All MSN smileys (except one) are case insensitive and work without the nose too.
(M)MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger icon (think a BitlBee logo here ;)
:-SCrooked smiley (Confused smiley)
(H)Smiley with sunglasses
(L)Red heart (Love)
(K)Red lips (Kiss)
(G)Gift with bow
(S)Half-moon (Case sensitive!)
(8)Musical eighth note
BitlBee now supports groupchats on all IM networks. This text will try to explain you how they work.
As soon as someone invites you into a groupchat, you will be force-joined or invited (depending on the protocol) into a new virtual channel with all the people in there. You can leave the channel at any time, just like you would close the window in regular IM clients. Please note that root-commands don't work in groupchat channels, they only work in the control channel (or to root directly).
Of course you can also create your own groupchats. Type help groupchats2 to see how.
To open a groupchat, use the chat with command. For example, to start a groupchat with the person lisa_msn in it, just type chat with lisa_msn. BitlBee will create a new virtual channel with root, you and lisa_msn in it.
Then, just use the ordinary IRC /invite command to invite more people. Please do keep in mind that all the people have to be on the same network and contact list! You can't invite Yahoo! buddies into an MSN groupchat.
Some protocols (like Jabber) also support named groupchats. BitlBee now supports these too. You can use the chat add command to join them. See help chat add for more information.
To mark yourself as away, you can just use the /away command in your IRC client. BitlBee supports most away-states supported by the protocols.
Away states have different names accross different protocols. BitlBee will try to pick the best available option for every connection:
So /away Food will set your state to "Out to lunch" on your MSN connection, and for most other connections the default, "Away" will be chosen.
You can also add more information to your away message. Setting it to "Busy - Fixing BitlBee bugs" will set your IM-away-states to Busy, but your away message will be more descriptive for people on IRC. Most IM-protocols can also show this additional information to your buddies.
If you want to set an away state for only one of your connections, you can use the per-account away setting. See help set away.
Changing your nickname
BitlBee now allows you to change your nickname. So far this was not possible because it made managing saved accounts more complicated.
The restriction no longer exists now though. When you change your nick (just using the /nick command), your logged-in status will be reset, which means any changes made to your settings/accounts will not be saved.
To restore your logged-in status, you need to either use the register command to create an account under the new nickname, or use identify -noload to re-identify yourself under the new nickname. The -noload flag tells the command to verify your password and log you in, but not load any new settings. See help identify for more information.
Dealing with channels
You can have as many channels in BitlBee as you want. You maintain your channel list using the channel command. You can create new channels by just joining them, like on regular IRC networks.
You can create two kinds of channels. Control channels, and groupchat channels. By default, BitlBee will set up new channels as control channels if their name starts with an &, and as chat channels if it starts with a #.
Control channels are where you see your contacts. By default, you will have one control channel called &bitlbee, containing all your contacts. But you can create more, if you want, and divide your contact list accross several channels.
For example, you can have one channel with all contacts from your MSN Messenger account in it. Or all contacts from the group called "Work".
Type help channels2 to read more.
Creating a channel
When you create a new channel, BitlBee will try to guess from its name which contacts to fill it with. For example, if the channel name (excluding the &) matches the name of a group in which you have one or more contacts, the channel will contain all those contacts.
Any valid account ID (so a number, protocol name or part of screenname, as long as it's unique) can also be used as a channel name. So if you just join &msn, it will contain all your MSN contacts (as long as you have only one MSN account set up). And if you have a Facebook account set up, you can see its contacts by just joining &facebook.
To start a simple group chat, you simply join a channel which a name starting with #, and invite people into it. All people you invite have to be on the same IM network and contact list.
If you want to configure your own channels, you can use the channel set.