UI suggestions

John Bailey rekkanoryo at rekkanoryo.org
Sun Jun 17 17:37:20 EDT 2007

Hash: SHA1

jonathan wrote:
> I think an On-Screen-Display is a very important function for a program 
> nowaday, especially for a chat client.
> Of course it's nice to have some extra plugin you can install to get 
> this nice feature, but why don't you just integrate an OSD to the 
> preference menu, of if you think too many people would be annoyed by 
> this as a default plugin.

It's not an important or even necessary feature.  If it was truly important,
Guifications would have been added to Pidgin ages ago.  As a Guifications
developer, I'm not sure I would even want the plugin included with Pidgin, as it
seems a condition of this happening is a prefs slash that I don't want to see.
But, thankfully for everyone else, I have so little code in Guifications that
it's not even remotely close to my call.

So-called "default plugins" are a specific challenge that has yet to see a
reasonable, agreeable solution for.  Even so, this is something that would be
too easily abused and certainly a ton of users would complain about that just as
they complain about all other changes that are made.

> I don't know how many of the ordinary users get the clue with the 
> guifications plugin-pack. You have to search at google for the correct 
> keywords to get this plugin. And many people just dont search for 
> something like this because they expect that a "standard"-feature like 
> this is part of the program itself.

"Getting the clue" is a funny proposition, since you haven't gotten the clue yet
yourself.  Guifications is NOT the Purple Plugin Pack, which seems to be a
problem for an insanely large number of people to grasp.  Even so, it's not so
terribly important that it takes the one or two users who care about obscure
feature X a few minutes on Google to find any of our plugins.  The main problem
I see is that people aren't clueful enough to figure out on their own that
Guifications is NOT the same thing as the Purple Plugin Pack, although the
constant incorrect references to it as the "Guifications Plugin Pack" in #pidgin
certainly doesn't help in this regard.

> So I really don't understand why you can't integrate this as a 
> standard-plugin or even better as a preference.

See my comments above on including Guifications.  As for actually adding it to
Pidgin itself, I strongly doubt this will happen given the desire to keep Pidgin
itself free of feature bloat.  Pidgin, as an application, already does a TON of
stuff on its own.  The fact that users want more out of it is why plugins exist
in the first place.  If we don't want to implement feature X, leave it for a
plugin.  If a plugin doesn't appear, obviously that feature is completely
irrelevant (although it's arguable that many features provided by existing
plugins are irrelevant anyway).

> If there are problems with the guification folks it shouldn't be too 
> hard to write find someone who would be willing to implement it.

Note that every current actively contributing developer on the Guifications team
is an active Pidgin developer or Crazy Patch Writer.  Everyone involved with
Guifications, even the currently inactive developers, has *some* sort of tie to
Pidgin development or packaging.  Note also that everyone to date who has ever
used the "it shouldn't be too hard to write" argument have also been those who
claim not to be able to do said implementation.  For that reason alone, the
argument is fatally flawed.

> I really like the OSD of KvIRC, which adds the possibility to answer at 
> the pop-up box. Just an idea.

This is overkill, and I for one would strongly oppose adding this to
Guifications or to any other sort of notification that would get added to Pidgin.

Also, for reference, anyone wanting notified on recipt of a message *could* also
use buddy pounces.  It would be painful, but it *is* doable, meaning that a form
of the requested functionality actually is part of Pidgin already.

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