The Zend Developer Zone has posted part seven of their series covering the development of an Ajax chat application. This time,. they're focusing on some of the final touches - usability improvements.
To start we need to make the chat messages automatically refresh at fixed intervals without requiring user input. We will also add a small message to let the user know when a background request is active. To finish up we remove the necessity of using the "Say It!" button to submit new chat messages.
They show how to make the chat window refresh at an interval (rather than manually), how to have the application tell the user it's doing something (like "loading"), and adding a keypress event to handle the user pressing the enter key to send off their message.