Not so well-known Skype features

Me and my friends really enjoy Skype conferences. And even though it belongs to the corporation of evil these days, there does not seem to be a good alternative.

So lets try our best and make our Skype more comfy.

Setting up notifications

Are you in a dozen of group chats, where the messages keep popping up and distracting you from work? Oh well, one solution would be to set your status to “Busy”, but the tray icon will still blink and besides, there may be some important incoming messages outside the group chats. This is where notification settings come into play. Open the group chat that you wish to set up and click Conversation → Notification Settings in the menu on top of the window. This is what you should see:

Notification settings window

Notification settings window

Here you can either completely disable notifications for this conversation or set them to mIRC-style notifications, so they will only appear on certain words being mentioned. Got it? Great, lets move on.

Slash commands

For those who don’t fancy using a mouse or just enjoying the old-school feeling there are of course slash commands.

/me [text] – third person message.
/topic [text] – set up the topic of the group chat. Note: renaming the chat in your contact list is a different thing!
/add [skypename+] – add people into the chat using their Skype username.
/alertson [text+] – set up notifications. If you add any words as parameters, notifications will only show when those words are mentioned.
/alertsoff – turn off notifications completely.
/leave – leave the group chat. You will not be able to rejoin it without someone re-adding you.
/get creator – find the username of a person who created the group chat.
/get role – find your own role in the group chat.
/get masters|helpers|users|listeners|applicants – list chat members in the selected role.
/whois [skypename] – find out someone’s role in the chat.
/setrole [skypename] MASTER|HELPER|USER|LISTENER – grant a role to someone. Master – moderator, Helper – sort of a crippled moderator, User – regular member, Listener – read-only.
/kick [skypename] – kick someone out of the chat room.
/kickban [skypename] – kick and ban. You will not be able to add the person again without unbanning them.
/get uri – get the URI for the group chat to share with other people. They will be able to join by clicking on it if the corresponding flag is enabled in the chat (JOINING_ENABLED).
/get options – list the options for the chat.
/set options [[+|-]flag] .. – set options for the chat. Only a user with Creator role can do this.
/setpassword [password] [password hint] – set up a password and a hint for the group chat.
/clearpassword – clear the password.
/get password_hint – see the hint for the password.
/get banlist – get the list of banned users.
/get allowlist – get the list of approved users. This applies only when pre-moderation of users is enabled (JOINERS_BECOME_APPLICANTS).
/set banlist [[+|-]mask] .. – control the list of the banned users.
/set allowlist [[+|-]mask] .. – control the list of approved users.
/golive [token] – start a voice call without dialing anyone.
/invite [skypename] – invite a person to the chat room.
/fork [skypename+] – create your own group chat based on the members of the current one.
/undoedit – cancel your last edited message.
/help – show the list of commands.

Group chat options

ADDING_LOCKED_FOR_USERS – only members with role higher than User can add new members.
HISTORY_DISCLOSED – newly added users will receive the message history of the last two weeks or the last 400 messages, whichever is reached first.
JOINERS_BECOME_APPLICANTS – newly added users will receive role Applicant – they cannot participate in the group chat until Master or Creator approves them.
JOINERS_BECOME_LISTENERS – newly added users will receive role Listener, aka read-only.
JOINING_ENABLED – make the chat room public (the link from /get uri will work).
TOPIC_AND_PIC_LOCKED_FOR_USERS – only users with role Master or Creator will be able to change the chat picture.
USERS_ARE_LISTENERS – make users equal to Listener. Users in role Helper become similar to IRC +v.

Skype API and homework

In addition to the above commands Skype provides a proper API, which you can attach as a COM-object to any project in Visual Studio. This is how you make a Skype App – a standalone application, which works as a plug-in (or extension, if you wish) to Skype. Full documentation is available from the official website. The infamous Skype flood bot (wiper) is coded using this API:

Skype flood bot