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Creating your own chat types

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Customchatexample

A custom chat type configured like any other!

If your AddOn is outputting a lot of text in the chat windows, it's a good idea to let the player control which windows it will show in, and probably also the color of the text. You can either implement configuration for this yourself, or you can just hook into the standard chat setting menus, where people are used to go to change these settings anyway!


Hooks for creating custom chat types Edit

Here's how to create your own chat types, and make it configurable via the standard chat setting menus:

local function FireChatEvent(evt, a1,a2,a3,a4,a5,a6,a7,a8,a9)
  
  local bIsChat = (strsub(evt, 1,9)=="CHAT_MSG_");
  local chattype = strsub(evt, 10); -- might just be garbage if bIsChat==false, but in that case we don't use it

  local b1,b2,b3,b4,b5,b6,b7,b8,b9 = arg1,arg2,arg3,arg4,arg5,arg6,arg7,arg8,arg9;
  local oldevent = event;
  local oldthis = this;
  
  for i=1,NUM_CHAT_WINDOWS do
    if(not bIsChat or MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype][i]) then
      this = getglobal("ChatFrame"..i);
      event=evt;
      arg1,arg2,arg3,arg4,arg5,arg6,arg7,arg8,arg9 = a1,a2,a3,a4,a5,a6,a7,a8,a9;
      ChatFrame_OnEvent(evt);
    end
  end

  arg1,arg2,arg3,arg4,arg5,arg6,arg7,arg8,arg9 = b1,b2,b3,b4,b5,b6,b7,b8,b9;
  event=oldevent;
  this=oldthis;		
end

local ORIG_GetChatWindowMessages = GetChatWindowMessages;
function GetChatWindowMessages(n)
  ret = { ORIG_GetChatWindowMessages(n) };
  for chattype,settings in pairs(MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat) do
    if(settings[n]) then
      tinsert(ret, chattype);
    end
  end
  return unpack(ret);
end


local ORIG_AddChatWindowMessages = AddChatWindowMessages;
function AddChatWindowMessages(n, chattype)
  if(MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype]) then
    MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype][n]=true;
  else
    ORIG_AddChatWindowMessages(n,chattype);
  end
end


local ORIG_RemoveChatWindowMessages = RemoveChatWindowMessages;
function RemoveChatWindowMessages(n, chattype)
  if(MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype]) then
    MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype][n]=false;
  else
    ORIG_RemoveChatWindowMessages(n,chattype);
  end
end


local ORIG_ChangeChatColor = ChangeChatColor;
function ChangeChatColor(chattype, r,g,b)
  if(MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype]) then
    MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype].r=r;
    MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype].g=g;
    MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype].b=b;
    FireChatEvent("UPDATE_CHAT_COLOR", chattype, r,g,b);
  else
    ORIG_ChangeChatColor(chattype,r,g,b);
  end
end


function MyAddOn_Msg(chattype, txt)
  assert(MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat[chattype]);
  FireChatEvent("CHAT_MSG_"..chattype, txt, "", "", "", "", "", "", "", "");
end

The reason we're hooking all the functions to get and set chattype settings is because the game client refuses to store chat settings for chat types it does not recognize.


Adding logic Edit

The above code assumes that there is a MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat table that contains your chat configuration settings. It would normally be a saved variable, and initialized on VARIABLES_LOADED. We also need to insert a bit more information in ChatFrame's tables:

function MyAddOn_OnEvent()
  if(event=="VARIABLES_LOADED") then
    if(not MyAddOn_UserVars) then MyAddOn_UserVars = {}; end
    if(not MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat) then
      MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat={
        ["MYADDONMSG"] = { [1]=true; r=1; g=0.7; b=0.3; }
      }
    end
  

    -- Insert our chat types in the ChatFrame system
    CHAT_MSG_MYADDONMSG="MyAddOn";   -- Displayed in menu
    CHAT_MYADDONMSG_GET = "";   -- ChatFrame needs it. Never mind it.
  
    for chattype,info in MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat do
      ChatTypeGroup[chattype] = {
        "CHAT_MSG_"..chattype
      };
      ChatTypeInfo[chattype] = info;
      tinsert(OtherMenuChatTypeGroups, chattype);
    end
  end
end

This defines the chat type "MYADDONMSG" (which gets delivered as "CHAT_MSG_MYADDONMSG" events). It defaults to being shown only in window 1 with a light orange color. In the chat settings menu, it is listed as "MyAddOn".


Using the result Edit

To send output from your AddOn, all you do now is:

  • MyAddOn_Msg("MYADDONMSG", "And then any text you want displayed!");


If you need more than one chat type, adding more is easy:

  1. Create a new MyAddOn_UserVars.Chat["type"] entry
  2. Add a CHAT_MSG_type = "displayname"
  3. Add a CHAT_type_GET = "";


See Also Edit

  • The small Satellite function library, which contains this functionality.

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