Status notifying method in communication system, status notifying

Status notifying method in communication system, status notifying

US008103736B2

(12) Ulllted States Patent

Maehiro

(10) Patent N0.: US 8,103,736 B2

(45) Date of Patent: Jan. 24, 2012

(54) STATUS NOTIFYING IN

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM’ STATUS

(75) Inventor: Kazutoyo Maehiro, Tokyo (JP)

(73) Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Square Enix, Tokyo

(JP)

7,185,059 B2 * 2/2007 Daniell et a1. .............. .. 709/206

200502045925; 2B5: @5333 51mm“ f‘ 1”‘ 333/53?

2002/0083134 A1 * 0rr1se a . .. 709/204

2002/0095571 A1 * 7/2002 Bradee ......... .. 713/164

2003/0191846 A1* 10/2003 Hunnicutt et a1. 709/229

2004/0193722 A1 * 9/2004 Donovan .................... .. 709/230

EP

EP

FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS

0944002

1071295

9/1999

1/2001

( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this JP

(21) App1_ NO; 10/106,350

(22) Filed:

U.S.C. 154(b) by 1795 days.

Mar. 27, 2002

JP

JP

JP

WO

W0

200032033

2000-92153

2001-14254

2001-222498

00/59191

Q0/6914‘)

1/2000

3/2000

1/2001

8/2001

10/2000

11/2000

(65) Prior Publication Data

Us 2002/0156844 A1 Oct‘ 24’ 2002

(30) Foreign Application Priority Data

Trillian online user manual, Jul. 2000. 6 pages (Retrieved from WWW. ceruleanstudios.c0m/supp0rt/manual.php Apr. 12, 2006).*

(Continued)

Apr. 24, 2001 (JP) ............................... .. 2001-126437 Primary Examiner iAaron Strange

Mar. 26, 2002 (JP) ............................... .. 2002-084835

P.L.C.

(51) Int. Cl.

G06F 15/16 (2006.01) (57) ABSTRACT

52 US. Cl. ...................................... .. 709/207; 709/204

E58; Field of Classi?cation Search 709/203i207

224 4 63 / 42’

.

A pro?le server group determines Whether any request for

status noti?cation is received from the client. If there is a

S 1. t. ?l f 1 t h’h. t ’ ee app 10a Ion e or Comp 6 e Seam 15 my‘ request for status noti?cation, a handle name included in the request is obtained, and a status ?ag corresponding to the

(56) References Cited handle name is extracted from the hard disk. Next, the status

?ag is checked. If the on-line ?ag is set to “ON”, the user status is checked. If the user status is not “IN HIDING”, the i

2

631753873 B1

5232:1253? a1‘ """"" " 340/5 '52 is set to “OFF”, the client With the handle name relating to the

1/2001 Yamane et ‘a1’

6,205,478 B1 3/2001 Sugano et al.

6,446,112 B1 * 9/2002 Bunney et a1. .............. .. 709/204 request noti?es that It IS offline.

9 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets

CHANGING PROCESSING

INSTRUCTION

FOR CHANGING USER STATUS

FFIOM CLIENT?

YES

B

AWAY FFIOM HIS/HER

SEAT?

N0

4...

INSTRUCTION

FOR SWITCHING

ON-LINE OR OFF-LINE OF CLIENT

FROM AUTHENTICATION

SERVER?

TURN ON OR OFF ON-LINE

S403 FLAG OF CHANGED CLIENT

2

5405

CHANGE USER

STATUS OF ALL HN

T0 ‘BEING AWAY

FROM HIS/HER SEA "

CHANGE USER

S407 TINT-859$}

S408

N 11mm? vss

CHANGE USEFI

STATUS OF ALL HN TO

$409

2

‘NON NOTIFICATION“

OR l‘IN HIDING“

USUAL USER

S410 STATUS CHANGING

US 8,103,736 B2

Page 2

Examiner ScreenshotsiTrillian version 0.62; Screenshots created

Feb. 7, 2007; Software released Jan. 28, 2001.*

Trillian; Trillian.com Website; Feb. 2, 2001.*

Oldversion; Oldversion.comiTrillian; Feb. 7, 2007.*

Examiner Screenshots (?gs. 4 and 5)iTrillian version 0.62;

Screenshots created Apr. 1, 2011; Software released Jan. 28, 2001.*

English language Abstract and partial English translation for JP

10-271159, Oct. 9, 1998.

