Reducing tab size

Sean Egan seanegan at
Thu Aug 2 22:32:32 EDT 2007

On 8/2/07, Lukas Barth <tinloaf at> wrote:
> If my buddy has gone offline, it makes no sense to activate that tab.
> The problem is: If I don't see "Buddy has gone offline" from the
> tablist, I will activate that tab to talk to that buddy (and therefor
> start tabbing through the tablist), then see he has gone offline and
> have wasted time changing keyboards and tabbing through the list for
> nothing.

Right now I have 9 tabs open and my window is currently wide enough to
hold 3 tabs without scrolling. If I'm interested in talking on any
particular conversation, there's a 2⁄3 chance I'll need to switch to
that tab anyway.

If we remove the status icon, I can fit 6 tabs, and have only a 1⁄3
chance of having to jump through hoops to switch to my desired

Then, if we do something less space-filled to indicate an offline user
 – italicize the title, perhaps – then your use case is filled much

> I think there is a difference between infos such as "buddy icon" or
> "away message" and "status": Buddy icon and away message are of no
> importance if I consider activating a certain tab (and therefor start
> tabbing around) - the status *is* of importance in this case (as I said:
> If the buddy is offline, there is no reason to activate the tab).

That's true, but the buddy list node is our canonical representation
of a status. The status message may actually be just as important as
the status icon: it can be the difference between "Away - Gone for two
weeks" and "Away - Due to auto-idle because I'm doing some homework at
my desk but will definitely hear the Ding if you IM me."

The buddy icon isn't useful as part of a status, but makes it really
easy to pick out which friend you want from the list without having to
even look at text.

I don't really think crack.png is a practical idea (although it's
certainly not the *worst* idea I've come up with), but I just like
playing devil's advocate :)


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