- 2.1.0 GUI

Sean Egan seanegan at
Wed Aug 1 22:05:06 EDT 2007

On 8/1/07, Andrew Roeder <correnthean at> wrote:
> I do not demand a "full-sized" Icon Sean, I have not complained of the icons
> on the buddy list, because -I don't use them and if they were larger then
> they would create tremendous clutter for the buddy list- I'm also aware that
> my icon is displayed at 32x32 on my buddy list, but I really don't mind that
> since it is my icon, and I have no need at all to see it.  I'm merely trying
> to convey that the current icon is just too small, and the old icons were at
> times too large yes.

You would, then, simply prefer a larger, but consistent, size, then?
You suggest 64x64px.

AIM and ICQ have icons that are smaller than that; would you suggest
scaling them up, or leaving a jarringly inconsistent size?

Let me share the idea as it existed in my head:

The tabs' job to let you quickly choose a buddy out of a list of open
conversations. This is why I preferred it without status icons; I
don't think they're appropriate there. The buddy icons might be more
useful even, but I think status icons get in the way of the tabs' job.

The buddy list's job is to provide as much important, at-a-glance
information about your buddies' status as possible, without offering
too much, distracting information. If it achieves that goal, it should
also be useful anywhere else important, at-a-glance information might
be useful: e.g. the conversation window. That is why the infopane is
rendered exactly like the buddy list.

The tooltip is useful for showing extended, non-immediate information
about a buddy: stuff you mgiht want to know if you care, but it
doesn't influence your conversation habits much.

So much as these overlap to cause slight redundancy, I'm not much fazed.

I realize I'm not, by any stretch of anyone's imagination, a usability
expert. I also realize that Pidgin's UI both here, and in almost every
other aspect, is far from perfect.

I *do* think it's getting much, much better, and that introducing and
testing different interface approaches is the only way to find out
what works the best for the most people. While I sound antagonistic
and defensive, I welcome all the criticism (except for the
protocol-icon-in-buddy-list people. They got annoying).

I'm definitely willing to compromise (as I've done with a bunch of the
infopane before release), but this irrational ideal seems appropriate
to me, and I think what we have now is a good implementation of it.

> Really in this aspect, it is Pidgin's fault this space is not used, I don't
> have the option to use it, therefor it is the designer and program's fault,
> not mine.  And obviously I don't want pidgin stretching out icons across my
> toolbar, I specifically want more icons and options easily available.

It wasn't clear that you wanted more icons. What toolbar features,
specifically, do you (and others) think are worthy of a first-class
spot on the toolbar?

I'd, for one, argue that "Reset Formatting" doesn't belong there at all, even.

> I don't really understand this question. I was saying that I do not need
> descriptions at all for my buttons, the icons are enough, and the
> descriptions currently lengthen the size of the buttons.

Again, I apologize. It wasn't obvious to me you were asking for more buttons.

> I've touched on this before in GUI related topics, but why is it never
> considered that GUI configurability should be much more than "feature
> on/feature off"

There are *tons* of reasons that Pidgin developers and users find very

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