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"Bullpen" Chatting? Persistent, Non-Exitable Room?

We’re running a much older version of Openfire (Wildfire 3.1.1 – an upgrade as been on the agenda forever) and I’m hoping that either it or the upgrade can be configured to offer a “bullpen” chat, where people are auto-joined to the room on start-up, but can’t exit. If they close the window, it will re-open and display new messages as they’re sent, just as if they’d been send a new IM from an individual.

Is that possible? Openfire/Wildfire has been great for one-to-one communications, but the ability to “shout” to a group of people – even if they’ve closed the window for the room – would be another big step.

I’ve searched here and on Google and haven’t found anything. Thanks.


I’m not sure it’s possible to force anyone to do anything like that. The auto-join feature as it exists is only really a suggestion. Spark pays attention to the auto-join, but there’s nothing really that forces other clients to auto-join. If you just started sending MUC (chatroom) packets to a client that wasn’t expecting them, most likely they would be ignored or cause an error. You could build a custom client that would force people into a room, or even a plugin for an existing client like Spark, and force everyone to use it, but then you’d have to figure out a way to force everyone to use it. =) (may or may not be easy, I don’t know what your environment is like) Do you have a lot of problems with people who are supposed to be in chatrooms not being there?

Oh, participation won’t be a problem – the culture is built around enthusiastic communication. People want to stay in the loop, and the metaphor we’re using is “shouting.” (If everybody’s in a room and you need help or have a good YouTube video, or want to say something funny you just shout it. Others can’t not hear. They can ignore it, of course, but the information is always available. We want that across geography.) Basically, we want an IM-only-based Twitter – many-to-many broadcast to a small group.

(Of course, in an ideal implementation, the functionality would be able to be turned off, too. You “listen” to a room to have it open the window if it’s closed on a new message. You “unlisten” to go back to normal behavior.)

I was hoping to get the functionality without having to do any implementation myself. Ah, well.

Thanks for your response.

It sounds like you might be able to accomplish the same thing via broadcast messages. In other words, instead of a room, everyone just sends their message to “everyone”.