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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

      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 connections.

      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 communication.

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

      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 announcement
      to his screen.  There is no dedicated YTalk daemon.  Right now, YTalk
      is able to communicate 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 connection is possible through (and only through) YTalk.

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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

      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

      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 windows, 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 transmitted 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 communicate 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

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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

              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

      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

      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]

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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

           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

      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 below.

      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

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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

      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 command 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

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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

      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


      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 variable.

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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

          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

      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.

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 YTalk(1)                                                           YTalk(1)
                                 10 May 1999

      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

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