English language Abstract and partial English translation for JP

11-259393, Sep. 24, 1999.

English language Abstract and partial English translation for JP

2000-32033, Jan. 28, 2000.

English language Abstract and partial English translation for JP

2001-14254, Jan. 19, 2001.

Tateishi, N., Internet Voyager, ASCII, vol. 24, No. 1, Japan, ASCII

Corp., pp. 398-403, Jan. 1, 2000, together With a partial English language translation of the same.

English language Abstract of JP2001-222498.

English language Abstract of JP 2000-92153.

* cited by examiner

US. Patent Jan. 24, 2012 Sheet 4 of7

FIG. 4

ON-LINE FLAG

ON

OFF

1

US 8,103,736 B2

USER STATUS

BEiNG AWAY FROM His/HER SEAT

BUSY

IN HIDING

NOT DEFINED

FIG. 5

LIST

602 A»;

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3

O) a

,4,

:EZHTPI’ ’ 7///////////

\ N

iiAlZTé éEéé?éE’ //////

[CONFIRM { CANCEL

/

f

605

US. Patent Jan. 24, 2012 Sheet 5 of7 US 8,103,736 B2

US. Patent Jan. 24, 2012 Sheet 7 of7 US 8,103,736 B2

701 702

l‘ i

i

\ Online Frien?s /

i $3 2' ma'meco

Patty <32 maehiro

2'4 ‘3g kazutoyo

}

)

1 1 Offline Friends taro

FIG. 8

700

/

I

‘E Ell

EEK]

'

793

}

704

FIG. 9

STATUS FLAG

BEING AWAY FROM HIS/HER SEAT

BUSY w

DOUG

NOT DEFiNED

ICON

US 8,103,736 B2

1

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM, STATUS

2 performed in a communication system including multiple clients and a server. The method is for notifying status of the clients regarding connection to a communication netWork.

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED

APPLICATION

The present disclosure relates to subject matter contained in Japanese Patent Application No. 2001-126437, ?led on

Apr. 24, 2001 and Japanese Patent Application No. 2002

84835 ?led on Mar. 26, 2002, the disclosure of Which is

expressly incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

The server stores in a ?rst memory device the connection status and information on Whether noti?cation of the connec tion status is alloWed. The status and information are sent from the clients. The server also receives a request for the noti?cation of the connection status from one of the clients.

Then, the server determines, in response to the received request, Whether the connection status is noti?ed based on the information stored in the ?rst memory device, and noti?es the connection status stored in the ?rst memory device only When it is determined that the connection status is alloWed to be noti?ed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The client may have multiple user names, each of Which is used for connecting to the communication netWork. The server may store a connection status for each of the user

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a status notifying method in a communication system, a status notifying server and a names.

The status noti?cation method may further include receiv communication system. More particularly, the present inven

20 ing an instruction for updating the connection status of one of tion relates to a status notifying method, a status notifying the clients, and updating the connection status relating to all server, a communication system and a computer readable recording medium, in a communication system for notifying, of the user names Which are used by the client Who sent the instruction to update. through a server, a status of multiple clients regarding con nection to a communication netWork.

2. Description of the Related Art

Conventionally, a technology is knoWn that, in a client/ server system, a server monitors each client connected to a

25

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a status notifying server for notifying the status of multiple clients regarding connection to a communication netWork. The status notifying server includes a ?rst memory for storing the connection status and information on Whether communication network, stores the connection status in a memory device and noti?es the connection status retrieved 30 information are sent from the clients. The status notifying from the memory device in response to a request from one of the clients.

In such technologies, When the server recogniZes that one server further includes a request receiver that receives a request for the noti?cation of the connection status from one of the clients, and a noti?cation system that determines, in of the clients logs into the netWork, the server stores in the memory device information indicating the client’s on-line

35 status. Then, When one of the logged-in clients queries the response to the received request, Whether the connection sta tus is noti?ed based on the information stored in the ?rst memory and noti?es the connection status stored in the ?rst netWork status, the server sends only information on clients connected to the netWork. The client receives the information memory When it is determined that the connection status is alloWed to be noti?ed. and displays a list of current logged-in clients, that is, on-line clients, on the display.

