Hotline Socket Lite
Author: Jason Toffaletti.
Price: free
Download: <included>, or (Hotline)

   For those of you who don't know what Hotline is, it's a neat internet protocol, like http or ftp. However, Hotline protocol allows users to send messages to eachother, use public chats, news, upload and download files, haave limited/unlimited abilities based on an account, and start private chats with one or more people. These abilities make hotline a great program. Currently though, there is only one complete Hotline Client (Netscape is an http client): Hotline Client, by Hotline communications. With that, you can access all kinds of servers, such as, which is the premiere server on hotline for all your Realbasic needs. I strongly reccomend that you get hotline and go there to get plugins, source code, reusable classes, advice, and the latest version of realbasic (the latest release is usually 500K smaller, and you can download it in chunks).

   Now, back to Hotline Socket Lite. This package consists of a class and a module. The class is a subclass of the Serial control which allows you to use Hotline protocol. It allows you to connect to a server, log in, and use the chat. It does these in simple, self explanatory methods, which make the sample program all the documentation that is neccesary.

   Well, that's just about where the good stuff ends. This program is great, but it is extremely limited. First of all, the only useful thing it does is chat. There's a heck of a lot more to a server than chat, but this package can't access any of the goodies that the normal Hotline Client can, like messages, user lists, private chats, and files. These short comings are immense, and an update is drastically needed.

   Hotline Socket lite is useful for building simple programs that send things to the chat, but that's where it loses it's usefulness. This program is in drastic need of an update which allows it full access to many, many more of the wonderful features of Hotline protocal.

 Pros: Provides an easy way to use Hotline Protocol through Realbasic.
 Cons: Can only log in and use the public chat. Hotline protocol is not as popular as some others, like http and ftp.
Rating: **