- 2.1.0 GUI

Steven Brown steven.w.j.brown at
Thu Aug 2 16:12:24 EDT 2007




The horizontal strip underneath the tab but above the message display.

Disclaimer: I'm currently using v.2.0.0.

Hylke Bons wrote:
> I'd like to react to your points in
> You call the status icon in the infopane redundant, but it is the icon
> in the tab that is redundant.
> The rest of the infopane you call wasted space, while it is the exact
> same code as used in the buddy list, so
> why isn't that a waste of space? Also status messages and special
> emblems are shown here, so it's certainly not wasted.

I would argue the status icon in the conversation tab is not redundant, 
as it's useful to see the status of your buddies that you have an open 
conversation with.  This could, perhaps, be done with different colour 
text, I guess, to conserve space.  But having the status icon in BOTH 
the infopane and the tab is redundant.

> The conversation window was made with the future in mind, so it could be
> used better with plugins and possible Voice Video support.
> As for the buttons, I really don't think the texts are a waste of space.
> I don't see one other example in Pidgin's GUI where the icons are used
>  without text and I don't think the icons on there own are clear enough
> to be used "standalone". Maybe it's an idea to place the text beneath
> the icon.

Combining the Font stuff was a great idea.  As long as there's not too 
many buttons, the text provides instant feedback and makes the buttons 
bigger (more accessible) and that's a good thing.

> Now about the buddy icon, making that bigger would waste more  (height)
> space.

In the "proposed" gui, it is quite a large buddy icon, and I think that 
looks great.  More information will be put in the infopane eventually 
anyways.  Also, all that text in the infopane is selectable right?  :) 
And if I click the email, it opens my mail program?  Or even better, it 
pops up a menu asking if I want to compose a mail or copy the email 
address. (like in Thunderbird)

>> Font ⌄ | Smiley | Link | Image
>> Seems right to me, very small space usage(especially if only icons are
> used.) and is the "one click" solution.
> I understand why you'd want the "Reset font" in the font menu, and I
> agree with you.
> But then I don't understand why you want to "explode" the insert menu.
> It's about inserting something, and not all protocols support every
> option in there, so with your lay-out
>  buttons get grayed out when not supported, and that would mean, yes,
> more waste of space. :)
> That space could better be used by plugins or "Info" etc. But I think
> the reason it was made less wide is because people complaining
>  that the toolbar was too wide and buttons were "cut off".

UI elements should never be cut off.  If the situation arises that some 
elements can't be displayed, then an arrow should appear indicating that 
there are more elements than are displayed.  The user could click this 
arrow button to see the cut-off elements, like bookmarks in the Firefox 
Bookmarks Toolbar, for example, and many GNOME applications.

> I think the toolbar should have the most common options supported by
> different protocols.

I agree.  But I also think..

The Protocol should be displayed in the infopane either as an icon or text.

As my use-case: I have buddies with 3 different protocols.  I've grouped 
them on my buddy list using the expand functionality, which is what's 
trying to be encouraged as correct behaviour and makes 110% sense to me. 
  However, I'm not always sure what protocol I'm talking on with my 
friend.  I've arranged his MSN at the top, so it defaults to msn.  But 
if he sends me something in IRC, it switches my send to IRC as well. 
This is fine, but I have no way of knowing that happened or easily 
selecting the MSN again account again.  (Go back to buddy list, find 
buddy, expand, double-click MSN account)

Clicking the protocol in the infopane (text or icon) should display a 
dropdown of the available protocols for that buddy.  That way I'm told 
when it switches, can easily switch if I want to (for whatever reason... 
for example, I know my friend is notified better over MSN) and am always 
aware what i'm currently sending over - if this is important to me.

Additionally, an 'action' dropdown could be displayed next to the 
protocol which could be filled with protocol-specific actions that can 
be performed or be space for future plugins to implement them, etc. 
Dropdowns are nice for dynamic UI stuff, because you just have to plan 
for the button, not all the elements that can change.  :)

I look forward to the pidgin ui approaching the 'proposed' ui.  Good 
work guys.  :)

Steven Brown

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