Recently, communication using a communication net

Work, such as e-mail and chat, has become popular. In such

40

In this case, the client may have multiple user names, each of Which is used for connecting to the communication net

Work. The ?rst memory device may store a connection status for each of the user names. communication, each client may recogniZe the status of the other clients logged into the netWork before sending a mes

The status noti?cation server may further include an instruction receiver that receives an instruction for updating sage to an on-line client. 45 the connections status from one of the clients, and a system is aWay from the client, even though the client is on-line. In this Way, despite the fact that the user is not at the client, the server noti?es other clients that the client is present in that updates connection status relating to all of the user names

Which are used by the client that sent the instruction to update.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer readable recording medium on Which is response to a request from the other clients. 50 recorded a program for causing a server to notify the status of

As a result, even When a client queries netWork information noti?ed by the server and sends a message to another on-line a group of clients regarding connection to a communication netWork. The program causes the server to store in a ?rst client, the client cannot receive a response immediately. Fur ther, another problem is that a connection status of the client is noti?ed to a party, even When the user of the client does not 55 memory device the connection status and information on

Whether noti?cation of the connection status is alloWed. The information and status are sent from the clients. The program

Want to notify the connection status. further causes the server to receive a request for the noti?ca tion of the connection status from one of the clients. The program further causes the server to determine, in response to the received request, Whether the connection status is noti?ed

The present invention Was made in vieW of these problems.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a status

60 based on the information stored in the ?rst memory device, and to notify the connection status stored in the ?rst memory notifying method and a status notifying server, a communi

cation system, and computer-readable recording medium,

device When it is determined that the connection status is alloWed to be noti?ed.

Which can notify a connection status to a communication

netWork properly.

In vieW of the object, according to a ?rst aspect of the present invention, there is provided a status notifying method

65

Preferably, the client has multiple user names, each of

Which is used for connecting to the communication netWork.

The server stores a connection status for each of the user names.

US 8,103,736 B2

3

4

The program may further causes the server to receive an instruction for updating the connections status from one of response to the selection, one of the video game machines

103a and 10319 and the generic computers 104a and 1041) the clients, and to update connection status relating to all of the user names Which are used by the client that instructed the update.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram shoWing an example of the system con?guration according to one embodiment of the

present invention;

FIG. 2 is a block diagram shoWing an example of the hardWare con?guration of a pro?le server in Which an infor mation notifying method according to one embodiment of the present invention is implemented;

FIG. 3 is a diagram shoWing an outline of an account from to the selected services. Then, the user can receive different kinds of information services.

The hardWare con?guration for each client can include a commonly available Workstation, an information processing apparatus such as a personal computer and a video game machine, and peripheral devices thereof. Functions according to the present invention, Which are described beloW, may be implemented by a CPU, a disk device, a memory device, an input device, an output device and programs for controlling them in each of the hardWare con?gurations.

FIG. 2 conceptually shoWs an example of the hardWare con?guration of the pro?le server group 115 in Which an information supply method according to the present invention

Which each client logs on the Internet, Which client is con nected to a system according to one embodiment of the

present invention;

FIG. 4 is a diagram shoWing an example of the con?gura

20

ROM 202 in Which a program for implementing a status notifying method according to the present invention, and a tion of a status ?ag stored in a hard disk in the pro?le server together through a bus 200. according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a diagram shoWing an example of the screen to be

Further, to the bus 200, there is connected a hard disk 207.

The hard disk 207 may store a computer program for imple displayed on a display of a client by a program for instructing a change of the user status according to one embodiment of 25 menting the status notifying method according to one embodiment of the present invention, connection status from

the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a ?owchart shoWing a How of processing for sWitching a status ?ag, Which is performed by the pro?le the video game machines 103a and 10319 and the generic computers 104a and 10419 to the Internet 101 and a status of users. Also, a keyboard/mouse interface 206, a video inter server according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a ?owchart shoWing the steps of status-notifying processing performed by the pro?le server according to one face 210 connecting to a display 211, and a communication

30 interface 205 for connecting to the Internet 101 are connected the bus 200. The keyboard/mouse interface 206 is connected embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a diagram shoWing an example of the screen to be displayed on a display of client receiving status noti?cation according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is a diagram shoWing an example of an icon stored

35 to a keyboard 209 and a mouse 212, Which are used for command and/or character input.

