Direction of Pidgin development

Etan Reisner pidgin at
Thu May 3 23:26:55 EDT 2007

On Thu, May 03, 2007 at 11:16:10PM -0400, Andrew Roeder wrote:
> After reviewing a lot of the complaints coming with 2.0.0 and its releases
> and the solutions that are/will be offered by the developers.  Am I wrong is
> the thought process that it seems Pidgin is moving towards a focus a
> userbase of more un-intelligent, uninformed, (if you'll forgive the bad
> analogy) Window's type users.  Catering to people who don't know what their
> software does, how it works, or what it can do.

No, pidgin is not moving towards catering to them. That was not the point
of any of my comments, that never was the point, that will never be the
point. The point I was trying to make was that assuming that something
isn't confusing simply because you understand it isn't a good way to look
at things.

> Should this be the focus? Ofcourse Pidgin should be easier, but should we
> need to maintain upwards of 20 "plugins" to maintain Pidgin in a form that
> is lush to a user who is aware of what Pidgin can do for them?  At this
> point in time there is -no- problem with the removal of features and
> replacement with plugins, however is this the best approach at supplying a
> great messenger.

pidgin will *never* end up like miranda. I will not allow it as long as I
have any say in the project. Requiring all users to load plugins for
normal features is completely unacceptable and that is not the way pidgin
is moving.

> Back the point of this, with, users wanting to fulfill Pidgin's potential
> now have to drudge through plugins and popup a window to set individual
> plugin settings, this is not "easier", hiding these options in such a
> fashion protects the ignorant users but merely hinders the time it takes to
> explain/setup Pidgin yourself, or for someone else who is looking for these
> features.

One time setup costs are exactly that, one time. Once set up they are
entirely forgotten about (for better and for worse, as can be seen by the
people who forget that they turned on the Iconify on Away plugin).
Requiring everyone to pay attention to things simply to avoid one time
costs for the minority of people that want them available is a poor
trade-off. However, so is over-simplifying for the people who don't care
and penalizing the people who do. Walking the line in between those areas
is the tightrope that pidgin has to walk, the project will occasionally
fall to one side or the other but at all times we will be striving to find
the happy middle ground.

> I for one feel no loss of usability with Pidgin yet, but I do feel that I'm
> using a program no longer actually built for me, it is built for the "dumb
> wanting easy" which is what every opponent messenger seems to target.

pidgin is not built for dumb users, it is built for people who want their
IM client to just work and present them the information they want in the
places they want it and to facilitate sending and receiving instant
messages, as that is ultimately the entire goal and point of pidgin in the
first place.

I hope this explains what I was getting at with my comments and alleviates
any fears you (and others) might have had about the goals and directions
of the pidgin project.


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