Use case for per-protocol icons

Ethan Blanton elb at
Mon Aug 6 21:22:50 EDT 2007

Andrew Roeder spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On 8/06/07, Ethan Blanton elb at wrote:
> >None of that is really what happens.  It just so happens that a small
> >number of users, including yourself, appear to be incapable of logical
> >argument or decision-making.  We have presented, for *every single*
> >use case that has come up (unless I'm forgetting something), a
> >superior way to solve the problem to using protocol icons.  A few of
> >them do not exist in the current Pidgin UI, or did not at the time of
> >discussion and have since been implemented.
> Except for the one I just stated in my previous mailing list post, which I 
> have not seen arise except from my own arguments, which you yourself decided 
> not to respond to, but instead felt it necessary to tell me that I'm 
> illogical and bad at decisions.

I did not respond to it, because it has *already* been dealt with
multiple times on this list and in the wiki.  Let me address it one
more time -- maybe it will stick, this time:

> Excerpt:
> As I said previously on this subject, currently you must mouseover to find
> the protocol of a buddy in the buddy list, even if I have their "aliases"
> expanded or not together, when you want to rightclick on a buddy to use a
> feature, you may find that many options are not present, or that you can
> invite some buddies to a chat while others you can not(because they are on a
> different protocol.)  Having the icons clearly displayed constantly in the
> buddy list on a per-buddy-account basis alleviates that, allowing you to
> immediately know who is on what protocol, so you immediately know which
> buddies you may invite to chat on a protocol, and what features you may use
> for that buddy(s).

The right-click menu for a contact should be some reasonable
approximation of what can be done to that *contact*.  In the past, we
have treated this with respect to file transfer; if _any_ buddy within
the contact can file transfer, the contact should show the option for
file transfer.  I see no reason why invitation to chats should not be
the same way.  If this is not currently the case, then it is simply a
bug in the UI as it stands today, and a bug ticket should be filed.

You are asking for a "feature" which is 100% _less optimal_ than what
we are proposing.  There may be rough edges on the current UI (I don't
know, I don't use, for example, MSN chat, which appears to be what
you're talking about), but this is no reason to throw the baby out
with the bathwater.

> >"I want it because I want it" is not a good reason for a feature.  The
> >beautiful thing about Open Source, however, is that you don't *have*
> >to have buy-in from us, just because you want something that we don't.
> >Go to it.
> It is my understanding that the Plugin system as is currently can't 
> accommodate the change, forking a separate version of Pidgin for one UI 
> change would probably be more unaccepted than the change itself.

I don't know who would have told you this; we have stated on *many*
occasions that both the buddy list and the conversation can
_trivially_ be decorated with an icon through the plugin interface.
This is, again, documented on this list and in the bug tracker, as
well as having been discussed on multiple occasions on IRC and in the
jabber conference.

> I'm not attacking the Pidgin development cycle by my previous statement, but 
> the now hostile responses given whenever this subject is risen.  If you must 
> repeat your reasons, simply copy and paste them, please do not just say 
> "This has been discussed and we have better ways."

We have reworded, restated, copied and pasted, blogged about,
documented on the wiki, and discussed our reasons times beyond number.
I fail to see why you think your specific case merits Yet Another
Explanation; we really *have* done our due diligence, here.  I fear
I'm encouraging bad behavior with even the explanation I gave above.

We are *not* ignoring the problem here, and nor are we ignoring the
specific complaints.  We've just heard it all before, and it saves
everyone's time if the complainants can brush up on their history
before accusing us of malpractice.

One last time ... if you have anything _new_ to bring to the table,
let us have it.  If the above chat issue really is not possible, for
example, please file a ticket -- that is forward progress.  Just file
the ticket from the point of view of "I cannot accomplish this task",
not "I demand buddy icons", because the former is something we want to
solve, and the latter is a waste of time.


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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