The status notifying method according to one aspect of the present invention can be achieved When the CPU 201 reads out and executes the program code for a program for imple in a memory device of the client according to one embodi ment of the present invention. menting processing described beloW from the hard disk 207.

The hard disk 207 functions as a computer readable recording medium according to another aspect of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED

40

FIG. 3 shoWs an outline of authorization (through an

EMBODIMENTS

An embodiment of the present invention Will be described

With reference to the appended draWings.

FIG. 1 shoWs an example of the system con?guration according to one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 account), Whereby each client Within the system according to one embodiment of the present invention logs in the Internet.

In FIG. 3, the video game machines 103a and 10319 and the generic computers 104a and 1041) have user ID’s, respec tively, for logging on the Internet 1 01. Further, in one embodi ment, a maximum of 64 predetermined handle names can be includes the Internet 101, to Which a server group 102 of an

Internet service provider (ISP), video game machines 103a and 103b, and generic computers (PC) 104a and 10419 are assigned to each user ID. Of course, in other embodiments, the maximum can be larger or smaller. connected. The ISP server group 102 includes multiple server

50 group 115 through registration processing using a client and groups. For example, an authentication server group 111 may be provided for managing user names for user authentication. is one example of a user name according to the present inven tion. The handle name can be registered as folloWs: vices described beloW, and a message server group 113 may logs on the Internet 101. Then, the user requests to register a

55 handle name With the pro?le server group 115. The pro?le server group 114 may provide e-mail services, a pro?le server group 115 may be provided for managing user-pro?les, and game server groups 116a and 1161) may provide a game server group 115 maps the user ID, handle name and pass

Word relating to the request and stores them in the hard disk

207 for registration. Then, the user having registered the environment. All of the server groups are connected through

60 handle name sends the user ID, the registered handle name and passWord, and requests the log-in to the authentication

With this con?guration, a user can access the authentica tion server group 111 in the ISP server group 102 from a client such as video game machines 103a and 10319 and generic computers 104a and 10419 through the Internet 101 for hi s/her authentication. The ISP server group 102 sends a menu screen

65 selects one of services displayed on the menu screen. In server group 111. The authentication server group 111 obtains information of the user ID corresponding to the received handle name from the pro?le server group 115 and authenticates the user for the requested log-in.

In this embodiment, the user ID, Which Was once input by the user and stored in the client, is automatically sent from the client When logging-in. Therefore, a user only needs to input

US 8,103,736 B2

5

6

his/her handle name and password to the client for lo gging-in, and can receive different kinds of services provided by the

ISP server group 102 without inputting his/her user ID.

FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an example of the con?gura tion of a ?ag relating to a status (called “status ?ag” herein after) corresponding to each client, which is stored in the hard disk 207 in the pro?le server 115. As shown in FIG. 4, the status ?ag includes an on-line ?ag indicating a connection on-line or o?lline switching instruction, the on-line ?ag of a ing instruction (step S403), and the checking process at step

S401 is repeated. If there is neither on-line nor of?ine switch ing instructions, the checking process at step S401 is repeated. status and a user status. The on-line ?ag indicates whether the client is logged into the network. When the ?ag is “ON”, it means that the client is logged-in, while when the ?ag is switch the user status is received from the client, the process ing goes to step S404. At step 404, the instruction is analyZed to determine whether the user-status included in the instruc tion is “BEING WAY FROM HIS/HER SEAT”. If it is

“OFF”, it means that the client is not logged-in. The user status is a ?ag which can be set when the on-line ?ag is “ON”

“BEING AWAY FROM HIS/HER SEAT”, the user status corresponding to all handle names (HN) used by the client having sent the switching instruction are reset to “BEING

HER SEA ”, “BUSY”, “IN HIDING” and “NOT

DEFINED”. cessing returns to the checking process at step S401 again. indicates that the user is apart from the on-line client. This

In the determination process at the step S404, the process may be the case when the user is away from his/her seat in front of the client and cannot respond immediately to requests

20 from other clients. The “BUSY” status indicates that the user ing goes to step S406 when the user-status in the switching and, it is determined whether the user status in the switching cannot respond immediately to requests from the other client because, for example, the user is using his/her client for instruction is “BUSY”. Then, when it is “BUSY”, the user status corresponding to all handle names used by the client having sent the switching instruction are reset to “BUSY” user does not want to reveal that his/her client is logged into

25 the network, that is, when the noti?cation of the connection status is not allowed.

