Use case for per-protocol icons

Sean Egan seanegan at
Mon Aug 6 22:30:14 EDT 2007

On 8/6/07, Josh Williams <yurimxpxman at> wrote:
> 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
> icons).

"Some" people prefer the old UI. Obviously, some people don't.

I would argue that the vast majority of people prefer the new UI
(actually I suspect that the vast majority simply don't care), but
won't, because I don't have any real data to back me up. Neither do
you. So please refrain from all this "Pidgin developers are all
self-righteous assholes who ignore what Pidgin users want because they
enjoy watching us suffer" nonsense, because you have little but a few
highly vocal complaints on a mailing list to back that up, and frankly
it makes you sound like an over-reactionary fool.

You ask: Do we want everyone who uses Pidgin for the first time to
have a bad experience?

Again, I have no actual data to back this up, but I very much suspect
that a first time user would enjoy Pidgin far more than Gaim.

As I've stated before (,
you miss the protocol icon because you grew to depend on it. It's our
fault for introducing it to begin with; sorry about that. As we've
been saying, all the arguments in favor of protocol icons are either a
consequence of coincidence (the "I use Yahoo! at work, and so Yahoo
icons indicate co-workers to me" argument) or failures in other parts
of the UI ("How do I know which 'Sean' to send a file to anymore?").
Protocol icons are merely a band-aid over these. A band-aid people
have grown dependent on.

Pidgin should emphasize the people over the technology. Where it fails
to do so, those failures should be addressed.

One half of one second. That is how long it takes you to discover what
protocol someone is using. If you're really impatient, you can change
the tooltip_delay preference in prefs.xml to 1 millisecond:
essentially instant.

While I understand that the bridge between instant and actually
instant is a very long one, given the infrequency with which even the
band-aid cases are needed (I mean, you seriously can't wait half a
second before starting an MSN chat?) I don't think there's an argument
to be made that the cost of having protocol icons on the buddy list do
not outweigh the benefits.

If you think that creating a QT UI is the most productive way to solve
your dilemna, God bless you. I wish you the best of luck. If you want
to work on figuring out new, better ways of resolving your problems,
I'd be glad to hear to them.


More information about the Devel mailing list