*** Gaim is now known as Pidgin

Luke Schierer lschiere at users.sf.net
Sun Apr 8 22:54:29 EDT 2007

On Sun, Apr 08, 2007 at 10:31:23PM -0400, James Lockie wrote:
> > After a long, and unfortunately secret debate (as we could not say why we
> > were looking at a name change, we ended up just doing this ourselves), we
> > settled on the name "Pidgin" for gaim itself, "libpurple" for libgaim
> > (which, as of 2.0.0 beta6, exists), and "Finch" for gaim-text. Yes, the
> > spelling of "Pidgin" is intentional, see 
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin.
> Why isn't the library libpidgin?

We considered that.  We liked the idea of calling the library libpurple
for two reasons:

1)the technical reason:  libpidgin sounds like "the library that runs
pidgin, that GTK+ client over there, that we don't like for all sorts of
reasons.  They have a horridble interface, they require GTK+, they don't
integrate well with QT/KDE, they require X...  We don't want to use
libpidgin because of those reasons.  The reality is different.  The
library requires Glib, yes, but not GTK+.  It is used by Adium, a native
OSX client.  It is also used by Finch, an ncurses client.  It would work
well for a QT/KDE client, or a true GNOME application.  Having a
different name for this library emphasizes this. 

2)the untechnical reason:  We have, in our conversation and language
called the part of the code that implements the protocols "prpls."  We
pronounce that "purples."  The core of gaim, what is now libpurple, does
more than just the prpls do.  But it is basically there to let you build
a client around them.  So it made a certain sense to us to call it

Our reasoning was naturally more complex than this.  You can see it if
you read through the cabal archives where we debated for 6 months or so
on what name to go with.  Still, this is a reasonable summary of why we
went with the name libpurple.


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