Instant Message, Chat Room - for LAMP
I'm looking into adding a chat feature on my site (it's somewhat like a social network). The 2 things I'd like to support are:
- "instant message" - similar to what FB and GMail provides, wherein 2 individuals can chat in real time
- "chat room" - where a group of people can chat together (with the option to allow individuals in the chat room to private message each other -- and to be able to turn this feature on or off). Web cam support needed, too.
If I were to try to implement something like this on my own, I think I'd have several options on how to implement this:
- Ajax long polling (probably the easiest)
- Comet/Reverse ajax (means I need a push server like Ape, which is more complex I think)
- Web sockets (but then I'm limited to HTML5)
- NodeJS (don't really know enough about this)
Then again, in the interest of saving money and getting this feature implemented ASAP, perhaps I'm better off trying to use a commercial package, such as http://www.arrowchat.com/. Problems I see with Arrow Chat are:
- It's not JSLinted (and they have no plans to do so)
- The ability to turn "PM" feature on/off is not supported
Everything else about Arrow Chat seems fine, though.
There is also http://www.cometchat.com.
Any suggestions on what direction I should take? Were the technologies I listed correct should I try to implement this on my own? Are there any other commercial chat software I should consider?