Reducing tab size

Lukas Barth tinloaf at
Thu Aug 2 20:11:53 EDT 2007


Sean Egan wrote:
> I still believe that the conversation tabs' primary goal in life
> should be organizing conversations. A huge part of this is having as
> many tabs visible at a time.

"Organize" does IMHO not only mean "show", but also "show status". I 
think the information wether a buddy I have an open conversation with is 
online or not is important: Normally I know roughly whom I have open 
conversations with without looking at pidgin, and I have often 
situations where something I wanted to talk about to someone I have an 
open conversation with comes to my mind. Now (because Pidgin runs on a 
machine which is not my usual "workstation") I have a quick look at the 
screen displaying Pidgin and see whether he or she is still online.

Without the status icons in the tabs I will have to change to another 
keyboard, tab around (Alt-Nr. does not work every time because I often 
have more than 9 conversations open, and counting takes just as much 
time as tabbing) to see the user logged off. Grmpf.

I know this sounds like it happens once a century, but when I tested 
pidgin without the status icons this happened quite regularly.

I know that one can see status changes from the buddy's name becoming 
gray, but knowing who is offline from gray names is difficult: First, I 
would have to remember what state the buddy was in when I last left his 
tab, then there is a problem if the buddy changed his status twice 
(going offline and online again - I see this often, lots of my friends 
seem to have very instable systems).

I think, status is definitely one of the pieces of information which 
should be in the tabs (if you really hate the icons, one could try 
different colors for different states?...) and that users with a lot of 
conversations should rather consider a vertical layout instead of 
removing the status icons...

> It has been counter-argued that most people do not have enough
> conversations open to justify my insanity,

And the rest of them could use a vertical layout. ;)

> Because I enjoy being shot down and flamed, I've decided to post some
> potential ideas.
> - Remove the status icon. It does nothing absolutely to organize
> conversations, and occupies a relatively large amount of space. To
> everyone who argues that the infopane's icon is redundant to the tab,
> I argue that the tab's icon is redundant to the infopane.

Err.. I commented on that too early. See above.

> - Remove the close button. With middle-click-to-close, you don't gain
> actually gain anything from the close button, although I wouldn't
> expect anyone to actually find middle-click-to-close on their own.

Huh, so how is this supposed to work? Pidgin would have to have a 


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