Use case for per-protocol icons

Josh Williams yurimxpxman at
Mon Aug 6 23:15:51 EDT 2007

On 8/6/07, Sean Egan <seanegan at> wrote:
> 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.

That does not account for the completely protocol-dependent
functionality, such as /nudge, /buzz, etc.

Personally, I do not even group people's accounts into one contact.
It's a PITA because I make heavy usage of each protocol's features.

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

I suppose that's just a core principle that we disagree about. I'm in
favor of emphasising people, but not at the expense of reduced
functionality (in this case, addressing the UI as technology).

> 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.

One half of one second *plus the use of your mouse*. I don't know
about you, but I avoid using the mouse (don't say I'm the only one -
even RMS has told me he does the same), *especially* for trivial
things that should be shown to me anyways. (eg., I prefer gmail over
AOL mail partially because I don't want to click "Inbox" before I see
my mail; it should 'just be there'.)

>                                       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.

I am still not even convinced that there really *are* any benefits of
the green circle. The only argument for it I can see is that you think
it looks nicer, but that's merely a matter of opinion.

> 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.

No you wouldn't. You've already stated that you don't _care_ about my
problems. You prefer simplicity over functionality. If that's the way
you like it, God bless you, too. I simply differ in fundamental design
concepts, so I have no intention of contributing to the pidgin UI.

I'm only re-writing it from scratch because GTK was based on the same
principles as pidgin, and it doesn't mesh very well with KDE.

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