Direction of Pidgin development

Luke Schierer lschiere at
Tue May 8 10:14:16 EDT 2007

On Tue, May 08, 2007 at 09:26:50AM -0400, Dale Worley wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-05-07 at 22:00 -0400, Etan Reisner wrote:
> > What is your definition of *real* success? There are at the very least
> > multiple tens of thousands of gaim/pidgin downloads (if not multiple
> > hundreds of thousands). Does that not qualify as *real* success in your
> > book?
> Well, no, that's maybe 0.01% of all computer users, even assuming they
> all use it.  It may be your definition of success, though.
> > Whether people use or don't use our project has little real world
> > effect on us, I for one would work on it regardless of whether
> > anyone else used it.
> > I'm not entirely certain what the point of this post was either.
> The point of the post was that you've got to be aware of whether you're
> building something to be used by people like you, or by a population
> more closely approximating the masses.  That decision affects a large
> number of aspects of the project, including how much effort needs to be
> put into making the UI comprehensible, how you publicize the project,
> how you interact with newcomers, what aspects of the project take the
> most labor, etc.
> What I saw was a discussion of the UI for the various settings, but it
> seems that the people discussing that topic hadn't first come to a
> consensus regarding who the target audience is.  And you really can't
> have a workable strategy for UI without knowing who you're targeting the
> software to.
> Dale

Our target audience is not "power users" who we believe to be mythical.
Our target audience is two-fold:
1)people who want to write IM related code, and thus do not mind working
with patches or plugins
2)people who want the mess of multiple incompatable IM protocols to be
simpler, to just reach their friends, co-workers, and other contacts
without worrying about the details. 

The two are not mutually exclusive, because the reason people want to
work on plugins and on Pidgin itself is to make it so that they do *not*
have to think so much to keep in touch with people, to not miss
messages, but also to not have messaging intrude too much (for various
definitions of "too much") on their time and attention, to reach people
for all the various things they need to reach them for.


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