In FIG. 4, the on-line ?ag is switched based on the authen

(step S407). Then, the processing returns to the checking

process at step S401 again.

In the determination process at step S406, the processing goes to step S408 when the user status in the switching tion from the authentication server 111 monitoring the on instruction is not “BUSY”. Then, it is determined whether the

30 user status in the switching instruction is “IN HIDING”. line client. In other words, the authentication server group

111 monitors the client logging into the network and logging off the network, and instructs the pro?le server group 115 to switch the on-line ?ag every time the connection status is switched from on-line to o?lline or from o?lline to on-line. The

35 pro?le server 115 changes the set value in the on-line ?ag in response to the instruction.

Then, when it is “IN HIDING”, the user status corresponding to all handle names used by the client having sent the switch ing instruction are reset to “IN HIDING” (step S409). Then, the processing returns to the checking process at step S401 again.

In the checking process at the step S408, when the user status in the switching instruction is not “IN HIDING”, the

Further, the user status is switched based on a switching instruction from the logged-in client as described below. processing goes to step S410. There, the user status corre sponding to all handle names used by the client having sent

Next, processing for instructing to switch a user status will

40 the switching instruction is switched to the “USUAL USER

be described, the processing being performed by a logged in

client. FIG. 5 shows an example of a screen to be displayed on

STATUS” (step S410). Then, the processing returns to the checking process at step S401 again. a display of a client through a program for instructing the user-status switching performed in the client. On this screen, a button 601 is pressed when the pro?le server 115 is

45

Next, steps for exemplary status notifying processing will be described, which processing is performed by the pro?le

server group 115 based on a request for status noti?cation from a client, with reference to a ?owchart shown in FIG. 7. server 115 is instructed to switch the user-status to “BUSY”T.

A button 603 is pressed when the pro?le server 115 is instructed to switch the user-status to “IN HIDING”.

The pro?le server group 115 determines whether any request for status noti?cation is received from the client (step

S501). If there is a request for status noti?cation, a handle

50 name included in the request is obtained, and a status ?ag

The user uses a mouse or a controller connected to the client to select a desired button of these buttons. Then, by corresponding to the handle name is extracted from the hard

disk 207 (step S502).

Next, the status ?ag is checked (step S503). If the on-line pressing a con?rmation button 605, how the user-status is manipulation, the client generates a switching instruction

55 including a user-status value corresponding to the pressed button and sends it to the pro?le server 115.

Next, steps for processing of switching a connection-status

?ag will be described, which processing is performed by the

HIDING” (step S505). If the user status is not “IN HIDING”, the user status is noti?ed (step S506). If the user status is “IN

HIDING”, the off-line status is noti?ed (S507). On the other hand, when the on-line ?ag is set to “OFF”, the client with the handle name relating to the request noti?es that it is of?ine pro?le server 115, with reference to a ?owchart shown in FIG.

6.

60

(step S504)

In this embodiment, the status noti?cation by the pro?le

The pro?le server group 115 periodically checks whether any instruction to switch the user-status is received from the

?ag is set to “ON”, it is checked whether the user status is “IN server group 115 can be performed by sending the status ?ag.

FIG. 8 shows an example of a screen to be displayed on a client (step S401). If there is no switching instruction, the pro?le server group 115 checks whether any on-line or o?lline

65 switching instruction for the client is received from the display of a client having received the status noti?cation from the pro?le server 115. As shown in FIG. 8, a list 700 includes a list 703 of connection status for on-line clients with listed handle names and a list 704 of connection status for of?ine

US 8,103,736 B2

7 clients With listed handle names. An icon 701 included in the list 703 varies in form to indicate the user status of a handle name 702.

The user status noti?cation With the variation in icon form one handle name and requests the pro?le server group 115 for the status noti?cation. The pro?le server group 115 receives the request and extracts the status ?ag as described above.

Then the status ?ag is returned to the requested client. lcons corresponding to the types of user status are pre-stored in the memory device of the client as shoWn in FIG. 9. When the

8

As described above, according one embodiment of the present invention, a user of a client can avoid connection status noti?cation as necessary.

Further, since a user status is indicated by an image such as an icon displayed under each handle name for the user, it is easier to recogniZe the user status.

