Yes really. I'm a lonely guy.
So I decided to try a little exercise with my vps server, which I've been using to learn perl mason. I wrote a standalone server to run with apache that processes requests from apache mod_perl and a remote "control client", pictured below. Normally, the control client runs as a daemon. But when someone logs in at this address:
it pops up and alerts me here at home. I accept (or reject) you, and then you enter a web based chat.
I've been working on this for a month or so and right now just want to verify it on as many browsers as I can (nb, IE6 is not feasible). Mostly all I'm using it for, beyond the experiment, so far, is so that some family members who use skype can contact me and tell me to turn my other computer on, since there is no 64-bit skype for linux. I also have someone who has expressed a commercial interest in it, saying he wants to install it where he works by putting it into the web page so that inquiring minds can live chat with a sales rep. I am somewhat dubious of the wider viability of that, since I think most sane people would prefer a 1-800 number.
I haven't done any digging yet, and I'm actually not much for chat and instant messaging services to start with, so I have no idea if anything similar exists. As a service it would work like this: you install the control client at home; you don't need to be running apache or anything. When on-line, you connect the client to your account, and you have a web address people can use to instant chat you. Since it's web based, they do not have to install or register for anything, they just go to your page. No cookies are involved, authentication is on a temporary per IP basis. Your room, obviously, would be private and secure.
Another question: does anyone think this is a worthwhile/viable open source project? In that case you would need to have somewhere to run the server, but otherwise it's pretty simple. I dunno: do people who tinker around with web pages and social networks think there would be any demand?
Anyway, if I am online here, it is probably up and running. So if you have a few spare minutes, give it a try...I just run a couple simple tests and ask you if everything works. You can be outta there in 60 seconds...