An important, controversial issue!

Colin Barrett timber at
Thu Apr 26 03:54:40 EDT 2007

On Apr 25, 2007, at 11:48 AM, Nathan Walp wrote:

> Sean Egan wrote:
>> On 4/25/07, Dale Worley <dworley at> wrote:
>>> The biggest problem is "How easily can a new user figure out what  
>>> the
>>> status icons mean?"  I suspect that without prior knowledge, *all*  
>>> of
>>> the icons are arbitrary.  Are there proper rollover popups or some  
>>> such
>>> so one can easily discover what the clock icon is supposed to mean?
>>> Once that is taken care of, I expect that 95% of the users won't  
>>> even
>>> notice that they can't figure out what the metaphor is.
>> Yes, they are.
>> Luke (and others, but Luke is the most persistent) and myself, both
>> claim that both a clock (the current Pidgin away icon) and a piece of
>> paper (the Gaim away icon) *can* be identified as 'away,' but Luke  
>> (et
>> al) claim that it can be more easily, incorrectly identified as
>> "idle." This may not be an issue for people who come from an MSN or
>> Yahoo background, but the argument is that long-term Gaim users will
>> be confused by this.
>> Neither Luke and I are seeing much support for that claim here. If  
>> you
>> agree that this is potentially confusing, speak up!
> Clock = idle in my head.  Away-ness has never been, to me, time- 
> related.
>   The only time when time comes into the equation is away vs
> extended-away, where extended-away means you're gonna be gone longer
> (for some definition of longer).

I agree. Often times people will have the "away" state, but won't  
actually be away from their keyboard -- they're just ing the away  
state to display a status message. Terrible use of the features of the  
protocol, I know, but I think it's an important behavior that a large  
number of people on services that support status messages for away  
employ, and we should consider.

Perhaps for extended idle, use something similar to a "Gone Fishin'"  

Excellent visual work so far, though.

More information about the Devel mailing list