Destructive defaults -- Buddy pounces' "recurring"

Shreevatsa R shreevatsa at
Thu Dec 13 00:08:09 EST 2007

To create buddy pounces in Pidgin (or finch) that stay, one has to
remember to tick the "Recurring" option. I think this should be the

Rationale: Perhaps Buddy Pounces were originally conceived as being for
one-time use, but I suspect many people use it for setting permanent
notifications when someone signs on. Even if popularity is not a valid
argument, I think that the Buddy Pounces feature can be unclear to new
users, people usually ignore things they don't understand, and silently
deleting buddy pounces is highly destructive; it can take much more
effort to recreate an elaborate buddy pounce (perhaps it involved
choosing from obscure sound files :P) than to delete a no-longer-wanted
one, and the potential harm from a deleted pounce (missing an important
event, for some definition of important) is much greater than the
potential annoyance from an unwanted pounce.

I think the name is confusing too. Multiple people have wondered what
"recurring" means, and I think if it's made the default, the option to
turn it off can be called "Delete after event happens", like Adium, or
"Do this only once" or anything clearer than an ambiguous "Recurring".

While on the topic of making things more clear, the "Pounce only when my
status is not available" can be very puzzling to some people if the
"Available" is not somehow typographically distinguished :) [Fixed in
Pidgin, but not in Finch.]

Shreevatsa R

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