UI suggestions

Christopher Stafford ukdrizzle at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jun 18 07:52:39 EDT 2007

André Lemos wrote:
> Gary Kramlich wrote:
>> Sean Egan wrote:
>>> On 6/17/07, Aleve Sicofante <asicofante at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> I'm new to this Pidgin list. I've been using Pidgin in Windows for a few
>>>> weeks and I'd like to point out a few UI issues I've found:
>>> Welcome, and thanks for the well-thought-out e-mail.
>>>> Show a tooltip in the system tray showing the friend's name and a little
>>>> text ("Fred has just logged in" or "Martha has just logged out").
>>> I've read the rest of the points in this thread, and I agree with you.
>>> Guifications-like-behavior should be part of Pidgin, proper---not as a
>>> plugin. I've asked Gary (the Guifications maintainer) about this a few
>>> times. I've had Hylke mock up a few good default themes for it, which
>>> he's done (They're on my other computer; if the thread is still alive
>>> tomorrow, I'll post them).
>>> That said, saying it should be done is much different than actually doing it. :)
>>> Guifications, itself, is far too complex to fit well as part of
>>> Pidgin, proper (although it works well in its own light, as a plugin).
>>> Ideally, I would want to have a single "on/off" switch (or perhaps
>>> some other small number to configure what you want notifications for),
>>> and maybe a single drop-down for a theme.
>> <snip>
>> For anyone that is curious, the behavior I *require* out of guifications 
>> 2.x is this.  I run X in a disjoint setup, which means that I have two 
>> (or more) monitors, that are not "One Big Desktop(tm)".  Which in turn 
>> means I have 2 X displays; :0.0 and :0.1 (think two root windows).  I 
>> run pidgin on :0.1 which is to the right of my direct view.  Since it's 
>> out of my way, I want my notifications visible on :0.0 which is directly 
>> in front of me.  This is one of the behaviors Sean wants to remove.  He 
>> suggested detecting where the tray icon is, but the communication 
>> between an application and a fd.o notification area is done through an 
>> XAtom, which is all done on a *single* root window.  Since I have 2 root 
>> windows, this doesn't work, and I would lose functionality that I require.
>>> -Sean.
>> This ended up being way longer than I intended it to be, but I hope this 
>> has clarified the situation a bit, and why it's not a simple thing to do.
> I also agree that guifications would be overkill, and gaim-libnotify[1] 
> seems like a much better, cleaner and simpler alternative IMHO
> [1] http://gaim-libnotify.sourceforge.net/
If libnotify becomes *the* standard for popup notifications then I guess
that's the logical thing to target from pidgin - it provides the basic
information most users need in a standard way that they will have chosen
as part of their desktop - certainly the slightly bewildering feeling I
get from different toaster popups appearing in all four corners from
AIM, MSN, YIM and Guifications would be resolved. This would allow the
more obvious events to be targetted (online/offline/messaged you), while
it could be integrated with buddy pounces to provide less obvious
events  (away/back/is typing) for specific users. I think this is
roughly what adium does, although the notification framework is
structured rather differently.

At the same time the guifications plugin could remain separate as a way
of providing more complex options, such as different-sized toast for
less important notifications such as 'is typing...' and greater
configurability for people who want that.

Much of the above could be achieved more quickly by just including all
the guifications functionality (possibly less the theme editor) in
Pidgin directly, and just hiding the options as per Sean's suggestion
with a plugin (included for preference) which allowed you to change the
other options / include other events etc. The only reason I can see for
not doing this, apart from a fairly small amount of bloat to the app, is
that should libnotify later become more standard and desirable, there
would be work to switch to that method.


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