Use case for per-protocol icons

Josh Williams yurimxpxman at
Mon Aug 6 21:55:35 EDT 2007

On 8/6/07, Ethan Blanton <elb at> wrote:
> 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.

How is this "_less optimal_"? The *only* difference is the icon. We
can have both the icon _and_ your system in the same UI.

> 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.

I think the issue we're debating is what the _default_ interface is,
with no plugins, hacks, or themes.  Perhaps we should asking ourselves
this: Do we want everyone who uses Pidgin for the first time to have a
bad experience?

> 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.

IE6 has an addon for tabs. Does that mean I should start using it?

> 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.

I have been keeping up on these issues since Pidgin 2 was first
released. I was in the IRC channel while they were releasing it, and
not two hours after they left the channel, several people joined to
complain about the ambiguous icons.

Yes, you have reworded, restated, copied and pasted, blogged about,
and documented in the wiki _many_ times, but basically what you're
saying is that you do not care what the users want. (Which is why I'm
working on a QT fork atm.)

> 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.

Or, maybe, after the 10th thousand complaint, you'll finally go back
to the UI people preferred. I have many users on my network who have
specifically requested Gaim 2 beta 6 to be installed instead of Pidgin
for these specific UI issues we've been discussing (not just the

> One last time ... if you have anything _new_ to bring to the table,
> let us have it.

No, we don't _want_ something new. We just want this particular part
of the UI to be the way it *used* to be. You still have not given us
any reason that the green icon is _better_, except that you think it
looks nicer to have all the protocols to look the same. But there's
one problem with that theology; the protocols are _different_. They
all have unique things about them, so we'd like to be able to just
glance at the handy-dandy icon to see which protocol we're using.
That's all, plain and simple.

If you developers prefer the new UI, why don't you make *it* an option
in the preferences or a plugin? The only thing stopping _us_ is that
we do not have write access to the versioning database, so we are
forced to just suck it up whenever you make crappy decisions (sounds a
lot like GNOME vs. KDE, doesn't it?).

FORK! FORK! If you're interested in writing a QT interface to
libpurple, drop me a message. I've already started on one, and I'd be
glad to have your help =)

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