the only "List Mode" options available when not online. You can only edit the local off-line message store when in the "Buddy Message" off-line mode. To enable off-line message store options you need to choose "Offline Message List" from the drop down list box on the lower left of the screen. When you do the "OK" button to the right of it will become enabled. Choose "OK" and you will be in off-line message store mode.
The "BM Command" area consists of a group of two controls, a list box containing the actual list of available commands and a "OK" button used to execute the actual command. A brief description of the commands supported are listed below.
Buddy List -- This selection causes the current "Buddy List" to be displayed in the list above this control group. This will also enable or disable certain buttons in the "BM Msg Options" control group depending on your current mode.
Online Message List -- This selection will put you into the "Online Message" mode. Remember that online messages are only stored on the IM server and only a copy of them is displayed in this application. This selection will also enable or disable certain buttons in the "BM Msg Options" control group depending on your current mode. Keep in mind that messages on the IM Server will be automatically deleted after a period of time by the IM Server itself. So it is important that you save the messages you wish to keep that are online to the off-line message store on your local disk. Please be kind and delete all unwanted messages from the IM Server as soon as you are done with them.
Offline Message List -- This selection will put you into the "Offline Message" mode. Remember that off-line messages are only stored on the the local disk and are not stored on the IM server. This selection will also enable or disable certain buttons in the "BM Msg Options" control group depending on your current mode.
This option will allow the IM Server to automatically store "Forum Messages" to your "Online Message" store. All new Forum messages will be added to your Online message box for use the next time you use VIM. You may then save the online message to the local Off-line Message store if you so desire, or just delete them. This is really handy for those members who "pay by the minute" for their Internet usage. It allows them to view message subjects online and only save the ones that are meaningful to them. Plus it allows for easy local storage (in a VFP table) of messages you are very interested in.
This option should be left unchecked if you normally use the web browser interface to read Forum Messages. This is because your message box could easily become over crowded with VFUG Forum Messages. Plus the Forum message area of VIM is better if used online as more options are available to you.
When you change this option you should receive a special status message and tone to verify this option was actually changed. If no message or tone occurs after a few seconds, try toggling the selection until you get the confirmation.
Forum Messages will only be saved for 30 days in your online message store. After 30 days the messages are deemed inactive and are purged from the system.
Note: In VIM v.2002.08.120 and greater a reply to a Forum Message will be posted back to the VFUG Forum. To create a new message on the Forum you must you must use the "Forum Section" of the application.
Special Note: Normally, you should not reply to members personally but rather post replies in the online Forum so all members will benefit from the exchange.
By default this option is enabled. When enabled all "Buddy Messages" will have a "signature" attached to them when they are sent to the IM Server (to your Buddy's mailbox). There is a default signature used for all messages. To change the signature text you must open the file called "BM_Signature.Txt" with any ASCII editor (i.e.: Notepad.Exe) and then edit it with the desired text. Only text will be allowed to be used so do not get too fancy with this. An good example of a signature is your name -- this will save you from having to manually sign each message you write.
Certain selections (command buttons) will be enabled or disabled depending on your current mode. A brief description of each button follows.
BM Msg New -- Only available in "Buddy List" mode. This will create a new message for you. The bottom message area will be cleared, the "BM Msg Subject" line will display "--New--" and the large area where you normally read messages will now display the "Message Header". The message header will include such information as the name of the recipient (whom you choose from the "Buddy List"), your name and the current date. This section is "read-only".
BM Msg Reply -- Only available in "Online Message" and "Offline Message" modes. This will let you reply to a message that was sent to you already. The bottom message area will contain a delimited area of text that is the original message, the "BM Msg Subject" line will display "Re:" in front of the subject to indicate it is a reply and the large area where you normally read messages will now display the "Message Header". The message header will include such information as the name of the recipient and your name and the current date. This section is "read-only".
BM Msg Delete -- Only available in "Online Message" and "Offline Message" modes. This will let you delete a message that is either online on the IM Server or in the local off-line message store -- depending on the current mode you are in. Once a message is deleted there is no way to retrieve it again from that source.
BM Forum Post -- (You must be using VIM v.2002.08.120 and greater) Only available in "Online Message" mode and when responding a VFUG Forum Message (HTML Web based Forum section on the VFUG.Org web site). The "BM Forum Msg" option must first be enabled to be able to read VFUG Forum Messages as VIM "Buddy Messages". This option will let you Post your reply to a VFUG Forum Message (online). You must of course press the "BM Msg Reply" button first in order to be in the Reply Mode. Only at that time the "BM Forum Post" button be enabled. This feature is enabled only if VIM auto-detects that you selected a VFUG Forum Message to reply to. Use this selection for any VFUG Forum Message you wish to post a reply to in order to put it on the online (Web based) VFUG Forum. Please Note: You cannot post a "new" forum message here, you must use the "New Message" tab in the VIM interface to post new messages.
BM Msg Save -- Only available in "Online Message" mode. This will let you save a message that is currently on the IM Server to the local off-line message store on disk. Use this selection for any message you wish to save for future reference. You may store any message you wish to keep. The limit is almost endless and mainly depends on disk space. The messages will be stored in a database table.
BM Msg Send -- Available in all modes. This selection will send any new message or message you have replied to in Online or Off-line modes to the IM Server where it will be stored until the recipient views it. After sending a message the bottom text area will change color slightly to help signal the message was sent. The status line will give you a better idea of the true status of the message send operation.
The "receive text" control is local towards the middle of the screen and is the large area where received messages are displayed. In some modes like "reply" mode the section will be shaded and contain the message header for the current message. This area is always read-only.
This control is located between the Receive and Send text controls. This line indicates the Subject of a message. It is editable in the new message mode and read-only in the reply and read modes. A shaded color indicates when it is read-only and a white background indicates it is editable.
The "send text" control is located at the bottom of the screen and is the large area to the right of the list and command controls. This area is where you enter the message text to be sent to a "buddy" or VFUG Forum (if enabled). This control is editable in all modes.
This is one of the most powerful features of Buddy Message section. After selecting a single user from the BM Users list you can "check" (click on) the "IM EMail" check box to enable e-mail (SMTP) sending. This e-mail feature is great for sending such things as "computer code snippets" or long messages (or very private messages) to the selected user. The IM Server will handle the e-mail mailing for you so no prior setup is required.
Please Note: This option is intentionally set so you can only select one user at a time. You cannot attach files to the e-mail either in this version of IM. This is done for security reason since the IM server is involved and not your own e-mail server. This was decided on to help prevent Spamming and possible virus infected files from being transmitted to other users. This is done mainly to protect the owner of the IM server from possible involvement in unauthorized use or misuse of the IM server.
BM EMail -- Click on (check) this check box after you have selected a recipient in the BM Users list to enable e-mail sending.
BM EMail Send -- After you compose the e-mail and are ready to send it, simply click on this command button and the e-mail will be sent to the IM e-mail server for processing.
BM EMail Cancel -- If you wish to cancel the current e-mail operation just click on this button to erase all your work (if any).
When you click on this button you will be disconnected from the IM Server. Only the off-line message options will be available to you until you log on again..
When you click on this button you will terminate the entire application. The IM application will disappear and not be available until you start it again.
Status Line: At the bottom of the page frame and just above the Copyright notice is the Status line. System messages will appear here as you use VIM. Keep an eye there as it will present a lot of valuable information as you use VIM.