This report presents ChatVis as a 2,800 LOC tool for visualizing
activities in instant messaging conversations. The tool visualizes at four
different levels, starting from the conversation level down to the message level,
the word level and finally the character level. The tool provides means to
visualize the typing speed and rhythms of an arbitrary number of conversers.
Additionally, it attempts to visualize intangible characteristic of a typed
message such as hesitance (uncertainty) and emphasis. ChatVis allows for
mouse as well as keyboard interactions to give the user a variety of filtering and
zooming options. The system state is always saved allowing for animation
through temporal aspects of the conversation. Moreover, the conversation can
be persisted to XML and loaded back on demand for comparison purposes
amongst different people.