OK, i'm writing a asp chat thingy.
I started last weak and just really quickly threw something together.

At the moment it counts the users online and shows a list of names at the top of the page.
It allows you to select a handle and it stores that handle in a cookie.

when you submit a message it puts the message and the handle of the poster into a application variable

--> now for the interesting part, becasue I dont knwoe what the best way is to do this, but this is what I came up with <----

I have a string I call the splitter
splitter = "-//|^|\\-" and I put all the messages followed by the handle of the poster into one app var.

when I want to get them out again I just use split() to put everything into a array and there we go.

So now I'm wondering about a lot of stuff.

1. how would you guys handle the messages and handles?... differently than I did (with the splitter)?

2. how would you let people open their own private chat rooms and how would you let someone send a message to another user so that only that person can see it.

I'm not currently using a DB and I want to get as far as possible without one, since I'm hosting this on buddies works server I'll get my own space sometime... later... whenever... blah

anyway. For the moment I would just like to chat about different ways of doing the above. All ides welcome. I'm shure there are numerous ways of doing this!