The Keep-alive Time-stamp and MUSHclient

Most ISPs (we really mean all) will drop stale connections. If you've been connected to the game too long without sending or receiving anything odds are incredibly high that you'll be disconnected. The easiest way around this is to ensure that the game keeps sending you output on a regular basis. Some players choose to use their @Atime to do this, but what if you want to put other code in there without tripping over a keep alive? What if you don't want to bother with setting up any code on the MARE side at all?

Enter the timestamp channel. On a regular basis (once per minute), the current date and time are sent to this channel. If you've joined, you'll receive it too, keeping your connection nice and fresh (and nobody likes a whiffy connection, geeze, just what were you DOING with it?). The output of this channel looks something like this:

[timestamp] Sat May 20 17:23:57 2017

Of course, you don't want your screen filling up with all those time stamps (Wait, you do? Gosh you're weird). This means you need your client to hide them. This is called gagging. No, not like that, like tying a gag over a mouth. In most clients this is done with a trigger.

Getting started

First things first, you have to actually join the channel. So send this to the game:

+ch +timestamp
+ch public

and you'll see output that looks something like this:

[timestamp] * QBFreak has joined this channel.
Channel timestamp is now default.
Channel public is now default.

Now we need to create our trigger!

Trigger Acquisition Options

AKA How to get the trigger (Our inner Ferengi made us use the word 'acquisition').

There are two ways to get the trigger.

  1. Download and install the handy dandy plugin
  2. Create the trigger yourself

Download the plugin

Download the plugin: Gag_timestamp.xml (Right click and choose Save As)

Save it to your MUSHclient plugins directory (You can see/change this location from File -> Global Preferences -> Plugins, the path is at the bottom of the window)

From the File menu, choose Plugins.


When the Plugins window appears, click the Add button.


In the Add Plugin file dialog, select the Gag_timestamp.xml plugin that you just downloaded and click Open.


When the plugin appears in the list of installed plugins, click the Close button to close the Plugins window.

You should see an Added plugin message like this in your output window:

[timestamp] Mon May 22 08:19:56 2017
Added plugin C:\Users\Jason\Transporter\Documents\MUSHclient\worlds\plugins\Gag_timestamp.xml

All set! If you want to test it, try sending this:

@echo [timestamp] test

You shouldn't see any output back from the game. If you did, something went wrong with the installation. Check the Plugins window to make sure Gag_timestamp.xml is installed.

You can stop here, you're done!

Creating the trigger

From the Game menu, choose Configure and then Triggers.


When the Triggers section of the Configuration window appears, click the Add button.


In the Edit trigger window, enter the following information:

Field Value Comments
Pattern ^\[timestamp\] .*$ That's CARET, Backslash, Left brace, "timestamp", Backslash, Right brace, SPACE, DOT, Asterisk, Dollar
Enabled Checked It wont work if it's not enabled
Omit (gag) from log file Checked Optional but recommended, this will keep it out of your log files as well
Omit (gag) from output Checked This is what keeps it from displaying on your screen
Regular expression Checked The pattern type is a regular expression


Click OK to close the Edit trigger window. Click OK to close the Configuration window.

All set! If you want to test it, try sending this:

@echo [timestamp] test

You shouldn't see any output back from the game. If you did, something is wrong with your trigger. Check and make sure the Pattern is correct.

-- SolarQBFreak - 22 May 2017
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Gag_timestamp.xmlxml Gag_timestamp.xml manage 1 K 22 May 2017 - 14:45 SolarQBFreak Plugin to gag timestamp
plugin-01.pngpng plugin-01.png manage 32 K 22 May 2017 - 14:46 SolarQBFreak Step 1, open the plugins window
plugin-02.pngpng plugin-02.png manage 20 K 22 May 2017 - 14:46 SolarQBFreak Step 2, add a plugin
plugin-03.pngpng plugin-03.png manage 27 K 22 May 2017 - 14:46 SolarQBFreak Step 3, select the plugin
timestamp-01.pngpng timestamp-01.png manage 29 K 22 May 2017 - 13:09 SolarQBFreak Step 1, edit the world
timestamp-02.pngpng timestamp-02.png manage 56 K 22 May 2017 - 13:09 SolarQBFreak Step 2, create a new trigger
timestamp-03.pngpng timestamp-03.png manage 51 K 22 May 2017 - 13:09 SolarQBFreak Step 3, fill in the trigger details
Topic revision: r2 - 22 May 2017, SolarQBFreak
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