Account editor

Wim De Smet fragmeat at
Mon Aug 13 09:58:55 EDT 2007


First of all, sorry about posting in this old thread. Just thought I'd
throw in my 2 cents since nobody else seems to have the same ideas on
this topic and I just now came across the thread.

On Fri, 27 Jul 2007 16:10:43 -0700
"Sean Egan" <seanegan at> wrote:
> People are always getting confused by our account editor!

Jup me too, and I've used it more than once.

> Here are a few assorted thoughts:
> We use the term "Screen name" for every account; this is an AIMism,
> and we should probably have the prpl specify what to call this (e.g.
> UIN, JID, etc).

I like this.

> XMPP uses a complicated username split that separates the JID into
> three boxes, which tends to confuse people. I propose a single box,
> named JID, that takes 'seanegan at' If the resource (the
> /Work) part is omitted, we append the default.
> People still don't know what 'Local alias' is. Just today, my friend
> thought it would be the name of the group his friends from that
> account got added to. Perhaps defaulting it to "Me" might get the
> point across (Google Talk, for instance, shows all the messages you
> send as coming from "me:").

For both of these I've been wondering why you don't just add a little
help icon or something similar that opens up a tooltip on hover or a
little window on click that explains (briefly) the options such as what
exactly you're supposed to enter in the "screen name" bit and what a
"local alias" is. 

I think in what I differ most from other people is that I would like
some sort of text explanation next to the options in the account
dialog. Most of the major clients use a wizardlike interface to add
accounts, which puts a lot of text explaining each and every option,
such as "screen name". While I personally hate wizards I think all the
explanatory text is common and there for a good reason. Most of the
names in the account dialog might be improvable, but it's not as much
of an issue if you can easily look up what they all mean, preferrably
without opening another window or having to switch to a web browser.

Some loose ideas for the different account dialogs follow:

Personally, when I have to enter an XMPP account I get into the most
trouble cause I start out with "screen name" and think "oh that must be
a JID" then enter my full JID. After that you get Domain Name which
I actually end up duplicating in there. I know it's silly now, but
there was nothing to tell me otherwise. Perhaps there should be a
simple label below it that says JID: .... and updates the value of this
label automatically while you type. It could even be split in sections
which would be somehow indicated "screen name", "domain", "resource". I
only noticed I had made an error when the server errored out and I saw
my JID containing two @ characters, hence this idea.

Resource is an empty term for most people, but it's filled in by
default so they can leave it like that. Local alias is similarly
confusing, especially with other protocols. When entering an MSN
account for instance I imagine most "normal" users would be looking for
a field to enter what I think MSN calls your display name. The name
other people see. It is counterintuitive for an MSN user (but not an
AIM or XMPP user) that this name should be entered elsewhere in a menu
option a couple of levels deep. I know I've been stuck on the dialog
wondering what exactly it's supposed to do. Now that I know what it
does I think it's a great feature. Unfortunately it's not
entirely clear from the get-go and some explanation attached to
it would be nice.

Anyway, just some thoughts, thanks for reading this


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