Video Zoo Chat( 21-08-2011 - Applications )
Technologies:Flex, ActionScript, AMF, PHP
Team:Alessandro, Andrea, Barbara, Giorgio, Simone
Flash Chat is an advanced chat system based on a rich client built with the Flash Platform and on content management system built with PHP.
The client application uses the Text Layout framework in order to render emoticons and rich formatted text and the Open Source Media Framework to deliver high quality audio and video during a chat session. Each room of the client can be easily configured through XML in order to change the size and the layout of each component (Text Roller, Video Box, User List, etc.) and can be administered through the CMS.
Flash chat has different features added to all the common features of a ordinary chat such as simple web cam streaming between two users or as many as 8 users. The chat features different types of rooms with different permissions and can be used as as leaning platform.
The chat can be accessed by different types of users, such as unregistered user, registered user and moderator. The anonymous user can access the chat as a guest and view the rooms named general, but cannot write or stream his video in the room. A guest user can also view the users that are online at the time, he can browse events, read the rules of the chat and get help.
Registered users will have a profile with a photo, their nickname, some personal information and some text with a small description. The user can review or modify their profile as well as unload photos to a gallery. Registered users can gain different levels of access to the chat features. First arrived users can view, write and stream video in the rooms named general. Users can add other users to a friends lists which whom they obtain special permissions or create a room, which can be accessible to all or only by invite. A user can buy premium access to the chat for a fixed period of time, which gives them special permissions
Presenters are the highest level users. They own a video gallery to which they can upload videos, that can be viewed for free or at a cost. They can create open or private events and have their own room from which they cannot navigate away. The event schedule can be viewed on the calender and a user can pre-book an event. The presenter can invite a user or a group to attend the event. During the event the presenter can steam their web cam and write text. All access to events is gained through the payment of credit, with the amount specified by the event creator. If the event is not up to scratch, the user can report an abuse and a moderator reviews the complaint. If the complaint is deemed legitimate the user will be reimbursed the event cost. The most common use of this feature is as learning platform to give a lesson.
User permissions can be granted or withdraw by moderators. These can block web cam streaming or kick a user out a room as well as create lists of users with special permissions such as couples or women only.
The chat features different types of rooms. In the 1 to 1 room two users can stream video and chat. The general room can feature up to 8 web cam streaming as well as ordinary chat. All rooms can be public or accessed by invite only.
From a technical point of view Flash Chat relies on a bunch of open source technologies: the CMS is based upon PHP and MySQL, the chat messages are handled via the XMPP protocol used by OpenFire, the video is delivered via Red5, etc. so there are no additional licenses costs in order to setup and run the system. Ditropan