message window features

Luke Schierer lschiere at
Sat Aug 11 17:16:59 EDT 2007

On Sat, Aug 11, 2007 at 10:43:24PM +0200, Florian Effenberger wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm fairly new to Pidgin, coming from Windows' Miranda, and I have some 
> questions where you hopefully can help me. ;-) I tried out several 
> plugins and read the FAQ, but some features I consider important seem to 
> be missing.
> - Can I set a background color per incoming and outgoing message, to 
> better distinguish them? I tried the color plugin, but it only can set 
> text color, not background color.

The easiest way to do this would be to set your own formatting to
something distinct from your GTK+ theme.  The flaw in that approach is
that you send that formatting with your messages.  Alternately, a plugin
*could* do this, though I do not know of one that *does.*

> - Can I put a small line between the messages, also to better 
> distinguish them? It is only possible to add a single line for a new 
> message with the appropriate plugin, but not between all messages.
> - Can nicknames be removed from IM windows? I already see them in the 
> title and the tab, so having them next to the time is annoying...

A plugin could do each of these, though I do not know of one that does.

> - My biggest problem is about conversation history. I want to close the 
> message window with Esc (can be set via Pidgin's config file as well). 
> When I reopen the message window, all past messages should be shown. 
> When closing the program, all history should be sweeped. This seems to 
> be impossible with Pidgin. There is a plugin to show the last two or 
> three messages when reopening the window, but not the whole 
> conversation. Another plugin for hiding message windows instead of 
> closing them exists as well, but I can't attach that menu entry to the 
> Esc button. Any idea on how to achieve that?

A conversation is defined as the messages writen to a given conversation
tab.  When the tab closes, the conversation ends.  So the plugins you
have found show the entire conversation, as Pidgin understands it.
There is no more reliable way to demarkate what constitues a given
conversation (there are other approaches, but such as a given time
range, but they do not have fewer failure conditions, simply different

While it would take more work to design a plugin that would mimic
Miranda's logging & history functionality than it would to write a
plugin for any of your other requests, it is certainly within the realm
of possibility.  There are API hooks for a plugin to add a logging
method, and then it would be very nearly if not identical code to the
existing history plugin to display it back.


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