Creating a Chat Client with JavaScript and jQuery

Objective: In this lab, students will learn to create a chat client using JavaScript and jQuery. By the end of the lab, they will have a working chat application that allows users to communicate with each other.
Prerequisites: Basic understanding of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery.
Computer with a code editor (e.g. Visual Studio Code)
Web browser (e.g. Google Chrome)
Internet connection
Lab Overview:
Setting up the project
Creating the HTML structure
Styling the chat app with CSS
Implementing the chat functionality with JavaScript and jQuery
Testing the chat client
Step 1: Introduction
In this lab, we will create a simple chat client that allows users to exchange messages in real-time using JavaScript and jQuery. We will be using socket programming, as mentioned in the provided Search Results [2], to handle communication between clients.
Step 2: Setting up the project
Create a new folder named "ChatClient" on your computer.
Inside the "ChatClient" folder, create the following files: index.html, styles.css, and main.js.
Open the index.html file and add the following code:
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<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<title>Chat Client</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">
<div id="chat-container">
<div id="messages"></div>
<form id="message-form">
<input type="text" id="message-input" placeholder="Type your message...">
<button type="submit">Send</button>
<script src=""></script>
<script src="main.js"></script>
Step 3: Creating the HTML structure
We have added a simple structure with a container for messages and a form for sending messages in the index.html file. The form contains an input field for typing messages and a button for sending them.
Step 4: Styling the chat app with CSS
Open the styles.css file and add the following code:
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body {
font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;

#chat-container {
display: flex;
flex-direction: column;
height: 100vh;
justify-content: space-between;
padding: 20px;

#messages {
height: 80%;
overflow-y: scroll;

#message-form {
display: flex;
align-items: center;

#message-input {
flex-grow: 1;
margin-right: 10px;
padding: 5px;
font-size: 16px;
border: none;
border-radius: 5px;

button {
padding: 5px 10px;
font-size: 16px;
background-color: #4CAF50;
color: white;
border: none;
border-radius: 5px;
cursor: pointer;

button:hover {
background-color: #3e8e41;
This code adds basic styles to our chat application to make it look more presentable. It also ensures that the messages container is scrollable and the message form stays at the bottom of the screen.
Step 5: Implementing the chat functionality with JavaScript and jQuery
Open the main.js file and add the following code:
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$(document).ready(function() {
// Connect to the server
const socket = io.connect('http://localhost:3000');

// Get references to DOM elements
const messageForm = $('#message-form');
const messageInput = $('#message-input');
const messages = $('#messages');

// Listen for incoming messages
socket.on('message', function(data) {

// Handle form submission
messageForm.submit(function(event) {
const message = messageInput.val();
socket.emit('message', message);
This code uses jQuery to listen for form submission and incoming messages. The library is used to handle communication between clients. When a message is submitted, the client emits an event to the server, which then broadcasts the message to all connected clients.
Step 6: Testing the chat client
Open two browser windows and navigate to the index.html file on both.
In the first window, type a message in the input field and click send.
The message should appear in both windows.
Step 7: Conclusion
In this lab, we have learned how to create a simple chat client using JavaScript and jQuery. We used socket programming to handle communication between clients and implemented basic styling to make the chat application more presentable. Students should experiment with different styles and features to enhance the chat client's functionality.
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