Furthermore, the connection status for all user names

(handle names) oWned by a client can be set through a single instructing operation.

What is claimed is: status Slag is returned from the pro?le server 115, an icon is ing in a communication system, including a plurality of cli extracted from the memory device based on the noti?ed con ents and the server, for notifying a connection status and a tent included in the information. Then, the icon correspond user status of the plurality of clients regarding connection to ing to the handle name is displayed on the display. a communication netWork, at least a selected client of the

While the preferred embodiment of the present invention is plurality of clients having a plurality of user names for con described above, the present invention is not limited to the embodiment. Other embodiments are possible. For example, the client in the present invention may include any kind of

20 necting to the communication netWork, the method compris ing: storing, in a memory, an on-line ?ag that indicates the information processing apparatus Which can communicate connection status of the selected client, a status ?ag that

With an ISP server group. Therefore, the present invention can be applied to not only the above-described embodiment, but also to an information processing apparatus such as a mobile telephone and a personal digital assistant(PDA) having an 25

Internet connection function. preferred by a system user in accordance With the usage and may be a communication line using a Local Area Network

30

(LAN), a publicly sWitched telephone line and a communi cation satellite.

While, in the embodiment, the icons indicating user-status indicates the user status of the selected client, and infor mation on Whether noti?cation of one of the connection status and the user status is alloWed, the on-line ?ag and the status ?ag each being stored in association With all of the plurality of user names of the selected client; receiving, from the selected client, a ?rst instruction for updating the on-line ?ag of the selected client to one of an online status and an o?lline status; updating the on-line ?ag stored in association With all of the plurality of user names of the selected client to the one of the online status and the of?ine status in response are stored in the client, an icon may be sent from the pro?le server group in response to a request for status noti?cation and the icon received by the client may be displayed. The

35 status for the connection to the communication netWork may be indicated by not only an icon, but also by an image such as a photograph and characters.

The display screen in the embodiment is only an example

40 for the explanation purpose, and the arrangement and the siZe of the display area are not limited to the example shoWn in the embodiment of the present invention.

While, in the embodiment, the example Where the infor mation processing devices each having a different function

45 to the ?rst instruction; receiving, from the selected client When the on-line ?ag of the selected client is the online status, a second instruc tion for updating the status ?ag of the selected client to one of an aWay, a busy, a hiding, and an unde?ned status; updating the status ?ag stored in association With all of the the aWay, the busy, the hiding, and the unde?ned status in response to the second instruction; receiving a request for noti?cation of one of the connection status and the user status from one of the plurality of

clients;

determining, in response to the received request, Whether the one of the connection status and the user status is in the art that the multiple functions may be implemented by one information processing device.

Furthermore, different kinds of variations other than the embodiments described above are possible. Those variations

50 are Within the scope of the present invention as far as it is based on the technical spirit described in the appended claims.

The present invention can be implemented by using at least alloWed to be noti?ed based on the information stored in the memory; and notifying the one of the connection status and the user in the memory only When it is determined that the one of the connection status and the user status is alloWed to be one computer program Which can be executed on a computer 55 system including processors combined to receive and send data and instructions from/to a recording medium, an input

noti?ed,

Wherein the on-line ?ag and the status ?ag of the selected client are collectively associated With all of the plurality of user names of the selected client, each of the user names of the selected client is updated to device and an output device. The computer program may be

described in high-level procedure type programming lan

guage, object-oriented programming language, assembly

language, machine language or markup language.

60

Accordingly, a processor receives a computer program from a recording medium. The recording medium substan tially incorporating a command from the computer program may be a semiconductor memory element such as a ?ash

65 memory element, a magnetic disk such as an internal hard disk and a removable disk, and a CD-R. the one of the online status and the o?lline status in response to receiving only the ?rst instruction, and each of the user names of the selected client is updated to the one of the aWay, the busy, the hiding, and the unde

?ned status in response to receiving only the second instruction.

2. The status notifying method according to claim 1,

Wherein the on-line ?ag of the selected client is further updated in response to the selected client completing a log ging-in process and a logging-off process.

US 8,103,736 B2

10

3. The status notifying method according to claim 1, wherein the connection status of all of the associated user names of the selected client is automatically updated to the on which is recorded a program for causing a server to notify a connection status and a user status of a plurality of clients

?rst instruction, without the selected client identifying indi vidual ones of the user names to be updated.

