Design decisions for the ascii art chat

IRC is nice, but it is not the ultimate solution for all chat needs!

Quite often in the ascii art chat there are newbies who assume that because the chat does not look like IRC or Java chat that there is something wrong with it. They then go on to suggest "improvements". I guess that in itself is OK. They don't mean anything bad with it. It's just that there are soo many of them, and not all are friendly about how they present their "advice" either. Some even demand that I "fix" the chat (clue: it isn't broken)!

Here are some of the design decisions (yes, deliberate decisions!) which I made when I created the chat:

What other chat rooms often do
What this chat does, and why

Proportional font
ASCII pictures need a monospaced font.

Automatic wrapping
...has killed many poor ascii images! For ascii art purposes automatic wrapping is evil!

One-line box, or a very small box (often with automatic wrapping) for entering text.
Most ascii pictures span many lines. That's why I have set the "message box" in the ascii chat to a default size of 30 lines (but you can choose between a range of sizes). The box is also set with wrapping OFF.

Text that can't be selected with the mouse.
One of the fundamental reasons for having an ascii art chat is to do "ping-pong doodles" and to share pictures with each other. A chat that did not allow selecting (and thus copying) of pictures would be worthless to us.

One line of text posted at a time.
Most ascii pictures span many lines. A post must be allowed to contain a picture, so a post must be allowed to consist of multiple lines.

A max size of 100-200 characters per post.
Many ascii pictures are a couple of kB. 100-200 bytes would be too restricted. This chat allows 9kB per post.

A post can contain "hot characters" that make it possible to "use html" or some other technique, e.g. to colour text.
Such behaviour would require pictures to be "encoded", and possibly also one would have to avoid certain characters. That is just not acceptable. This chat aims to be WYSIWYG (What You Send Is What You Get) for ascii pictures.

The chat has auto-refresh functionality that downloads the latest posts automatically. The aim is to make the chat fast.
Drawing a picture takes some time. It's nice if the chat does not "run away" while you're composing a post. The chat refreshes when you hit the Send/Refresh button, and takes you to where you were before. This way you don't lose track of the context (also I personally hate when text moves around on the screen when I'm reading it, and what would happen if somebody were to try to copy text that was moving?). This chat is slow and that's the way we like it!

The chat has auto-refresh functionality that downloads the latest posts automatically. This way you see when something happens and don't have to sit and refresh dumbly for hours.
This chat has the "silly little toy" and the "chat watcher" to deal with these issues (they are Advanced User's features).

The chat aims to work for as many languages as possible and allows all sorts of weird "foreign letters".
This chat is English only and allows only "pure" ASCII. Think of it as built-in "spell-check" for each individual character...

You only get to see text that appears after you enter.
You can read old text and catch up with the ongoing conversation. You also won't miss anything if your computer crashes or if you go away for an hour to eat dinner.