Use case for per-protocol icons

Josh Williams yurimxpxman at
Mon Aug 6 22:59:38 EDT 2007

On 8/6/07, Ethan Blanton <elb at> wrote:
> The icon is 1) distracting, nonintuitive clutter

Now you're only speaking of your opinion, which does matter, but no
more than the rest of ours. In this case, I'd suggest a vote.

>                                              and 2) encouraging
> poor usage habits and discouraging improvements to the interface,
> thereby.

"Poor usage habits"? We like to know what protocol we're on, that's
all. This has nothing to do with our "poor usage habits". Are you
implying that it is a poor usage habit to, for example, use the /nudge
command on MSN or the /buzz command on Yahoo?

Your idea of good "usage habits" seems to be conforming to simplicity
with less functionality. This is fine and dandy if you prefer to be
treated as a stupid child who may only do what his elders instruct him
to, but there others of us who prefer to have more control over our

> "Everyone" does not think it's a bad experience.  The people in the
> "bring back protocol icons" camp *really* need to get this through
> their heads -- we're talking about a small number of people, here, who
> really want protocol icons and have not either found the New Way
> superior or never noticed in the first place.  (Note that most single
> account users fall into the latter category.)

It's certainly enough users for you to be tired of hearing the
complaints, isn't it?

> That depends -- do you want tabs in IE6?


> Any QT interface would *not* be a fork, it would simply be yet another
> interface to libpurple -- which we wholeheartedly endorse.  If you're
> forking to achieve this, then I'll tell you two things up front:
> you're wasting a lot of time, and you're doomed to failure.  The
> former is simply true, the latter is just an educated guess based on
> the dozens of dead Gaim forks from the past.  See the 0.60 era for
> examples.  (Would you believe that people just like you, with the same
> tired arguments, lobbied for things as bizarre as a reversion to Gtk
> 1.x?)

It would be a fork because I have no intention of submitting any of my
QT work to Pidgin. I have no desire to be affiliated with it (please
note that I said Pidgin, not libpurple).

As for the dead forks, this fork actually has a good reason to exist.
No, not just because I'm complaining about the new UI. If that were
the case, I'd just modify Pidgin's source for my own personal use.

My main reason for this project is to write an interface that's native
to KDE, obviously, which is something I have wanted for a long time.
The recent arguments have only given me more incentive to write it.

> Users shouldn't have to know that they're different, and that's the
> part you (and yours) don't seem to get.  We're pushing in that
> direction, and, I think, making progress.

Again, not each protocol is identical in functionality.

> No, you really do have write access. [..]

Yes, I have write access to _my copy_. I'm talking about the official
repository here.

>  I have to assume from all your
> talk that you simply don't bother to learn very much about your tools
> -- first Pidgin, and now monotone.

I know the ins and outs of pidgin very well, thank you. No, I've never
used monotone (svn here), but your argument is moot - a small
technicality in the wording. The point is that I don't have the
permissions to choose which UI is put into the official repository and
eventually released on sourceforge.

>               Personally, I suspect that you'll rapidly find out that
> this whole "free software" thing is a lot more work than you thought,
> but I'd love to be wrong.

I like this quote. This reminds me (again) of the great GNOME vs. KDE debate:

"This 'users are idiots, and are confused by functionality' mentality
of Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots
will use it. I don't use Gnome, because in striving to be simple, it
has long since reached the point where it simply doesn't do what I
need it to do."

> If you're really looking at this as a fork, I hope no one wastes their
> time on you.  (Particularly if it's for something as stupid as
> protocol icons!)

By "fork", I mean I'm using the pidgin source tarball as the base of
the program. libpurple will be renamed to libim, finch to tim, and
pidgin to kim. Pidgin is the only component that will be re-written
from scratch (probably, that is; maybe finch, as well).

When I say I'm creating a "fork of pidgin", I am referring to the
project as a whole - libpurple, finch, and pidgin.

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