4. A status notifying server for notifying a connection status and a user status of a plurality of clients regarding connection to a communication network, at least a selected client of the plurality of clients having a plurality of user names for connecting to the communication network, the server comprising: a memory for storing an on-line ?ag that indicates the connection status of the selected client, a status ?ag that indicates the user status of the selected client, and infor mation on whether noti?cation of one of the connection status and the user status is allowed, the on-line ?ag and the status ?ag each being stored in association with all of the plurality of user names of the selected client; a ?rst instruction receiver that receives a ?rst instruction for

20 updating the on-line ?ag of the selected client to one of an online status and an o?line status; a ?rst updater that updates the on-line ?ag stored in asso ciation with all of the plurality of user names of the selected client to the one of the online status and the

25 o?line status in response to the ?rst instruction; a second instruction receiver that receives, when the on line ?ag of the selected client is the online status, a second instruction for updating the status ?ag of the regarding connection to a communication network, at least a selected client of the plurality of clients having a plurality of user names for connecting to the communication network, the program causing the server to execute: storing, in a memory, an on-line ?ag that indicates the connection status of the selected client, a status ?ag that indicates the user status of the selected client, and infor mation on whether noti?cation of one of the connection status and the user status is allowed, the on-line ?ag and the status ?ag each being stored in association with all of the plurality of user names of the selected client; receiving, from the selected client, a ?rst instruction for updating the on-line ?ag of the selected client to one of an online status and an o?line status; updating the on-line ?ag stored in association with all of the plurality of user names of the selected client to the to the ?rst instruction; receiving, from the selected client when the on-line ?ag of the selected client is the online status, a second instruc tion for updating the status ?ag of the selected client to one of an away, a busy, a hiding, and an unde?ned status; updating the status ?ag stored in association with all of the selected client to one of an away, a busy, a hiding, and an

30 unde?ned status; a second updater that updates the status ?ag stored in association with all of the plurality of user names of the selected client to the one of the away, the busy, the hiding, and the unde?ned status in response to the sec

35 ond instruction; a request receiver that receives a request for noti?cation of the away, the busy, the hiding, and the unde?ned status in response to the second instruction; receiving a request for noti?cation of one of the connection status and the user status from one of the plurality of

clients;

determining, in response to the received request, whether the one of the connection status and the user status is allowed to be noti?ed based on the information stored in the ?rst memory device; and notifying the one of the connection status and the user of the plurality of clients; and a noti?er that determines, in response to the received

40 request, whether the one of the connection status and the in the memory when it is determined that the one of the connection status and the user status is allowed to be user status is allowed to be noti?ed based on the infor

noti?ed,

wherein the on-line ?ag and the status ?ag of the selected mation stored in the memory and noti?es the one of the connection status and the user status via one of the on-line ?ag and the status ?ag stored in the memory

45 client are collectively associated with all of the plurality of user names of the selected client, each of the user names of the selected client is updated to when it is determined that the one of the connection status and the user status is allowed to be noti?ed, wherein the on-line ?ag and the status ?ag of the selected client are collectively associated with all of the plurality of user names of the selected client,

50 the one of the away, the busy, the hiding, and the unde

?ned status in response to receiving only the second each of the user names of the selected client is updated to the one of the online status and the o?line status in instruction.

8. The non-transitory computer readable recording

response to receiving only the ?rst instruction, and each of the user names of the selected client is updated to the one of the away, the busy, the hiding, and the unde

?ned status in response to receiving only the second instruction.

5. The status notifying server according to claim 4, wherein the on-line ?ag of the selected client is further updated in response to the selected client completing a logging-in pro cess and a logging-off process.

55 medium according to claim 7, wherein the on-line ?ag of the selected client is further updated in response to the selected client completing a logging-in process and a logging-offpro cess.

9. The non-transitory computer readable recording

60 medium according to claim 7, wherein the connection status of all of the associated user names of the selected client is automatically updated to the one of the online status and the

6. The status notifying server according to claim 4, wherein the ?rst updater automatically updates the connection status the one of the online status and the o?line status in response to receiving only the ?rst instruction, and each of the user names of the selected client is updated to o?line status in response to the ?rst instruction, without the selected client identifying individual ones of the user names to be updated.

65

?rst instruction, without the selected client identifying indi vidual ones of the user names to be updated.

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