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Introduction to Scripting
Messenger Plus! Live - Scripting Documentation

Welcome to the documentation of the Messenger Plus! Live scripting system. This technical documentation is intended to be read by script developers. Whether it is to make your first script, to get more information on a scripting subject or to know the parameters for a given function, you've come to the right place!

The Messenger Plus! Live scripting system is based on Microsoft's JScript 5.6. If you've ever created scripts for web pages then you probably know what JScript, or its cousin JavaScript, is. If not, you don't have to worry, JScript is an easy language to work with for anybody who's done some coding before and that can be learned quickly for those interested in the subject. Despite being simple, JScript also has the advantage of being an object-oriented language that also comes with native support for ActiveX controls, regular expressions and more. For more information about JScript's fundamentals, please visit the MSDN web site. You should spend about an hour reading about the language if you have no idea how it works, don't spend too much time on it though, the best way to learn is by practicing! Just keep the JScript's documentation opened for future reference or find some good tutorials on the web.

Another technology you should be familiar with before you can create full featured Messenger Plus! scripts is XML. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language and looks a lot like HTML. It is basically a way to define data in text form. If you've never worked with XML before, you'll quickly see how straightforward it can be. A lot of tutorials can be found on the internet and despite the fact that XML can be typed in any text editor, it is highly recommended that you get a good XML editor that will be able to validate your syntax. The Messenger Plus! Live scripting system requires XML in several places that are optional for script beginners like the ScriptInfo configuration file and the script's Windows Interface files. Each of them is defined in an XML Schema file that's meant to be read in graphic form, do not try to read it in XML text form as this will make your task more difficult than it should be. A very good XML editor capable of perfectly rendering XML Schema files is XMLSpy from Altova (the Standard Edition is available as a free trial).

Aside from the language and the technology, what you mostly need is the will to learn how to work with the system. Scripting is "easy" as long as you don't mind spending the first couple of hours wondering how things work. This documentation includes explanation pages, references, examples, ... use them! If you do, you'll be able to script anything you want in Messenger in no time and get exactly what you expect from the software. If you don't feel easy about scripting, just take it one step at a time, spend time in the various topics/examples available, and stick to reproducing what you see while bringing your own small modifications to the existing code. Your first lesson awaits you in what's a Messenger Plus! script.

If you need help about anything related to scripting, whether it's about JScript, XML or one of the functions, feel free to visit the official Messenger Plus! forum. Please remember to search if somebody posted a similar question before you and if the answer was already given: you'll get your answer faster and it will save us some time to help other members. Also, if you become a more advanced scripter with time, it would be appreciated if you could help on the forum and answer people's questions when you know the answer :).

Enjoy!
Patchou

Last update: January 28th, 2011
Documented version: Messenger Plus! 5.00
Latest update available at msgplus.net.