Dave says I guessed wrong. I wrote a rather lengthy reply to him. I thought it was worth posting here too...
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Then I can't wait to see what "Structured Instant Messaging" and "IM (structured or flat) threads" means. :-) I'm guessing your IMs are made persistent, which would be really cool. The thing I wrote was a proof of concept, and I only used it a few times but i loved it.
The worst thing about using IM (for me) is the out-of-order replies that make it really hard to follow a conversation.... especially when looking back at a conversation's archives. It's hard to see the timing of how things came in to "reorder" things. This is exaggerated when talking about software development topics, trying to debug something interactively with a remote person for example.
JChatteR sessions have three windows... an input window, a thread view window and a choronological view window (the latter two were kept in sync and the former was a log of what you sent). You could double click a heading in the threaded view or the chronological view to reply to that heading. Replies would show up as subheads.
Anyway, best of luck on the 7.1 ship. Hopefully I can afford to have a Frontier kernel on my machine again!