Conversation window UI

Andrei B. andrixnet at
Fri Aug 3 12:44:29 EDT 2007

I am following the discussion in a bug report, as suggested.
I will add some of my thoughts on the matter : 

Apewall has created a good explanatory image at 
and I am replying both to him and seanegan's next comment. 

1) It took me quite a while, looking at the avatar to understand something. Sorry. it's tiny. 
I loved Gaim/Pidgin's display of the full 96x96 (Yahoo at least) avatar in the conversation window. 
On a second thought, at least give the user the choice, like the official Yahoo client. Full size avatar or small, if there is such a strong tendency towards small. 
Few avatars are really well designed to be easy to understand at significantly smaller sizes. 

2) the areas marked "wasted space" are discarded by sean on the account that "the window was streched too wide". Even if many people like the window narrow, I don't believe it should be considered an absolute rule. 
Personally I keep my window quite wide because I make real and good use of such width and height for the conversation in progress. 
And I like flexibility rather then rigid constraints. 
I dislike the official yahoo client because of the many windows clutter and the wasted space in the conversation window. 

3) at first I tended to agree with the removal of the status icon from the tabs, but then, after some thought, I very strongly oppose it. Why? Simple. 
I have the conversation window on top, other windows behind it and the buddy list not necesarily visible. It is the icon in the tabs that tell me about the status of each buddy that I have an open conversation with. And I value this information. 

4) The formatting toolbar has been fixed to contain a couple of dropdown menus, following a bugreport concerned about window width issues. 
However, the suggested solution in that bugreport was for the toolbar to put the buttons that would not be visible due to small width into a dropdown that becomes the rightmost item on the toolbar. See OpenOffice for example. 
Such a solution would indeed give the conversation window great flexibility to both kinds of users : wide and narrow conversation window. 


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